Hurricane Irma

This hurricane has been slowly approaching Florida for a week or more and it’s path has drifted east / west / back; yesterday it finally got close enough to see it’s route, heading to our west but bringing rain and winds to us for sure. Even then, Irma changed path again during the afternoon and swung back east so that it tracked almost straight over us in central Florida! Overnight last night was dramatic, crazy, and scary!

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Throughout the night, as well as howling wind and crazy rain, there were crashing sounds of things hitting the house – and this morning we found out why; a chunk of our roof was blown off in the night, and scattered all around!

 

We do have water on the ceiling of the bedroom below that roof, so we’re going to urgently need to get some repairs – although right now Orange County remains under curfew so no travel …

I did though go for a walk outside and took photos around – there’s a lot of blown over trees, and some broken ones too; the worst wind damage we’ve seen since moving to Florida – and that last view is normally dry, not full of water!

 

On our front porch, one bush is fine and another is stripped of every leaf!

 

 

But we’re all fine here, we still have electricity (and air conditioning), running water, and apart from the roof nothing is damaged.

 

UPDATE (Thursday): with huge thanks to Ace Hardware, and Alexy, our damaged roof is now covered to protect it from any further rain getting into the roof!

Rainbow!

With Margaret driving us home this afternoon, we watched the rain get heavier while the sun continued to shine – a rainbow formed of course. But as we got back to Independence the rainbow showed really strongly, with a strong second too; we stopped so I could take photos!

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I was very surprised to see the rainbow continue “below” the horizon; not sure if it’s a camera glitch or a real effect!
Rainbow circle continues below ground

Moving closer to Winter Garden

Back in 2013 we chose Winter Garden as our new home town, and purchased our current Lennar Brandywine home; we love living here, with our beautiful pool / patio and Lake Koval water view, and heaps of space (too much space, really – six bedrooms for two people!)

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The one thing that’s a bit disappointing is that while our address is Winter Garden, we are quite a long way out from the town center – at least by English standards! It’s a 20+ minute drive to the town, and so we feel less part of Winter Garden than we wanted to be.

Now that we’ve finally sold 8002, we felt ready to take a look at homes closer to the town center; our hope was to find a home within easy walking distance, without compromising too much compared with where we live now. But there’s very few homes for sale – smaller town, people like where they are, that sort of thing.

We found only 4 or 5 homes worth viewing, and of those we had: too old, too small, too far, the Goldilocks principle at work! The last home we looked at appeared to back on to new construction – the owner said it would be no problem since there would be a retaining pond, and encouraged us to check it out … which we did.

While checking out the site, we figured why not visit the show home too – what we found was a brand new development of “estate homes” built to a very high specification; and only 10 minutes walk along the West Orange Trail, to town (the new development is where the cluster of trees is, top left):

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What’s more, there’s a home design which is basically a single level home with a second level “bonus room”, perfect for my office. The downstairs master suite offers  a huge walk-in shower, and no tub – which is what we wanted (we’ve only used the tub maybe once a year in our current home!); other nice features include high ceilings and an extra large garage:

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Choosing to move here, we get our desire of walking distance to the town center, along with a home that’s a better size for the two of us, and more elegant. We do lose our beautiful view (there will just be a street and other homes behind) but hopefully that’s an acceptable exchange … we signed a contract a few days ago!

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I’ll post more updates in the months ahead, although we don’t really expect the new home to be finished this year. We’re also going to need to work out selling and buying at the same time, which we’ve not had to do before (we’ve always had somewhere temporary to move in to).