14 August 2004

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season

As a hurricane survivor myself (Celia, 3 August 1970), I feel for our friends in Florida. "Much Stronger Than Expected" was very much like the headline for my hurricane. We lived in Portland, Texas at the time (Celia's eye passed directly over Portland) and our house was completely destroyed. I was just short of 8 years old, but it left an indelible mark on me and who I am. To this day, I scoff at the weather: if there aren't four door 1969 Buicks getting tossed about by the wind, it just ain't a storm.

I have a load of stories about the experience that I'll save for another time; now is the time for the Charlie survivors.

Here I sit, safe and dry and comfortable; with the lights (and the 'puter) still on and not having to worry about finding a safe place for my family to sleep or wondering where we'll get fresh water. And you are, too.

So if you can see your way clear to spare a few bucks; pony up at your local RedCross office. I'm sure that they have a "Hurricane Charlie" fund set up. No cash? Give some blood. It's all good, it all helps.

If you have the time and are available, load the truck up with bottled water and diapers and cans of tuna and batteries and some bottled water and first aid kinda thingies and maybe a bottle of rum or two and some bottled water and your hammer and work gloves and sturdy boots and a couple of sheets of plywood and some bottled water and some 2 x 4s and some more water and some duct tape and some heavy gauge plastic sheeting and some bottled water and a couple of bottles of rum and head on down and help. Be sure to coordinate with the RedCross (do your own Google search, dammit), they can direct you to the communities that need the most help. When you get there, find the neighborhoods that were impoverished before Charlie and help there first.

BTW: If you ever wanted to know what a "hero's welcome" felt like, stop at a Piggly Wiggly about 150 miles out and put a couple of dozen cases of popsicles / fudgesicles/ creamsicles on dry ice. Trust me, you hand a popsicle to an adult shortly after a hurricane and you'll be a hero. Just imagine how you'll look to the kids.

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