Saturday, September 20, 2008

What We Learned Today

Melissa Clouthier writes a whiny Ike piece over at PJM. Pathetic. She calls it "surviving Ike"; she went to Disneyworld - she didn't survive Ike, she ran the heck away!

Anyway, here's my comments to her post, most of which you already know:

"Wow, you really know how to make things sound worse than they were, Melissa! Congratulations on whining your way through the hurricane! I’m embarrassed we share the same hometown; Houston deserves better.

We live in the Med. Center and were out of power until Thursday night. Yes, it was hot. Yes, my 8 and 5 year old sons were initially bored. But overall, Ike (for us) was proof of how strong our family and community are. Starting Saturday in the rain, we spent hours outside, working with neighbors clearing debris and cutting trees. One neighbor, who I’d always thought was a bit of a jerk, turned out to be the best guy on the block: he’d brought his farm truck into town the week before and ran all over the place helping others haul tree limbs and stumps into neat piles. People with generators gave shelf space in their fridge to neighbors, we gossiped and relaxed on front lawns when the weather cooled off, shared precious newspapers, and, well, half the men on the street ran off to The Gingerman every evening to “help” drink beer that was otherwise going to waste. Such generous guys!

Things inside the house were just as good. My kids soon got used to no TV; instead, biking up and down the street with friends was much more fun. We ate PB&J by candlelight (it tastes much better that way), cracked open long-shut windows and slept with the cool breeze blowing on us. When our offices re-opened, my husband and I took turns taking the boys to work, where they relished watching movies and being fed too much candy by secretaries.

We were blessed. We always had water. Some people had phone service (not us - we have VoIP). Restaurants nearby re-opened before FEMA had PODs in place. But we were blessed the most by our attitudes: we didn’t give in to despair and took nothing for granted. We relished how much the storm hadn’t taken from us, and when we did so we knew how rich we truly were.

I am so proud of the way we weathered the storm. I’ve learned more about my neighbors, my family and myself this past week. Everything I learned I’m proud to know."

I am proud of this family, this neighborhood, this town. I didn't love Ike, but I know I can do this again if I have to. I'm glad to have that knowledge. Ike made us stronger, not weaker, richer, not poorer. We learned that what we should value most is really what we do value most. And I feel just fine about that.

No comments: