Memories and Rain

The rain woke me at 1:30 this morning and I closed the windows and headed downstairs to check on Hurricane Irene.  We had a lot of lightning, rain and luckily little thunder as that tends to wake the dog, but she and my husband slept through Hurricane Ike.

Luckily my brother, who lives in NY, is OK.  He was out of the state at the time on business.  I’ve some other calls to make outside the main areas just to check in.

Today I read on of a couple of ladies in North Carolina who left the trailer park as it was in a flood plain and holed up at the Baptist church.  People treated each other right nice at the church/shelter and local businesses donated food or sold it at sale prices.  That’s what I like to hear, folks taking care of each other in a time of need.

Why are tornado and hurricane alley trailer parks always on a flood plain?  Is this a national plan to eradicate the poor and elderly?

In Hurricane Rita, we left Houston and took the back roads 24 hours to do a five-hour trip to my husband’s parents house where we stayed ’til we made sure we had water and electricity.  Stopping for gas, no way, there were seven police cars with cops standing outside with M-16’s.  We finally got gas at the middle of the night in a small town, no attendant, just used a credit card and thanked the Lord we were able to continue on our way.

Ike was worse.  Mayor told us to stay put but all the skyscrapers across the Bayou had their windows blown out, everything was flooded, and there was no water or gasoline for a week.  No food (we had a hurricane kit) and my husband had to lug water up from the bayou or pool to flush the toilet.  FEMA screwed up big-time though we never used their services a lot of folks needed them more than us for food and water.

One time FEMA drove four trucks into a distribution point with starving and thirsty people who had been their for hours.  The containers had been loaded directly onto trucks with a major police escort.  Yet when they arrived, they said (even though the chain of custody was intact) they had to inventory every item in every truck before they could hand anything out.  Some gent I appreciate to this day and beyond put an end to that.

There was no food in Houston.  I walked through a dark grocery store and picked up stuff I’d never use otherwise, just because it was there.  No bread, peanut butter and all the freezer and frig cases were warm so no protein.

All of a sudden one of my favorite specialty shops was open.  Dealing in cash outside the store with cases of water.  I only bought one case to leave more for others.  They had fresh vegetables and even offered to go in and get us a bottle of wine.

I just checked out the Washington Post to see how a former city of mine was faring after the hurricane.  They have a virtual 9/11 wall that I thought of commenting on, but decided to come here instead.  I was overseas then, just trying to get home.  Met my husband two weeks after my return, just because people were talking, and we got to talking, then the next day he called me for a movie and we’ll be married nine years in January.

The Italian people were fantastic after 9/11.  I knew I’d be spending days in front of CNN International so actually got my photos developed and picked them up that day.  The clerk apologized.  Thousands of people held hands while the bells tolled in Piazza Signoria and I was there.  Mass was said at the church where the Consulate staff went weekly and I was there.  Every day I went to the airline office then the Consulate (the consulate is now heavily guarded, no street traffic and no walk-ins).  I still felt hope that the US would get through this, not the way it did with TSA feeling me up at the airport and government snooping into local phone calls and emails.

I didn’t lose anyone in Hurricanes Rita or Ike, or 9/11.  My heart goes out that people did, as with Irene where we lost nearly 20 fellow Americans.  These events touch many people and are remembered for years.

May the survivors remember the best things about family and friends, not do stupid things like trying to surf during a hurricane, and always say “I love you.”

Thanks for reading.  Peace, Dee


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