Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Great Storm

I live on the gulf coast.
Hurricane season, emergency preparations and tropical storms are a normal part of our summers.
Hurricane Ike will always be etched in my memory..
But not so much because of it's fury.
September 2008.
It hit Galveston with a wallop.
It wasn't the most powerful storm but it caused major damage.
Tropicalweather.net had this to say about Ike.
"Ike was a huge hurricane. Its tropical storm force wind field extended exceeded that of Katrina. In the central Gulf of Mexico, winds of tropical storm force or greater extended out 275 miles from the center. Ike's effects not only were felt on the coast, but extended well inland. Wind damage and/or flooding rains followed the path of Ike into the southern Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and into New England. Rainfall totals of ten inches or more were recorded in the southern Great Lakes. Power Outages were also common from wind damage well northward into the Ohio Valley. Damage estimates are placed at $18 billion making hurricane Ike the 4th costliest hurricane to hit the U.S. An additional $4.4 billion in damage occurred in Ike's post tropical stage as it moved northeast through the Ohio Valley causing widespread wind damage."
To tell the truth.
I hardly noticed the storm and it's damage until much later.
I was dealing with a unnamed storm of my own.
and I was worried about the damage it would cause.
Ike struck on September 13.
11 days before Jack entered the mission home.
Every idea I had about the last week and a half before he left was changed.
Church and therefore his farewell were cancelled.
Last minute shopping was impossible due to store closings.
We even wondered how we would retrieve his suit that was being altered.
The shop was closed almost up to the day we flew out.
Jack would not attend the Houston Temple for his endowments.
It was closed because of the lack of electricity.
That would have to wait until the day before he entered the MTC.
His grandparents who had made arrangements to be in town for that would miss it.
Everyone kept worrying about the storm
But I was just worried about how something that was already harder than I thought possible
was made even harder.
All of these things took precedence in my mind and in my heart.
What damage would be left from my storm.
 
I went to Galveston about a 8 months after Ike hit.
With Precious and Miss Leezie and Peanut.
The devastation was still obvious
Buildings were still heavily damaged and there were boats strewn about
in unusual places like uncared for toys.
The streets, shops and restaurants were empty.
There was a grayness to the damage and decay.
It was if the color was sucked out.
and I realized how much Ike had really cost the city of Galveston.
For the first time I felt a little bad about being so focused on my own "storm"
I wondered how the people of Galveston would make it.
The city seemed so forlorn.
I still felt a little lost myself.


Today I went to Galveston.
With Precious, Baby Davy, his daughter and my Mom and Dad.
I brought my camera to chronicle our adventure.
But what really captured my attention was
Beautiful Galveston.
It is being reborn.
My mom and dad showed us row upon row of houses that have been restored.
New trim and paint made everything looks so fresh and clean
Bright vivid happy colors....
Lush plants and plentiful flowers.

And they are even making something positive from the damage.
There were many beautiful old trees that were lost to the storm.
Years and years of growth wiped away in a matter of hours.
Only stumps remaining.
Instead of mourning what was lost....
they made it into something of beauty and whimsy.
Kinda a "take that Ike"
You can't keep us down.
And my personal favorite....
Galveston has never looked better.
Maybe storms both named and unnamed really do make us better.
Maybe when we are broken down into pieces we find the strength to make things better than before.
In the Bible it says that God told Adam that the land would be cursed for his sake.
I always read that to mean that because Adam and Eve had goofed up that it was going to be hard.
Real hard.
I never thought that the curse on the land was to help them to grow.
Grow because it was hard.
And hard things bring growth and rebirth.


It has been almost two years since September 2008...
Galveston looks and feels better
at least from what I can see.
I think I do too.

I think they look pretty darn good too!

11 comments:

江婷 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

Twins Squared said...

We just got back from Galveston too and we were totally thinking that a lot of hotels and stuff had fresh coats of paint and looked great! A few still boarded up but we had said the same thing that maybe much was renovating and now had the opportunity. Definitely nice to see!

Bonnie said...

What a neat story!! I LOVE the trees!
I can't believe you had to go through that before Jack left!!! Wow! But I guess it put everything into perspective.
You are such a great writer. You should bind your posts into little books and give them for Christmas.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful! What a lovely place.

evelyn said...

A fun day made even funner by the insights of my daughter. Next time, though, could you photoshop a few pounds off your dear old mom.

Leslie said...

Wow Shelley! I feel bad for the people of Galvaston, but I completely understand your own personal storm too! That would have been devastating!! As if saying goodbye to your baby boy for two years isn't bad enough!The Lord sure made it up to you though. He's been an awesome missionary with incredible experiences and will soon be back in your nest safe and sound! Thanks again for yet another inspiring story. I agree with Bonnie....and I want to be on that christmas list! :)

江婷 said...

很棒的分享~~~來留個言囉~~~~.................................................................                           

Just ME the MOM said...

You have done a way awesome job on this post - I have many friends in Galvaston and have them share many stories about Ike and preparedness. I loved your post with all the beautiful photos - really brings it to life for me. Great job! And . . . when you moving into the house around the corner . . .

?

Kristin

政儒 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

玉婷良DGFHFJ瑋黃吳 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。............................................................