Michael

Mr. Santa

Dear Santa,

Thank you for everything. I have a little problem that we dealt with this year and I’m asking your advice e on how to avoid this next year. I moved home after a stoke that left me permenaley disabled. So my husband and I moved into my mom’s house as she was there all alone, We were bothspending a great deal at tine and the financial advantages work well for all. In October hurricane Micheal hit the Gulf Coast so my youngest brother, wife and 2 kids took refuge from the storm. Like so many they lost everything. Thier home, they were renting, got a tree through it. Everthing was soaking wet and then developed mold. So as the children and parents could really use a dose of holiday cheer, we endevored, over thier protests to make it a good Christmas for all.

My husband spent three weeks helping me decorate, cook, buy and wrap presents, knowing the joy would be seeing thier faces on Christmas Day. So we spent a good amount of time with all the preperations. On Christmas eve we were up until 4am putting the finishing touches on packages, filling stockings, and any last minute things left to do. We planned to try and get a little sleep since the kids didn’t get in bed despite anyone’s best efforts till 11pm. Thinking they would sleep in just a little we planned to get up between 9 and 10 the next morning. Three year olds do not have the same time zone as the rest of us. 6am three yr olds are up begging, not quietly, to open presents. Anybodies present under the tree.

The scene

Mom works at the hospital so Christmas day is a workday. They prompted by an early morning wake up decide they can no longer contain or restrain a certain 3 year old boy. I am roused from slumber myself and informed that Santa has been here and the children can no longer be put off. As I am disabled I use a hospital bed that will not fit in our bedroom. Knowing how much my husband wants to see this I call him. I know we went to bed 2 hours ago so I’m expecting him not to be thrilled with this but we can take a nap later.

The conversation goes as follows;

Him- What?

Me – Santa has been here.

Him – Who?

Me – Santa

Him – Who?

Me – Santa Claus.

Him – Do you know what time it is? We just went to bed.

Me – They are opening presents and I thought you would want to see.

Him – Who did you say was here?

Me -Santa, I thought you would want to see.

Him – (Emphatically) “No”

Me – Are you sure?

Him – (very emphatic) “NO”.

Me – Okay go back to sleep.

I have my brother who is handing out the gifts leave his and mine for the most part under the tree. I’m now wide awake. I opened the gifts from my neice, mom, brother and sister-in-law. After thank you’s are exchanged, I ask for my first cup of coffee as my mom heads out the door to the hospital. All is quiet until 10am.

Hubby is up and upon entering the livingroom is astonished to see the only presents remaining is a small stack. He was so disappointed. The conversation went something close to this;

Him – What the heck?

Me – I called you. You said no! You didn’t want to come see.

Him – You said Santa was here.

Me – Yes, Santa was here did you want to come see

Him – no I didn’t want to see someone dressed as Santa. Couldn’t they have waited until I was up?

Me – Have you ever tried talking a three year old into waiting? They wanted to do this so mom could see before she went to work. I called you when this was happening earlier.

Him – No you said Santa was here. Did I want to see him? I thought maybe one of your brothers dressed up as Santa, or you hired someone to come play Santa, and this was the only time they could come. Well this just ruins my Christmas. I really wanted to see this. Why couldn’t it wait till I was here.

Me – I’m sorry that’s why I called you even though it was so early.

Him – You said nothing about them opening presents. All you said was someone dressed as Santa was here.

Me – Do we often invite, strange men in weird clothing into the house with children at 6am? Especially with all the wrapped gifts under the tree? Is this something you think we regularly do even on Christmas morning?

Him – I have set my phone to record all calls for business reasons. It helps me remember what was said and agreed upon when I talk to people about jobs. Let’s play the recording back, because you never said anything about opening presents.

You can hear everything we both said. I talked about Santa having come (I’m in the room with the kids). I repeated it twice. He still says no twice. The next line is garbled, but I’m sure I reiterated they are opening presents. Then after another “no” I say okay go back to sleep then.

