In the course of a lifetime, I wonder what the average number of storms a person can expect to live through? In case the powers that be are listening, enough already.
I remember Audrey, when we lost track of my grandma and her card playing buddies who were camped out in Holly Beach. They surfaced days later from a shelter in Lake Charles.
I remember Camille when we prepared an entire baby layette that we no longer needed and took it by red wagon to be loaded on a delivery truck being loaded at the Methodist Church over on Fifth Street, bound for the Mississippi coast.
I recall having a son at LSU when Andrew hit. We advised him to stay put, as the storm was expected to hit in the Eunice area. As fate would have it, the storm came up from the Gulf, and like a compass, made a right turn when it hit I-10 and headed East, right into the middle of Baton Rouge.
I think it was during Gustav that we lost about ten trees and it took just about all of our energy as well as all of our money to get that mess cleared up.
Yet through it all, there are lessons to be learned. Like, how many will survive without air-conditioning if the electricity fails? What reaction will you have when you open the fridge and there’s nothing cold in there!
Older land phones will work but the new fan-dangled ones won’t. And the computer I write this on will fade into the sunset. These are things that we all take for granted.
Like every other household, we got out flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items, generators, candles and matches and all the other things that are standard fare for a storm. We even prepared some kerosene lanterns for use.
I wonder whose job it was, in the ‘old days’, to clean and refill the kerosene lanterns? That’s one sooty job and the prospect of washing off with homemade lye soap would not smell too great either.
Not to mention, the ‘oder de coaloy’ left in the house. Some older, primitive furniture still has a faint aroma of kerosene about it.
The lanterns not only provide light but chase away the mosquitos that are at plague level as we speak.
Times have indeed changed. Some of us remember when kerosene was a nickel a gallon. Today, it tops the charts at about $7.00 a gallon.
We prepare and hope for the best. As bad as it is, it’s not quite on the terror level of the earthquakes that shook the West this morning or tornados yesterday in the mid-West. At least we have advanced warning with tropical storms and hurricanes. That affords us the time to get ready.
By the time you read this, the storm hopefully will have passed and spared us all any harm.
Lord, protect us, sinners and all.
Sept. 2, 2012