Monday, December 13, 2004

Holiday Humor After Ivan's Devastation

These articles were copied from our local paper.  A lot of people are still reeling from the aftermath of  Ivan in my hometown. These articles show that having a sense of humor after the devastation can relieve the stresses of living in a temporary housing, chasing the insurance company, lining up contractors, and the other aggravations we all have to go through here on the Gulf Coast.  Luckily, my family and our home were spared from a lot of harm. Our inconveniences were minor compared to other people. We are blessed and we are thankful for that.

Holiday letter with an Ivan twist

Can't find the energy to recount the story of Hurricane Ivan over and over again in your holiday greetings? Let us help you. All you have to do is write in or circle the appropriate answers and send copies of this handy form letter off to your family and friends. (And show them Ivan didn't damage your sense of humor!)

Dear friends and family,

How are you? We hope this letter finds you well and happy. Things are slowly, slowly returning to normal here.

As you know, Hurricane Ivan hit ____________ (our area; our home; the whole of the known universe) on Sept. 16. It was a Category 3 storm, but felt more like ________(a Category 4; a Category 5; riding a Tilt-A-Whirl full of thumbtacks during an earthquake).

We spent the night _____________ (out of town; in the attic; crying hysterically into a flashlight) and when we ventured outside the next morning, it looked like _______________ (all heck had broken loose; an angry giant had stomped through; the Bikini Atoll).

We were without water for _____ days and without power for _____ days. By the end of that stint, we looked like we needed _____________ (a good night's sleep; a stiff drink; an "Extreme Makeover") and smelled like ______________ (onions; rotten onions; a box full of rotten onions).

Sadly, we lost ___________________________ (almost everything; everything that wasn't nailed down, everything that was nailed down "" including the nails). But we managed to save _______________ (our photos; our pets; a pile of random objects not fit for a yard sale). Most importantly, we _________ (have each other; have our faith; are related to a roofer).

We still _____________ (have a blue roof; have trees in the yard; can't flush the toilet), but it is getting a little better all the time. We're living _________ (in a trailer; in my sister's guest room; in fear of the 50 percent rule). We hope by the new year, we'll be ableto _______________ (get the check from the insurance company; move back into the house; throw out the last of the MREs).

To get in the holiday spirit, we strung lights _______ (over our debris pile; on our ROE/right of entry sign; around our insurance adjuster; plugged it in and suspended the whole mess over a full bathtub). For those of you still doing holiday shopping, our wish list includes ________ (clean towels; shingles; that check from the insurance company).

Despite the hardships, Ivan did draw our community together, tearing down the literal and figurative fences that kept us apart -- although we didn't really need to know about the neighbor's __________ (12-foot compost pile; ongoing "project" car; sunbathing habits).

Until next year, wishing you the best,

__________________________________ -- Jahna Jacobson
©The Pensacola News Journal December 13, 2004

Ivan flavors family's Christmas cards

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Sharla Gorder is known for her creative Christmas cards -- and this year inspiration wasn't hard to find.
The Gorder family -- Ted, Sharla, and sons Taylor, 10, and Myles, 9 -- is shown jeans-clad and barefoot, twisting in hurricane-force winds and clinging to a palm tree.
"I always try to do something appropriate to where we are and what we're doing," Sharla Gorder said. "There has only been the hurricane, so it just seemed like the thing to do."
She called on friend Monica Hoskins, a photographer with MRH photography in Gulf Breeze, to help bring her vision to life. Hoskins had the family sprawl out on the lawn, then tried several different poses. Later, she and her husband Jim created a composite photo using a shot of a wind-blown palm from Pensacola Beach.
It was fun to be a part of the Gorders' annual tradition, Hoskins said. "I always look forward to her Christmas cards."
Sharla Gorder said she'll send out more than 200 of the laughter-inspiring cards to friends and family, some of whom suffered enormous losses in the storm.
"I was so excited when we pulled it off," she said. "We're trying to have a sense of humor about it."
-- Jahna Jacobson

Some give cards in the shade of 'blue'

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Two greeting cards created by local artist Nancy Nesvik are capturing the spirit of a post-Ivan holiday season.
One shows Santa flying over a city dotted by blue roofs; the other is seashell Christmas tree with a reminder that no storm can take away our memories and traditions.
The "blue-roof" artwork was inspired by "the reaction people from out of town had seeing the sea of blue and not knowing what it was as they were flying into town," Nesvik said. "Of course, two months ago none of us knew what a blue roof was."
The cards are a fun way to share the blue-roof experience with out of town family members, said Nesvik, who has been designing her own Christmas cards for about 15 years, tailoring the artwork to the each year's major events.
Scrapdoodle, a Pensacola stationery store, sold out of the designs at the Junior League's Marketbasket holiday sale in November. So far, about 4,000 of the cards have sold throughout Pensacola, said Scrapdoodle owner Joeanne Leuchtman -- and more are on the way.
The cards really hit home for Pensacola resident Michele Carter after she got a bird's-eye view of all the blue roofs on a recent flight into Pensacola.
"I have a lot of friends who live away from Pensacola, so this is something they haven't experienced," Carter said.
Leuchtman said her store's proceeds from the cards will be donated to the United Way. The store also donated 800 cards to local organizations for them to send out or sell as fund-raisers.
-- Jahna Jacobson


my78novata said...

Those are some pretty awesome ideas and great way to have a senese of humor about ti all. Becuase I m sure its not funny if you live down tehre. Lori

alphawoman1 said...

The cards are terrific.

sdoscher458 said...

Oh dear I figured I'd visit your journal to repay the nice things you said in mine and I find out that you are a neighbor!  I live in Pinellas County...but we were spared the majority of damage, just plants & trees messed up and of course a leaking roof.  That one letter is a hoot...I hope others are getting better down south of us.....Sandi

derasta said...

I like that first card...the blue roof I still do not understand :)

heyleesilentd said...

I like the Christmas Card that family made, very funny!

cneinhorn said...

I just love those cards....showing both the spirit of the season...and a sense of humor... :-)  Thanks for sharing them!  


sieblonde said...

Too funny.  After going thru all 3 storms (Frances, Ivan, Jeanne) here in Atlanta and having the front living room ceiling collapse from wind driven water damage, TWICE... I can relate. lol  ~Sie