Back in 2005, my family and I moved from our native North Carolina to Houston. My son, who was 7 at the time, was not excited about moving to Houston. He’d heard they had hurricanes. Fr John Salem, the priest at St George, encouraged me to tell him that it had been a long, long time since a hurricane had hit Houston. Not to worry.
That’s what I did. I’d also found a house for us to live in with a pool. The latter was enough to pump the boy up: Hurricane, pool, pool, hurricane. The pool easily won.
So, we moved. We spent our first few nights in the new digs on the floor, in sleeping bags. There wasn’t a hotel room in the vicinity thanks to the infamous Katrina [which hit New Orleans on August 29th, 2005]. By Tuesday morning folks were already talking about approaching weather. Thus, I had to have a serious parental talk with my children, especially Basil. “Sometimes hurricanes do hit Houston.” But, I assured them (as parents are wont to do), “We’ll get through it.”
Before I get too carried away talking about Hurricane Rita in the summer of ’05, let’s Fast Fwd to just last week.
Wait. Make that 3 weeks ago — with the approach of Hurricane Gustav (which ended up turning toward New Orleans) …
Which now brings us up to the now infamous Hurricane Ike.
But, wait! I can’t even start there.
The day before we welcomed Ike to Houston, the nation remembered the tragic events of 9/11 — 7 years earlier. In reality, of course, that event was at least a hundred years ago.
* * *
Have you ever seen the sky turn green?
How ’bout orange?
How bout green and orange … over and over … again and again … and trees lay down under 100 mph winds only to pop back up again, flinging their branches dry … only to repeat the aerobics over and over, again and again.
I know. I’m starting to sound melodramatic. Forgive me. There’s just no way to do justice to a hurricane on the radio. It’s a visual thing.
* * *
Watching Hurricane Ike beat up on the trees in my back yard, watching the sky turn green and orange, hearing nature make sounds that are indescribable and still undefined …
That part was magnificent.
The next day, as I related the awesomeness of it all, my kids asked:“Why didn’t you get us up?”
I’d thought about it, but …
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