This week is one year from the preparation, massive migration, and time away from home because of Hurricane Rita. While we didn't get the awful suffering of Katrina victims, so many of whom had been taken in by our communities and had to leave again (!), there are people still struggling. And many didn't come back. People ask why we live near the coast. Believe me, it isn't my first choice. And I know people who have vacation homes on the beach and I wonder about that, too. But these communities are more vital than people realize. The whole area is filled with refineries and chemical companies built way back when oil was nearby. Moving them would be astronomical. My husband's produces chemicals for gasoline, plastics, cleaning products and I don't know what else. So much of our daily lives are tied into these plants. Not to mention the families of oil rig workers and fishermen that live here. And the shipping loading and unloading people in the ports. Then you have medical, educational, and other facilities for all of us. But the sense of community is amazing. We lived away for three weeks while people went around tarping roofs for us and putting things back together--my husband's plant lost 10,000 power poles alone! One town lost their water plant and another let them tie in and get water back to their community. A biker restaurant fed law enforcement people. Local news stations put blogs on the web so you could find out what was going on and talk to each other while you were kept away for three weeks. Also, kudos to those who took people into their churches, schools, etc., and took care of them. (We had our kids to go to.) And those who came with food, water, and a helping hand. I saw real caring. So we stay, pay big premiums, prepare and pray every year. And learn what is really important. I know I wouldn't want to go through it again, but I am grateful for the lessons.
September 20th, 2006 at 10:56 am