Christmas Eve tornado spurs Largo woman’s new passion


It’s now been a year since a tornado ravaged a mobile home park in Largo on Christmas Eve, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Residents had to clean up on Christmas Day, but this year brings them a new sense of gratitude.

Residents of the Ranchero Village mobile home park were left with twisted metal, shattered glass and destroyed roofs. Trina Hoaks’ bedroom in Florida was destroyed.

“I spent the next two hours in the pouring rain trying to get everything on the carport as much as we could,” Hoaks recalls a year after the storm.

It wasn’t the family vacation she expected, but she made the most of it by taking a break from work until the end of December 25, so she could enjoy what was left of Christmas Day.

“We’re not going to think about it. We’re not going to do anything. We’re going to enjoy the holidays, we’re going to enjoy each other’s company, be glad to be grateful that neither of us got hurt. and we’re still here together, ”Hoaks said.

After the storm, the neighborhood organized a fundraiser for the victims to help offset repair costs. It helped Hoaks fix her roof, but she says her room in Florida may be too expensive to remake. Instead, she added in a succulent garden.

“I need something for peace, for serenity, to clear my mind I guess,” Hoaks said.

The elaborate designs and intricate details envelop her home. It’s a passion and a discovered talent that she never realized she had.

“People have told me how good I am at it and how good an artist I am… but it kind of made me feel like, well, I think I’m going to start a business. by doing this, ”Hoaks said.

An unlikely gift this Christmas that Hoaks never thought would come from such chaos.

“The bottom line is how you look at things. You can choose to let them win you over or find a way to keep your sanity. That’s why I did this, to keep my sanity, but l ‘another thing is to stay upbeat, I It’s the only way to get through times like this and here we are a year later and much happier for sure. “

Hoaks plans to officially launch his business in January. She says she already has a few potential customers online.

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