Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike

One of my brothers and a sister live in Houston and another brother lives north of Huntsville (60 miles north of Houston). So, all of them are in the potential path of Hurricane Ike. This is nerve-wracking, of course. I'd rather they were all up here in Dallas right now, but it's a bit late to start the trip, since tens of thousands of others are in the midst of making the same trip and the traffic is, I suspect, horrific.

I have an almost pathological fear of hurricanes. When I was in high school, Hurricane Celia ripped through Corpus Christi, destroying my parents' house while they, and several of the "kids" were in it. I experienced panic then, when the roof blew off the house and the windows starting shattering all around us and the water poured over us like a firehose was trained on us. I insisted that we hold a mattress over us to protect us from the collapsing ceiling and roof. I was wet-the-pants-crazy with fear, mostly fear that my family would be hurt and I wouldn't know what to do to help them.

So, I hate hurricanes and I hate it when my family or friends face the onslaught of winds, tides, tornadoes, and other hurricane-induced calamaties.

My family's experience with Hurricane Celia was eye-opening. It revealed how some people are genuinely good to the core, while some have no good even in that thinnest of veneers that causes most others to call them human. Unfortunately, the largest group, during our encounter with Celia, were from the latter group. Boy scouts, builders, ice salesmen, school janitors...I have bad and unhappy stories to tell about all of them. And I have happier stories to tell about people who didn't skip a beat in offering help of the most fundamental kinds.

I'm worried, yes. I am concerned about the storm, not only for my family, but for all the people who stand to be harmed by it, either physically or emotionally or financially or all three.

But, just like I'd never suggest people who live in earthquake zones to move out, I won't make a similar suggestion to people in harm's way. You live where you have to, need to, can live.

Good luck to everyone with this monster storm heading our way. Ike, back off of my family and friends.

1 comment:

YourFireAnt said...

Springer, this is the first time I've ever seen anyone write that about living where you live despite the natural disasters the area may be prone to. And very well put too.

Too often the statement "why don't they just leave" is tossed into a conversation without thought or caring, and it shows the person's egocentric identification with the illusion of safety and NIMBY.

You don't just leave home.

Thanks for writing this. I hope they all make it through.