Shelter, Food, Family, and Faith – The Real Thanksgiving

Some of those in the southwest area of Florida this Thanksgiving have more to worry about than whether there will be cranberry sauce or with their meal this year. Jeff Johnson gave me a tour of his mobile home the day prior to Thanksgiving. Johnson is staying at my sister Patti’s and brother-in-law’s home in Englewood Florida making minor repairs from Hurricane Ian. Johnson’s wife Georgia is huddled down in what remains of their mobile home in Englewood.

The pair were told to evacuate their place by son Zachary who was working in Louisiana as an insurance adjuster at the time. The Johnsons had one day to head to Ft. Lauderdale where several tornadoes came within six miles of their hotel.

Heading back to their native Maryland, the couple would soon return to Englewood as Georgia is suffering from breast cancer. The Johnsons saw the carnage of their home from a video son Zachery had sent them. Georgia said an independent company had clocked Ian’s winds in nearby Boca Grande at 188 mph.

Asked if they lost anything sentimental in the storm, Georgia replied “I have shelter, food, family, and faith. The Johnson’s have a mobile camper on the property that son Zachery obtained. Of the estimated 1,000 homes in the park, Jeff said maybe 80% were total losses. Crews have cleared some of the debris, but the real cleanup won’t begin until March of 2023. With their home a total loss, the Johnsons are hoping for a FEMA trailer which they can live in for 18 months.

Jeff and Zachary

If the loss of their home wasn’t enough almost two months after the storm, Georgia faces surgery next week. Mindfully cheerful and with a big smile she said, “I still have hope and joy”.

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Bobby Blair

2 Comments

  1. Lorraine Krauss on November 27, 2022 at 8:43 am

    Thank you Bobby for being there first hand and giving us an account of what is really going on. We no longer hear anything about the area that was hit now that other things are in the news! Sending prayers and good thoughts for the remainder of the clean up.



    • Debi Estabrook on December 4, 2022 at 7:17 am

      The loss here in Naples FL is devastating in areas. The RV park we live in had 5 foot storm surge. If you left your home here it was totaled. Nothing left to salvage but their memories in most cases.



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