Thursday, September 01, 2005

We're Okay, But They Need Your Help

By the time Hurricane Katrina reached 300 miles inland (read: Starkville, MS), it was still classified as a category 1 storm. Living in a 30-year-old trailer is good for saving money, but not so good in severe weather, so Richard and I "battened down the hatches" at home then went to our friend's apartment. It's not anything great, but it has solid walls, a foundation, and other buildings around it. Campus closed down at noon on Monday and Richard was let go from work around 1. He came home and said "let's pack up to leave." He wanted to go somewhere else. We decided on TR's because it was safe enough and we'd still have stuff to do (instead of being bored all evening). By 2 we were safe and sound in the apartment watching the news and weather channel on satellite TV. The power went out around 3, and Richard and I were expecting to eat Twinkies all night, but nope, TR had a better idea: pork chops, mac'n cheese, and baked beans. So they decided to run up the road to get our camping stove. About 5 minutes after they left, I was standing in the doorway watching the crazy big winds blow the trees around when I heard a loud CRACK! Uh-oh! I closed the door just in time. Crack, Swoosh, Bang...the big pecan tree out front had split and a 1-foot (diameter) limb broke off, slid down the side of the house, and almost blocked the front door (all the attached branches were enough to fill up the 20ft x20ft front yard! Then another CRACK! The big oak tree (2ft diameter) out by the driveway was splitting (it broke just above the base 5 minutes later). I called the guys and told them what was going on and to BE CAREFUL! They made it home safely and we cooked up chops on the charcoal grill, the power came back on, we checked out the weather and news, and ate dinner. By 10 the weather had mostly calmed down, so we decided to check out our house to see if we could go home. It was fine (really, no damage at all!) so we stayed.
Mom-in-law, sister-in-law, and the boyfriend had left for Florida (stay with uncle and gramma) on Sunday, so they were okay. They went back to Gulfport Monday and said mom's apartment (about 20miles north of the beach) was okay. We haven't heard much else from them.
By now I really can't watch too much of the news--it's absolutely heartbreaking. I've lived a lot of places, but now I realize that Gulfport really is home. I know that I won't stay in Mississippi, but I always had the idea that one day I'd bring my kids here and show them all the places I used to hang out. I'd say "kids, this is where your dad and I had our first date" and "This is where we first kissed." You know, things like that. But now, all those places are gone. Completely wiped out. And nevermind that, I know what the coast used to look like. And when I see the pictures...I know what should be there....houses, apartments, roads, hotels, casinos, gas stations...Fun Time (where we always play goofy golf), Pirates Cove (the best roast beef po'boys)...The Hard Rock Cafe (brand new hotel/restaurant/casino--that never had the chance to open)...and hundreds of beautiful century-old antebellum homes surrounded by majestic oak trees. We'd drive down Highway 90 "ooh-ing" and "aahh-ing" at all the plantation-style homes or stop at the casinos to drop $10 in the slots. Now that's all gone.
But worst of all are all the people who are now homeless. So many people have lost their belongings, their homes, their lives. Imagine, wherever you live, that half of your town was completely wiped out. Imagine that a massive blizzard buries half the town--collapsing buildings, destroying roads, then flooding everything when it all melts. Imagine that a string of tornados rips through, throwing cars and houses all helter-skelter, then it rains, drowning out all the damaged buildings. Imagine an earthquake, ripping the earth open, so that half of a city falls into the depths and entire city blocks dissapear. Imagine a volcano erupting, flowing hot lava burns the city down, while slowly descending ash lays a suffocating blanket over everything. There is no electricity, no fresh water (or hot water), no clean clothes. Non-perishable foods and a borrowed roof keep you functioning. How long could you last without a car, a phone, internet, air conditioning, TV, a hot shower, shoes, warm food, a soft bed, clean underwear? It could happen anywhere. Don't ignore these people in need. Do something. One day it could be you. Go to your local Red Cross. Give an old blanket, some clothes, a few dollars, whatever you can. Every little bit counts.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

Celina I am so glad that your family is safe and that your home was not damaged.

The utter destruction is horrible. I feel so badly for the people along the gulf. As you said, everything is literally gone and will never be the same.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Sara Bentley 's valuable input...

Hey u know that the family is in Florida i am glad to hear that you guys are ok and everything is ok. you know talking about taking some old things to red cross todd and i are going to go thru our clothes to take them to astro dome. so help these people if you people are able to like celina said go to the red cross or find a fema person.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

Thank you ccw. Oh, and congratulations!
Sara,I'm glad y'all are able to help a little, too. We talked to Dottie last night, so yeah, we know they're okay. Thanks.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

glad you didn't have any damage. It is really sad what's going on! We took up a collection at work for a lady's daughter, she lost everything (New Orleans).
I'll take tornados any day...over a hurricane. Their scarey!

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Sara 's valuable input...

Did you read what i wrote on Kim's blog? I can't imagine what these people are feeling or thinking right now. Now there are fires breaking out everywhere and i hate to say it but if they can't get the fires out N.O. may burn down...Now a bus with N.O. people just flipped over what is going on why does something want them not to make it this is sad. Will keep in touch with you guys talk later
love ya'll Be Safe

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Sara 's valuable input...

Hey if you know anyone who needs a website that has all numbers on it is i just went to it and it has a lot of numbers on it so you can pass it on to people. if anyone is missing go to and you can get a list of safe and looking for maybe you can let folks know about this

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

Thank you Sara. There are many terrible things happening right now and I am absolutely heartbroken. However, I have also heard of many heroic and heartwarming stories that are happening. Many people are helping out in ways that they probably never even imagined...and that makes me feel good. It's just too bad that it takes an enormous tragedy like this for the goodness in some people to show.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger MOM 's valuable input...

The gulf coast is not the same,things that was there last week are gone now.the things we take for granted!!!My apt is OK some shingels gone but Amanda's apt is gone.They told he she had 1hr to get out,only able to get her TV and a few thing to wear. They are staying with me.It is like a war zone here every where you turn the army is everywhere,but since I have lived on the coast I know they will come back. The South Will Rise Again!!!!!
If anyone would like to see some photos check out


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