Catherine Cartwright was working hard boarding windows outside the Westgate Center in Bonita Springs not too long ago. At first glance, she seemed to be pretty good at what she was doing. In fact, she looked like a pro.
Little did I know I was right. She was in fact a professional. Just not in the same fashion I had expected to hear.
“Do you know who she is?” asked the man next to her. “She’s a professional golfer,” he stated emphatically. “She’s on the LPGA!”
For a split second I could only wonder: Why in the world was a professional golfer out boarding windows during the heat of day? Shouldn’t she be out practicing at the golf club? But before I could put my thoughts into words, the man quickly gave me the answer: “She’s my daughter.”
The man was Paul Cartwright, and he had brought his family out to help him board windows in preparation of Hurricane Wilma.
This day stands out in my mind because not yet had everyone prepared for what lay ahead. As the storm slowly crawled across the Gulf of Mexico, many people in Southwest Florida stalled their normal hurricane preparations. But not the Cartwrights. When they heard there was a chance that a hurricane could cross over parts of southern Florida, the family took no chances by waiting to see if the storm would stay on its predicted course.
They started boarding windows around town at the first hint of a threat, according to the family. They started early because they had no time to wait. “It’s going to take all day just to board these offices,” Paul said. “There is no time to wait.”
Though it was an all-day project, Catherine did not seem to mind working with her family in the least bit. “I look at this as my morning workout,” said Catherine, who was missing a day of golf to help her family out. “It’s good exercise.”
Now that three weeks have passed since the hurricane struck, Catherine’s exercise seems to have paid off. Much of the area is still on the road to recovery. Just as the Cartwrights came together to prevent damage, many families are now working together to repair it. It doesn’t look like it will be long before the area is back into the swing of things.
Though I’m sure Catherine is in full swing right now.