Everyone is focusing on the progress of Hurricane Katrina around here. Although we are blessedly far enough west of the storm to be well out of danger, radios and tv's all over town are tuned to news about it.
If you've lived down here long enough, you have your own story about living through a significant hurricane or tropical storm. When Portia and Babs were a toddler and an infant the eye of a relatively weak hurricane traveled directly over our home and downtown Houston. The eerie wail of wind that preceeded any of the rain can't be forgotten by anyone who ever heard it. It sounds like a never-ending low-pitched banshee.
For us the worst part was the aftermath. All of downtown was closed off for several days while work crews cleaned up heaps of shredded glass blown out of all the modern-style office towers. I remember El Jefe being disgusted with a provincial NYC lawyer who called him at home exacerbated because no one was answering the phone at El Jefe's law firm. He had to explain to him that when hurricanes are in town, all business comes to a halt for a while.
Once the storm passed, the sun came out again and the temperature rose to the high 90's as all power remained out. After 3 days I was packing up to take the girls to my sister-in-law's house (her power was restored) when, praise God, the lights came on!
My neighbors across the street suffered without electricity in the stifling heat for two full weeks, though. I kept her children's formula and milk in my refrigerator all that time. Apparently the other side of the street was connected to a different power grid that was for some reason lower on the priority list of the utility company.
We were very lucky that time and we knew it. Watching and listening to the reports about this dreadful hurricane, I can't help reliving that experience and praying that the loss of life and property will be far less than is being predicted. Blessings on all who fled the storm and who remained in its path.