Dear Family and Friends,

God is good. We were spared the worst of Irma, and we are praying for the folks down south where the Category 4 hurricane hit, mainly the Keys and then the Governor’s home town of Naples, on the southern mainland coast. People on the Florida east coast had been prepared for the worst, but she decided to go up the west coast. Tampa and St Pete were expecting major chaos, but instead of going westward as predicted, she went straight up the peninsula to towns between here and Tampa. So we in Orlando area really got it from what was now a category 1, at 80+ mph with gusts over 100.


It started here on Sunday afternoon, and by 9:PM it was getting strong and after several off-ons the city power finally went out. We went to bed and didn’t hear the rest of the howling wind and torrential rain.

By Monday AM winds were still wild for many hours. But the rains soon stopped. A curfew was declared until 6 PM. We awoke early and could not sleep again, so, using our battery lamps each had a semi warm shower, very welcome after a hot night with no AC.

In general our NTM Homes fared pretty well. One damaged roof, 3 trees down that I know of, and two of our papaya trees. Our large papaya tree survived. The two smaller ones are bent over and will have to be removed. But our friend Randy lost both large papaya trees. Today I cleaned dozens of fallen papaya leaves and other leaves in our yard, giving the grounds crew a at least a small hand. Because the power is out we were and are concerned about the large amount of meat we ended up with in the freezer. We have a Styrofoam cooler Ruthi had given us up north, and then Edna gave us a larger one. The ALF kitchen here is on generator, so they are making ice and bagging it – one per family per day. They set up a charging station in the reception room for us duplex dwellers to charge our computers and cell phones, etc. And we can use their internet connection, so that is the only reason we are able to send you this email.

This state is devastated, really. Down south the keys are without power, water and sewage services, and plenty of buildings were destroyed. What is wide-spread are the power outages and flooding. Sanford has no flooding. Can you believe that 65% of the whole state is without power? Well it’s true. Hundreds of power service trucks were lined up ready to go in one picture we saw the other day, before we lost the blessing of TV. I do know that Joel said that Pittsburgh sent 25 trucks and linesmen to help and St Louis sent several also. They came from all over, and all are busy now. They think it might take 5-10 days to finish getting all the hundreds of thousands of customers back on line. They said we NTM Homes are not priority and so after hospitals, other services and etc. are taken care of, “just get in line and wait it out.”

One of our neighbors has a grill or BBQ and offered to cook some things for us. Another one actually brought our lunch today. The motto through all this is “Help one another,” and it is actually happening. For tomorrow’s dinner Corinne has a pressure cooker full of meat and vegies and we’ll cook it on the one burner butane stove our friend Joyce gave us when she left here. She is with the Lord now.

Thank you for your prayers for us, especially during this time. It could have been worse. Pray we might get our power back soon. It sort of seems like it was back in our village, using torches (flash lights) and lanterns, waiting for the generator to come on at 6. At least we had a generator. Keep praying because Jose is lingering around, on sort of a zig-zag course, keeping everyone guessing where he will land. Thanks for reading – hope it is not too boring. Photos are on another page.

Wed. morning. I, Tom was too hot in bed, so finished the night in my chair, out where there is more air. We used the little burner for the first time for a cup of coffee, mmm good! Soon the dinner goes on. I might go out and buy some extra ice. Power companies are predicting restoration time now, some say it will be Friday PM. Another said Sunday. Our Florida Power has not given a possible date. They said they are still in the transformer restoration stage. Other connections, lines, etc. have yet to be attacked. Should go faster then. Could be any time. Our Ethnos360 headquarters, just under 2 miles from here, got power yesterday; not sure what company is theirs. Could be just a different sector.

We haven’t ventured out yet to experience the absence of traffic lights. Each formerly signaled intersection is a 4-way stop affair.
We’re both OK. Corinne’s eye is improving. We go out tomorrow to chiropractic adjustment and a little buying, plus picking up Corinne’s shoes at shoe repair. We are used to weekly or monthly town trips, so we sort of keep to the weekly buying; good discipline. It’s 9.5 miles to the Mall, about 7.5 to Walmart.

Praising the Lord anyway,
Tom and Corinne / the Senior Palmers

Battery lights stand ready as we watch Irma approach our state, anxious in waiting.


Our two larger papaya trees survived this sustained wind, not sure about the ones leaning over. Many more branches fell after this photo.


We picked the ripe one later, our first ripe one from these trees. Quite good, though not on a par with PNG “pawpaws.”


Heating water; this was the first use of the little butane stove, set up in the patio. Big meal coming later today.


Morning coffee for breakfast. Our first cup in 4 days, Enjoyed it, even without toast.