Last September, we found ourselves evacuating our home, our neighborhood, and our community in preparation for Hurricane Florence. She was headed directly for our small community on the North Carolina Coast. We didn’t know what exactly to expect. We didn’t know if we would have a home to return to.
I didn’t pick up my camera much during our time away. There are so many photos I wish I had taken. Maybe that was my way of coping.
We spent almost a week away with family and friends. Once the storm had passed, we tried unsuccessfully to return home for three days. There was simply too much water.
During our time away, I missed our normal routine so much. I missed biking to school, morning coffee in my own mugs, preparing dinner, fresh flowers on the table.
All of that seemed like a world away.
When we finally were able to make it back to our coastal community, we realized that we were one of the lucky families. Though littered with debris, our home stood largely untouched. Some of our very close friends were not as lucky. They had lost everything.
We poured ourselves into our community. Cleaning up the debris at our local elementary school, donating supplies to families in need, delivering food to impacted neighborhoods.
My daughters were out of school for a month. We played a lot of Scrabble, and tried to pass the time as best we could.
Slowly but surely, things started to return to normal. And I realized how much I craved normalcy. I used to get tired of our same old routine, day in and day out. Now, I cherish it. I don’t think I will ever take for granted the mundane things in my life. They are now a treasure. Grabbing my favorite mug from the cupboard, picking up my camera to document it.
I came to the realization that our lives are made up of small things, our normal activities that make up our day to day lives. Sure, we celebrate the big things – birthdays, weddings, and holidays. But it’s the simple days, the normal days, that are just as important.