The New ‘Carolina LaTorres’ prepare for Florence. Here’s the scoop.

Our new home in the Carolinas has given us sensory pleasures to cause us to wonder if this is a glimpse of heaven. We have hawks playing on the fence line. There are fish jumping in the lake. There are blue tailed lizards playing hide and seek with us. Neighbor horses graze in sight of the kitchen. There are green frogs stuck to the windows in the morning and playing keep away with the dogs. Spider webs that appear overnight are impressive. And there are the people. The most helpful and kind I have yet to meet. I fall deep into stories with everyone I meet and wonder if I will be invited to their child’s christening the next moment because surely we have become inseparable on our life journey. Kira’s new friend at school in her class was also adopted from Uganda! Ali Perkins arrived September first with her Grand Prix horse, Sante. We have our realtor’s loaner horse to keep him company. It’s been great fun preparing for the arrival of our Texas horses. Everything was just about ready when I contacted the shipping company last Friday to confirm their travel plans for this week. He said a word I know well and one that sends alert signals to every nerve ending in my being:




As a teen I lived through Alicia in Houston. When we first moved to Katy TX Ike was an unwelcome passerby. And last year our kids, Donny and Kelli were whisked away from Florida from a major storm when who came behind to Texas but, Harvey to Houston. Some friends in Houston are still recovering from this disaster.


Florence was unexpected when we decided to move to the Raleigh NC area. I thought we were running away from hurricanes with great joy. I expected to trade the hurricane drama for some winter weather and believe me I was eager for the exchange. Yet, the never before seen in this area storm is heading our way.


Here’s our current life circumstance list with this incredible storm:

  • Jack has been in Willis TX (for two weeks) training with Whit Watkins and Erika West where Benson has been since I dropped him off in early August.  He won’t be flying here today as originally planned. He will stay there until it is safe for the horses to ship here.
  • Rudy and Princess Buttercup are in San Antonio and they were supposed to ship out today so their boarding stall has been rented. They had to leave but the shipping company was overwhelmed with hurricane issues to be able to move them to where Jack and Benson are in Northern Houston. (They were supposed to come to texas today)
  • My sweet friend Pam Malley offered to take them up to Houston. I cried when she told me she would do this. Alas, at the last minute her trailer tire was slashed. This after Rudy showed her what a difficult loader really is. She gets a gold star.
  • That’s when Robert Harrison suggested he could try to borrow a rig and he would take them up for me. Thanks to Marci and Tim Taylor for loaning their truck and trailer.
  • I have just heard that Rudy, the naughty loader, is on the trailer and they are on their way to be with Benson and Jack.
  • Thanks also to Job and Julie Lopez for allowing Jack the comfort of their home during these unusual times. He eats a lot so I need to replenish their pantry for sure.
  • Thanks to Jack and Sierra for taking good care of our three horses until which time it is safe for them to travel to North Carolina. Hopefully the shipping company will find us space next week.
  • We have been working on our fences for weeks here at the farm to prepare for the big arrival. They will be done tomorrow but the storm may destroy our investment. Nevemind, John at American Fence Masters told me he will be here with us after the storm to repair everything back to perfect before moving on to the next job. And a contractor stopped by to assure me with his cell number that we can call if we have major damage.
  • And I have to mention at least five people came to our home here today with helping hands to get us ready to house horses in our barn during an unprecedented storm.
  • I’m thankful for Ali Perkins and her no nonsense work ethic. A Maine girl in her first hurricane is quite heroic. Her roommates split and ran but here she is talking about spending the night in the barn with the horses. She has helped with every detail of preparations for the worst case scenarios. She is exceptional in every way and I thank God that she wanted to work with us.


We have our chain saw. (still in a box) We have extra gasoline.  We have hay and we have water. We have a generator. We have food. We have our sense of humor. We have a kayak on our front porch to help transport us to our jetskis in a paddock. We have life vests. We have a high elevation for the house and the barn. We have our faith in God firmly rooted to give us the peace that comes when chaos surrounds.


We will use facebook to update our situation. We don’t plan to leave the house. The last boxes to be unpacked are our books so we will find plenty to keep us busy. We look forward to the other side of Florence when our horses walk off a trailer and smell the fresh Carolina air and roll in their green fields. We believe God grows us through difficult times and we believe he is a Good God whose love endures forever.


Thanks everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and encouragements.


P.S. Florence, please make a hair pin turn right and blast into the other storms at sea so no landfall occurs this season. America needs a hurricane reprieve.


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