Hurricane Thoughts

I know hurricanes.
Always swooping in overnight
With screeching winds,
Drenching rains, tornadoes.

Now Texas has come under fire
With a monster called Harvey.
Watching the devastation
Brings it all back to me.

No power for days on end.
No air conditioning; no hair drying;
No cooking; no television.
Hot sodas, no ice, bed at dusk.

Trying to get a newspaper out
Without the resources needed.
The easy part is finding folks
Willing to tell somebody their story.

Flooded homes and businesses,
Empty spaces where buildings once were.
Disruption of daily existence;
Focus on the elation of being alive.

Trees stripped of leaves,
Long lines, irritability.
Staircases leading to an open sky.
Gratitude to strangers for aid.

I know hurricanes.
And while coastal living can be ideal,
It also can be precarious.
Maybe cornfields aren’t so bad.

Note: I’m forcing myself to turn off coverage of Hurricane Harvey, or I’d never get anything done. Still, my thoughts and prayers are with those uprooted by its path. Stay safe out there!

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29 thoughts on “Hurricane Thoughts

  1. Watching the news relaying the devastation on the other side of the world, we can only hope all are alright. Houses, possessions can be replaced, but family and friends cannoy.Take care

    • Judith, you’re so right. Things can be replaced; people can’t. I hope those who were able to evacuate did so and the others will find safety soon as well.

  2. Debbie, having lived in Florida for 20 years, I too know the devastation that can often come from hurricanes. I went through FIVE of them in my time living there; none however, as destructive as Harvey.

    Like you, I’ve been watching the news for the past two days, so scared and worried for those in Texas. One night I was watching the news and felt so afraid for the newscaster because it looked as though he was going to literally blow away from the severe winds.

    Thank you for sharing your concern, thoughts and prayers in this post. I’m doing the same.

    Have a peaceful Sunday, my friend!
    X

    • Ron, I know you too have experienced the wrath of hurricanes. I’m glad my grandma had a gas stove, or we wouldn’t have eaten (all-electric apartments were once the thing to have!)

      Thank you for joining in my thoughts and prayers. I hope we learned something from Katrina and built stronger seawalls, though there’s little that can be done with all that rain. It’s hard enough on able-bodied folks, but I feel so sorry for the old, infirm, disabled, and infants.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  3. A timely poem, Debbie! The pictures are awful but I’m glad that, bad though it is, it doesn’t seem to have been quite as bad as they feared it might be. Sending best wishes to all affected.

    • Thanks, FF. Y’all don’t get hurricanes, do you? Hmm, maybe I need to move across the pond. From the blistering heat and drenching humidity to tornadoes and hurricanes and ice storms, seems we’ve been seeing the worst of the worst of late.

    • You know, Barb, I think news outlets naturally gravitate to catastrophes and their aftermath. And I think most people are truly interested in small doses of current events. It’s the steady drone of misery upon misery that wears a body down. Probably best to keep praying!

  4. Debbie, that is a true summation of what happens in the aftermath of these terrible storms. I lived in Houston for 12 years, and only had to suffer through a couple of really bad tropical storms (massive flooding coming almost up to the top step and door level of my house). I have two kids that live there currently, I keep texting them and they keep assuring me all is well. Like you, I had to turn it off, can’t listen to it anymore or I will worry myself sick. I’m likewise sending best wishes for all those affected by this terrible storm.

    • Thanks, Lana, for joining in with my thoughts and prayers. Most of my first-hand experiences with tropical storms and hurricanes occurred when I was living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I remember hearing that my grandpa cried when surveying the destruction to his pecan grove after Camille. I remember my folks’ house had water inside, a broken window, a shattered dock, and a strange boat in the backyard after Katrina. Glad your kids are okay.

  5. This is the worst I’ve been through, as far as flooding goes. Allison’s flooding was as bad, but it wasn’t as widespread. I went through Alicia and Allison, as well as several tropical storms, and evac’d for Rita and Ike.

    I can cope with the flooding, and even with the surge, but if it looks like it’s going to be a Cat 2 or above, I’m gone. I’ll come back and pick up the pieces later — which is exactly what I had to do with Ike.

    Have you ever heard Levon Helm’s song “Hurricane”? It beats Buffett’s “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season” in any number of ways. For some reason, it always cheers me up when I’m waiting for one to arrive.

    • I agree the flooding looks awful. I don’t remember ever seeing that much water — certainly not in person! — from a hurricane. Of course, we always had the other things to deal with, like tornadoes, high winds, and such. None of it is pleasant.

      Sometimes it seems the most sensible thing is to flee. Batten down the hatches as best as one can, then get out of there. Choosing just where to go, naturally, can be problematic. Can’t afford to go too far and leave your stuff unprotected, but you can’t step only a few paces away for fear you’ll get in on the misery. Glad you’re safe, Linda!

      • There never has been this much water. It seems this is going to be the worst flooding event in U.S. history. I’m not surprised. As for evacuating — some need help to get away from the water, but plenty of us can be safe, even though surrounded. Better to stay put and not end up needing rescue at the side of the road. Sigh.

        • I can only imagine what millions of cars on the road fleeing a storm looks like. It’s too bad we can’t harness some of that water and pump it to places seeing drought conditions.

  6. Beautuful poem, as always. Houston was my first big city after graduating high school. My parents moved from El Paso. I loved the city and the people. The only thing I didn’t love was the heat and humidity. My heart breaks for the city and my friends going through the aftermath, but I have no doubt the city will swim because as they say, Don’t Mess With Texas. It is also heartwarming to see the connection between people and the kindness and resources being shared. We need a lot more of that.

    • I didn’t realize you’d lived in Houston, Kb. I visited a few times there, but like you said, the heat and humidity are pretty oppressive. However, again like you said, Texas will survive and probably thrive. Its people have a remarkable can-do spirit, very independent of course but also very generous. I’d expect nothing less from that great republic! They show us how far we’ve come from Katrina.

  7. Very moving poem. I lived that with hurricane Sandy (2012)…so this storm has bought back all the bad memories. After all these years many houses on my block are still not repaired. Many people on Long Island and NY and New Jersey have not gotten the money for repairs. My heart REALLY goes out to Texas,

    • Thanks, Tanya. It doesn’t much surprise me that rebuilding in your part of the world is so slow. After all, Sandy was only five years ago. Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, was twelve years ago, yet things are still less than ideal there. We’d like to think folks would tackle repairs ASAP and try to get back to normalcy, but for some reason, many don’t. Once you’ve been through a horrific storm like this, you never forget it though.

    • Thank you, Kim. I’ve been blessed — nothing as miserable as Harvey, but plenty of winds, rains, loss of power, and rebuilding. The photos on TV can’t tell the half of it. Those folks need our help and prayers!

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