Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Evacuation Emotions

I never thought about evacuations before. We've lived in Deer Park for four years now. I suppose we once thought we might have to leave, but never got much further into than that.

Packing up, getting the essentials, and gathering a few precious mementos (the kids' baby books, our wedding video, etc.) was really draining for me. I thought what if the contents of our van was all we had when the wind calmed and the water receded? Oddly enough, God graced me with a peace that I still don't understand.

Mark installed put up our plywood shutters so when I turned off the last lights, there was silence and darkness in the house. I flipped the switch off and then right back on. One last look at my safe place, my refuge, my home. It became clear I should have let Mark lock up. As I got in the van, tears silently flowed. I'd been holding them back all day for the benefit of our four year old.

She had a hard time with this. We had encouraged her to pray for Katrina victims and donate to the relief efforts. She had a pretty good idea of how devastating a hurricane can be. We had to play up the trip as a vacation but she still had her worries.

As we made our way up north, we passed so many cars filled to the top with possessions and persons. Little kids huddled in back seats surrounded by pillows and blankets and teddy bears. I actually teared up for so many of these people, so sorry they were running from Rita. I suppose I was in "vacation" mode though I guess most would call it denial.

We stayed at 3 hotels during our adventure. Nothing like a good dose of reality to make you appreciate your situation. Every hotel was filled with evacuees who remained from Hurricane Katrina. We would go home soon. They had no idea if they even still had a home.

The worst thing that could happen now is another hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. So many of us are weary and tired. I can see where many wouldn't even try to leave again. I would. Give me life, with my 3 precious loves and my 3 pooches. I choose them over bricks and shingles any day. We're just blessed to have the means and opportunity to leave.

I'll have to blog our evacuation story soon. We had an adventure!

"Take life in little pieces, one piece at a time." - Author Unknown