Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sick days and Hurricane Hanna

After a pretty rough night of coughing, the Bubs and I are having a sick day. The doctor said yesterday that my little guy had a bronchial infection. After a loooooonnnnnnggggggg wait at the pharmacy we came away with albuterol and a bottle of antibiotics. I'm hoping that they do their thing quickly. I hurt for the Bubs when he doesn't feel good.

On to other things..........

So the big topic around here is the weather. More specifically, Hurricane Hanna and what category it'll be when it hits us. And then there's her annoying siblings, Ike and Josephine. May they stay out at sea! We all breathed a sigh of relief for those in the Gulf Coast area when Gustav hit at a much more reduced strength than had been predicted. Even though there was damage and the usual loss of utilities that happens during and after a hurricane, it was not nearly as overwhelmingly devastating like it was after Katrina.

Seeing the footage of the damage and watching the people trying to cope with being away from their homes and jobs brought back a lot of memories of going through hurricanes when I was younger. We'd all be glued to the weather station the week before landfall. Even my younger brother would want to know the latest details in between his game playing and Dragon Ball Z episodes. Mom would go to the store to stock up on neccessities, probably fending off wild-eyed women for that last jug of water or loaf of bread, Dad would get things secured outside and gas up the car while Aaron and I would gather things to take and tape the windows. The day before the storm was about to hit we'd load up the car with food, batteries and flashlights, things to keep us entertained, bedding and whatever else was needed to wait out the storm at Aunt D's and Gramma's house. We always headed there during hurricanes to help them out and because they lived a little further inland than we did. On the drive over we could already see the clouds rollin' in and the wind begin to pick up. Now the wind right before a hurricane has a very distinct feel to it. It's warm and humid and has a way of sounding like the ocean with the way it sweeps the pine trees around.

Then the storm would make landfall and we'd all settle in the living room and listen to the wind and rain beat on Gramma's little house. The t.v. would be the focus as we watched local reports and listened for tornado warnings. The next thing we knew, there would be a loud bang outside and the electricity would go out. The transformers on the power lines up and down the street had exploded. Out came the battery operated radio, flashlights and lanterns.....and the card games. Anything to keep two kids entertained, right?

Even though I remember my parents not allowing us near the windows during the worst of the storms, especially the eye wall which is always the worst, I do remember them letting my brother and I step out on the screened porch when things had died down a bit. Boy, it was something to hear the wind start miles off and barrel through the trees like a living thing and see branches and even pine needles sticking out of the ground like knives! Already, the buzz of chainsaws could be heard around the neighborhood as people began to clear away felled trees and other piles of debris. Miraculously, Grammas house -beyond a couple lost roof shingles- was never damaged. Our house, on the other hand, didn't fare as well during two particularly intense hurricanes. All told I think one end of the house was demolished by a flying tree that slammed into my bedroom and the hallway bathroom along with another tree that fell across the living room and lots of water damage. The overall frame of the house was never right after that and my parents would constantly come across leaks during rainy weather. Thanks Mr. Skimpy Insurance Adjuster shoulda just totaled the thing, for cryin' out loud! It may have been just another mobile home to you (or "aluminum condo" as Dad called it), but it was HOME to us.

I remember those rides back to our house, when the roads were finally cleared, to check out the damage. The world looked like it was bent. Everything from signs to giant trees were at an angle. At first the car would ring with exclamations of horror over familiar sights that were damaged or destroyed all together and the forests that had been ripped apart by micro bursts. The closer we got to our house, however, the more subdued we'd become. The look on my parent's faces when we would finally see what had happened.......well, I don't think I'll ever forget the mixture of sadness, helplessness and then grim determination that I saw. Could you imagine seeing everything that you'd worked so hard to maintain so utterly beyond your help? It was mindblowing for me, personally. What was even more of a mental tangle was the fact that we had to, somehow, make it livable while it was fixed. I lived in the living room for a couple months after that, I think.

We got through it all with lots of prayer, tears and many generous helping hands and hearts. Now that the Hubby and I have our own home and family, I more fully understand what it must have been like for my parents. It wasn't just a home that was damaged, it was memories and their sense of security. Yet, they got through it all.....and got my brother and I through, too.


Joanna said...

"aluminum condo as Dad called it" - priceless!! :)

Been wondering about you. Thought you were having some serious morning sickness. Hope y'all feel better.

Jonny's Mommy said...

I've been watching the weather channel and other news channels to see where this thing might hit in case it is near you guys. This morning the guy on the weather channel was just rambling along and never did say where the dang thing was going to go!

I remember when the tree fell into your house. I am so glad you guys were not home and were able to be at Aunt D's and grandma's.

I pray you will be safe again, but this one doesn't look like it will be as bad as that one was.

Really interesting story of the Hurricane Journeys!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Oh! And loved the photos of David from the other day!

Joanna said...

How ya doing down there? Been praying for ya.