Well, Here We Go Again – Hurricanes and a Healthy & Happy New Year

Happy New Year


Back in 2017, we had the privilege of getting a visit by Irma, the first hurricane in which we spent time in the eye. Fabulous experience! This year, we sat through Ian… this time on the edge of the eye. Although Irma gave us no serious damage, the promise of Ian was more damage.

The friends we spent time with during Irma called again and invited us to spend time with them during Ian. We had just decided when they called to ride it out in our heavily shuttered house, but when they called, the predication was for a 15-foot surge and we could not stay dry with that kind of water event. So, we hurriedly packed and told the lady that we would accept her invitation. She said “great,” but we had to be there by 3 o’clock as they were leaving to serve some project. So, we loaded up the Fit with dogs, supplies, clothes etc. and we made it. What we didn’t bring with us was food as we were very rushed.

That evening no mention was made of dinner, so she made a macaroni & cheese dinner for us. It wasn’t until two days later that it dawned on us: we’d emptied out our freezer and refrigerator and other groceries for our Irma stay. The next day, Ian came and we settled in. Well, he came and he was nasty. What trees didn’t fall during Irma came down in Ian. What roofs didn’t blow away were trying to blow away this time. During the night, he raged, but we didn’t lose electricity.

The next day he was gone. In mid-morning, our host said he would drive over to our house to see if there was any damage. Which he did. He called back and told his wife that our house was fine, no damage, and we had electricity. Understand that we are only six blocks from Vanderbilt Beach and the buildings on it were devastated. So, this time we packed up and drove home. Knowing what happened the last time with not being able to enter our house, we didn’t shutter the front door. Lo and behold, there was no damage to our house and our rental.

I personally feel that all those big condos lessened the damage the surge can do. We lost more vegetation but nothing we can’t replace.

So, on with our next drama. Ian went north and we packed up and went to Ocala for three weeks of shows, but the weather started to get less than perfect. So, by the second week, the rains were predicted and a hurricane was forming. This one was called Nicole and she was heading in our direction. Everybody at the campground started packing up to see it through. Nicole came and blew like crazy; we were in the motorhome rocking side to side for the better part of the afternoon. At the close of day, she went away with no damages. It was nice to know that all the RVs there rode out the storm safely. We had two hurricanes hit us in a month, an experience we don’t have to have again!

I think I will close this letter with this story and hope for a better year this year. I wish you a Healthy and Happy 2023!

Text in cursive that says: "happy new year"

  • Born in 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, having lived through the depression did nothing to stem the exuberance of the delightful Arlene Czech. Her Father was a newspaper executive, her mother, a secretary and Braillist so communication and perfectionism were bred into this young woman. She graduated from Northwestern University with honors in 1951, then moved to Detroit where she taught Science Grades 1-9. Arlene reports “To add to my income I was a fashion model for JL Hudson. In ’78 I won the Star Award from the National Science Teachers Association for my course of practical Science. Meanwhile, I bought a Papillon in 1954 and so began my doggie career. “In the past years after retiring in 1980, I continued judging until I had three groups and BIS; I’ve gotten to judge on every continent as well as many islands. I am now in my 50th year of judging and slowing down a bit. I have also been writing columns for the Gazette and TNT and Showsight magazines since the 1980s. “In 1991 I was elected to be the Delegate for the Papillon Club of America—and am still being reelected! Last year I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement, and in 2015 I was awarded AKC’s Toy Breeder of the Year medallion. I also was joined with Mary Jo Korpi in the dog world in 2001 and we are still breeding, showing and teaching conformation and Obedience with the Greater Naples Dog Club in Naples, Florida. We have 5 dogs certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and do nursing home visits. I have finished fifty or so Champions with most having some performance title as well. This year I attended the Papillon National for the 63rd consecutive year.” A journalist by birth and a teacher by nature, Arlene’s been with us for so long that we have awarded her Tenure.

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