“Two hurricanes in such a short time makes one start to doubt.” Shawn Hogan (text message after IRMA)
Friday Sept. 15th My first and major responsibility for today was meeting Equity members Shawn and Blake Hogan at the Ocean Reef Airport, to help them ferry some much needed supplies, and to meet up with their insurance company reps.
Shawn and Blake Hogan have been friends for it seems like forever. I’ve photographed their children Lauren and Blake from the time they were small. With my Hasselblad FILM camera… it’s been a while. Shawn would send out the most beautiful Christmas cards, you know, the kind you save.
Just three weeks ago as hurricane HARVEY was bearing down on Texas, eventually hitting Houston, my thoughts shifted to Shawn and Blake… of Houston, Texas. When I contacted her I learned that her neighborhood was completely flooded with the exception of two homes, one theirs. Everyone was evacuated by boats.
“It’s been so terrible, but we are safe” - Shawn texts, Weds. Aug. 30th
I texted: “Need anything”
Shawn: “Not a need in the world. Thank you so much. We are now prepping Florida for a possible IRMA.”
Evacuation orders for the Florida Keys for hurricane IRMA are issued September 6th.
Shawn: “Please be safe it looks like a very powerful storm… keeping you in our prayers I will worry about you.”
Me: “Worrying is futile and makes your tummy hurt.”
Sunday Sept. 10th early evening The storm IRMA is passing Ocean Reef. Much was being posted on social media about flooding.
Still too dangerous to venture out. This was a long storm… 2 Days.
By Wednesday people were venturing out, taking a look around. I took a long golf cart ride out to Coral Lane to put eyes on the ground for Shawn, but after arriving didn't feel safe walking beneath the downed trees and the woods full of snakes. I sent Shawn a pic using my iPhone 7.
Shawn: “I agree. It looks HAUNTED.”
Today, In a matter of hours Shawn, Blake and their two pilots came in, they surveyed the situation and they left. I was in awe of how their calmness, order and gratitude shined. They are my heroes.
I texted Shawn to ask what their greatest takeaway was from this experience.
Shawn replied: “After coming off hurricane Harvey we were anxious to see our Ocean Reef Home. During Harvey our home was only accessible by boat. During Irma the photos Steve Smith, our house manager, sent showed 2 feet of water in the garage and house. There were large trees on the house and blocking the entrance to our home. The best part was seeing you, parked on the taxiway waving to us when we landed, and Ryan’s smiling face helping us unload all the blowers, dehumidifiers, and extension cords. I have no idea how we would have gotten all the supplies to our house without you. We have known you for 18 years, looking back over our family photos tonight. You have been a part of our Ocean Reef Family for a very long time. And today, experiencing our neighbor, you, coming to help in a time of need, having the support, love, generosity of a friend and neighbor was overwhelming. Blake and I are grateful to you. Thank you Carol. This whole experience has reminded us why we bought a home a Ocean Reef 18 years ago; it is truly a special place. We can’t wait to come back.
Yes and by the way Shawn… I can photoshop in Lauren and Blake, as if standing in the driveway of your POST IRMA scary Haunted House… Just as you said as we laughed in the debris filled driveway, the greeting could be “HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR CHRISTMAS”
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