"Anyone who says they're not afraid at the time of a hurricane is either a fool or a liar, or a little bit of both." ~ Anderson Cooper
Last night, hubby and I sat glued to the television as Hurricane Ike approached the Texas coastline. We watched into the wee hours of the morning, praying that Galveston would still be standing when dawn broke. While the damage is devastating, it's no where near what was expected. Stunning.
It seems Katrina has forever changed America's outlook on Hurricanes. They're no longer just a horrible storm -- they're like a brewing apocalypse unleashed to destroy human life. And I have to wonder why anyone would choose to stay and wait out the storm, which 1,000s decided to do during Ike. Is it pride? A sense of unyielding adventure? Stupidity?
It would be hard to leave my home behind, to know that there may not be a home to return to. But, at the same time, your home means nothing if you're not alive to enjoy it. Rescue workers risk their lives to help those who are stranded -- I would almost feel selfish if I made a decision to stay, only to wind up in a situation where I needed to be rescued.
And I can understand the concern for protecting your things. It's a shame that, in the face of tragedy, looters take and destroy what may have been left behind. I figure there's a place for them in the caverns of hell.
Watching the news now, it's weird to see so many memories washed away. A six hour drive from home, Galveston has always been a great place for a weekend getaway. Year after year, I'd visit the same shops on the Sea Wall, knowing they would all have the same things -- hermit crabs, seashells and t-shirts -- but it was tradition to visit each one. Other memories come to mind -- my older sister being stung by a huge jellyfish, being "attacked" by crabs, learning to surf, seashell hunts with my dad, building sandcastles, watching dolphins from the ferry, stories of mom camping on the beach when she was a little girl ...
It's hard to collect my thoughts -- I can only imagine what it's like for those who live there. I just hope the town heals quickly.
*All photos from Reuters