Long story short both little and us big kids had a good Christmas. Toys, clothes, household, things we needed and things we like.

My neices came later that afternoon and he got to see them tear into thier gifts. It helped make up at least some of the disappointment of earlier.

So I guess my question is has this ever happened to anyone else?

Even though we had a good laugh about it, how do we not do this again? This experience was too funny not to share. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and we look forward to a bright and happy 2019.

My favorite version

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Hurricane Michael

Featured photo by https://www.facebook.com/christonanderson

Michael. for most is just a name neither good or bad. I have several family members with that as a first or middle name. However, if you’ve been around a news broadcast anywhere in the last few weeks you know the name has taken on an infamous shadow that will haunt thousands for years to come. It started innocently enough as tropical wave L91 in the lower Caribbean Sea off the Yucatan peninsula.

As a long-term Florida resident we didn’t give it much thought. It strengthened and started heading north as these often do. We get regular storms brought up from the Gulf year round. While bringing some wind and rain, it’s not really an odd occurrence. Indeed this is a normal weather pattern for us. A couple of days later it intensified to a named storm. Michael. When early predictions started rolling in we took note but really didn’t consider it worth getting anxious about until it made category II.

stock-photo-saffir-simpson-hurricane-wind-scale-showing-categories-damage-force-and-wind-speed-in-miles-per-729661924

If you’ve seen the pictures from Panama city, Lynn haven, Tyndall AFB, Mexico Beach, you have seen the catastrophic damage these storms can cause. in the days right before it hit land we urged friends and family to evacuate. People with brick homes are facing starting over. I was surprised by how many people were going to stay even those in mobile homes were planning to ride out the storm at home. I was very surprised to learn that even with all the years experience that most long-term residents have, they did not have a basic hurricane kit with essential like a weather radio. Along with posting information for survivors to help in the aftermath, I am putting the link to the supply list everyone should have and how to prepare before the storm arrives.

Hurricanes! What you need to know.

With most communications down, info was passed on thru the few working cell carriers. The vulnerable systems left advocated using secondary sites like Facebook, Google hangouts, Zello and others for both rescue officials and citizens. I am proud that most who stayed showed the best side of humanity by jumping into action and helping each other without any expectations. While some tried to take advantage, the majority pitched in to help. Many like myself could not physically travel to the affected area, we turned to social media groups to help verify and pass important information. Working with both people bringing supplies in, official stations for aid, and real people on the ground, we were able to help connect people with needs and help.

Special Thanks to all the Linemen who work so diligently to restore power to affected neighborhoods. The search and rescue teams who help save countless lives. The Cajun Navy from Louisiana. Their tireless efforts to help can never be overstated. Thank you for continuing even after official operations were turned over to the National Guard.

hurricane-michael-9

This is from NOAA just before the storm made landfall.

http://www.FEMA.gov

Over a month later the major news media has refocused thier attention. Good Morning America, did a live broadcast just this morning to help bring focus back to the destruction that is total and onhoing. People are still living in tents throughout the city. Mexico Beach just no longer exists. As Thanksgiving comes to us all this year we give special thanks for surviving the storm. Even with everything lost and no place to go or live the residents remain strong, hopeful and yes, this Thanksgiving we give extra thanks for our family and friends from this affected area. So as you gather for your holiday celebration, and prepare to shop till you drop, please remember the spirit of giving. While there are many who donate to charities this giving season, please consider giving to those in the ground aiding directly in this recovery.

An alumni from school started her own non-profit for Hurricane recovery. Way to go Rachel!

https://www.facebook.com/1097704366/posts/10151584809379945/

Here to help Bay County

Gulf Coast Animal Hospital

https://www.facebook.com/SenatorGainer/ ­čŹüI have compiled a list of Thanksgiving events that are free to our community.

FEMA

2.1.1. First call for Help

Salvation Army

Shannon Cooper Hurricane relief

850Strong

If I have missed a link to a valuable resource please let me know.

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