Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life In Hurricane Alley

They are truly a force of nature, a beautiful, potent reminder that there are forces stronger than any man.

This is our busiest time of the year. When you live in Hurricane Alley, you learn to be part meteorologist. You learn to read trends in the High and Low Pressure systems. The Weather Channel is one of your favorites.

There is nothing more frightening that having one of these monsters set his sights on where you live.

Ike was one of those.

I have lived in Florida my whole life, but until Ivan, I had conveniently always been somewhere else when the big ones hit. I only saw the aftermath of Andrew. I had been at a convention in Orlando that weekend, and drove home to a 180 sq mile ghost town. It wasn't until weeks after that I saw, first hand, what destruction one of these suckers can do.

Ivan was a different story. I had never actually had one bearing down on me and I was frightened. Allen and I were together than, and I was safe, but proceeded to hide in my bed. I did peek outside once in a while and saw some of the oddest things. Rain, moving sideways, trees completely bent in half.

I still wouldn't live anywhere else in the country. Crazy? Perhaps.

You really get a feel of what kind of community you live in after a disaster strikes. The bond, the neighbors that you rarely see other than waving hello occasionally....rolling up their sleeves to rebuild. Sometimes time and time again. People with generators, who have power, sharing those with people who don't. Meals shared on grills on a cul-de-sac, because it's cooler outside the house than in it.

Today, in the aftermath of Ike, we see that spirit. That great, All American spirit.
The spirit that moves mountains (or very large trees). The churches fill up, because as awed as we are, we know that without spiritual guidance, some things are just too hard to bear. And then......comes the donations.

The church hallways that absolutely fill to the brim with any thing anyone can give, to those who lost, sometimes everything. People who have so little sometimes, that they give until they can't give anymore. People who dedicate time. If a family needs a mother to go help clean up, another neighbor, who may not be able to do physical labor will take all the kids..feed them, play with them. People who offer everything from vehicles to transport what needs to go, to those who need it, to people who take time off of work when they cannot afford to, because someone needs their help more.

The storms are horrible, but never as tough as the human spirit.

Today, as Galveston and Houston dig out, those same people are already ready with aid. just waiting for the notice that it is safe to bring all these things to the people who need them

Is there a greater expression of how God works in all of us?

I don't think so....What do you, my bloggy friends think.

I love you all and think of you often.


Nancy said...

Very well said!!! You should know all about hurricanes, living where you do, and your writing tells us that you do! It is so true how people come together in times of disaster. We all have neighbors we rartely see, but in time of need, we know they will be there for us, and vice versa!

I've been off from blogging as much as I did there for a while, as I have had my son's 2 sick cats here since Aug. 23, taking care of them. One had radiation treatments again for mouth cancer....her tumor is about shrunk away again and she is back to eating again now. His other one has a severe heart condition and is on 5 different meds and I force feed her some and then she does eat on her own sometimes, too. She is 15, the one with cancer is 17. They won't be alive but a few more months, if that. My personal vet said not to consider euthanasia yet since they both seem happy and are getting around still. They take up a LOT of my time. He may be taking them back home end of this week. Poor little babies....

I've been wondering about you and how life was going for you. DO email me and let me know what's going on!!! I do care.

Love you all!!! How's Oliver doing??? I love each and every one of my cats!!!

(((((( HUGS ))))))

hippochick said...

Oh Michelle,

I have missed you soooo much. I am so happy to see you writing again. I agree that the good in man comes out when disaster strikes.

This was such a bittersweet post. My heart is with you, sweet pea.

~hippo hugs~

Anonymous said...

I have been worried about you and the girls. It sounds like you know the drill--it must be something to see people all working together like that. Nothing like that up here... Love, D

Diane said...

I've missed hearing from you. It was nice to see a new post...and a powerful one at that!

You're right, disaster brings forth a strength one has no idea exists within them. The support one gets after such tragedy is guided by God. It's a shame we wait until something happens to come together as one, huh?

Love ya...hope to hear more from you. I haven't posted in quite some time. Just commented on a few when I get a I can't say anything about one's lack of posts. LOL