Watching and waiting... and worrying.
Some of you don't know that I've lived my whole life near the Gulf of Mexico. I grew up in Southern Louisiana and now I live in Southeast Texas. Right now we are in the middle of hurricane season and the tension is palpable. I never lived near New Orleans and my family for the most part was not affected by the much-heard-about Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. The very next month, however, it was Hurricane Rita that caused us to evacuate. Our area turned out fine, but we housed my sister's family for a while after a tree landed on their home in Louisiana. It took months for them to get their house repaired and many towns in that area still don't quite look the same three years later.
My mom always told the story of watching Hurricane Audrey from her window in 1957 when she was a girl. My in-laws had to wrap up their wedding reception pretty quickly in 1969 to flee from Hurricane Camille. I personally remember my high school being used as a shelter in 1992 for Hurricane Andrew. These stories have been told in our family for years and years.
Hurricanes here are a part of life. We don't like them, but they aren't going to drive us away from the places we've always called home. I realize that many parts of the United States and other countries are susceptible to some form of natural disaster. I try to tell myself that at least with a hurricane we usually have enough warning to protect ourselves.
So far this year we have only dealt with Tropical Storm Edouard, which fortunately did not turn out to be a big deal for us. Our newest possible threat is Gustav. For the next few days we'll be keeping a close eye on him out there in the tropics. Each year during hurricane season people around here get a little nervous, but when there's a storm forming out there the anxiety increases.
At my house in the next few days you'll find us watching the Weather Channel and consulting with family and friends about what might develop. Please remember us down here in the Gulf Coast area and pray that we don't have another disaster on our hands.
"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 107:29-30 (NIV)