America, September 4, 2004
And maybe my whole month!
I hope your Labor Day weekend is anything but laborious. I hope you are on a beach, a barbeque, or a backyard, soaking up the sun and toasting the end of summer. I hope you are enjoying this last blast of leisure, for I am not.|
I am a ball of nerves right now, stressed out of my mind with worry and wonder. Hurricane Frances, that ball of fury on the coast of Florida, is about to make landfall just south of Vero Beach, Florida, a small town with big meaning for me.
While I still don't feel I'm from there, my Mom lives there. In the house that she, my father, and I built twenty years ago, she has many treasures, from Balinese artwork to Dad's handiwork. And now Hurricane Frances is battering that very house, and her soul, with 110+ mile per hour winds and driving rain.
I am not standing idly by while Mother Nature slaps my heart around. Oh no, I went All American and went shopping! With $2,000 in post-apocalyptic hurricane supplies, from chain saws to camping stoves, duct tape to plastic tarps, my Honda is a rolling relief wagon pointed south.
Come early Monday morning, before most of you recover from Sunday's hangover, I'll be speeding to South Florida, to help stabilize and survive what is going to be one hell of a big mess. Trees will be down, power will be out, and lives will be lost.
With the most generous backing of my new employer, I'm taking off the week to work dawn to dusk to clear debris and dry houses. Hopefully ours will be one of the lucky ones, houses that will only need electricity to be homes again.
Until I get there, I'll not know, and while I'm hoping for the best, I'm preparing for the worst. A preparation that I'd love your help with. Hurricane clean up is not cheap, and coming just a month after Hurricane Charlie, the Red Cross is taxed to the limit, and before my first paycheck, I'm taxed beyond mine.
Please think of those who have been and will be trying to put their lives and their homes back together in the coming days and weeks, and donate your time, money, or both to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Or less formally, to my own Hurricane Frances Relief Fund. All (and I swear, every last penny) will be spent helping my Mom & her neighborhood recover from this party-crashing blowhard.
Thanks and enjoy your weekend!