Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time to be Grateful

Thanksgiving day is almost here.  It has been a year of trials and tribulations for many but, at the end of the day, it is time to be thankful for the things that are right with the world.  I am thankful that all of my family is healthy and that they will be home in a few days ... all of them, under one roof.  Woo Hoo!

These two lovelies are my daugther, Amanda, and my daughter-in-law, Sabreena.  They will, I'm sure, be my kitchen helpers.

These two handsome, young men are my son-in law, Damola, and my son, Blair.  They are usually in for the heavy lifting, watching football and eating.  Well, that's probably standard in most households.

This is my stepson, Chris.  He'll be on the same wavelength as the rest of the guys.  Easiest going guy on the planet ... I think.

This is his daughter, our granddaughter, Grace Anne.  She is twelve and she is smart and lovely in every way.  She is a definite old soul who surprises us frequently with her insight.

And last but, far from least, is our other lovely daughter-in-law, Elizabeth.  (She wouldn't have been last but, I'm hopeless at manipulating photos on my computer.)  Elizabeth will also be pitching in with the ladies but, this woman loves the cleanup more ... go figure.  She's a lifesaver and one of the nicest human beings on the planet.

So, these are our kids.  Decent, hardworking people all.  We love them and are oh so excited to get our 'wagons in a circle' again.  In fact, we are grateful that they still want to come home for the family feast as they all live either out of town or out of state.  And, at the end of the day, all I really need is this bunch to have a very gratitude-filled day.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

When the Worst Happens

The big news this past week has been Hurricane Sandy which hit the east coast with a vengeance.  It is disturbing that so much of our national attention returned to business as usual so quickly.  There was more concern over Halloween costumes and the election getting back on track than the fact that there are so many people living in devastation.  But, that's a whole other post.  The thing that I continue to think about is this ... Is there really ever a way to be totally prepared for huge disasters?

We live in a time wherein we can be forewarned by days of impending storms.  We are told to stock up on nonperishable food items, water, batteries, etc.  However, a whole lot of people do not do it because they don't really believe it can happen to them.  I heard so many people joking about stocking up on wine and having parties.  Really?  I've been without power during a snowstorm and for an entire week thereafter.  We were fine.  We were prepared.  We had the things we needed to take care of ourselves.  So, if people ignore the basics of preparedness, they are simply being foolish.  This is, of course, all within the parameters of the 'best case' scenario such as being out of power for a short time, or stuck at home for a few days.

So, what happens when there is such widespread damage as in this current disaster ... or Hurricane Katrina?  Well, no amount of stocking up will work if your home is destroyed.  Why don't we have more answers for the hundreds of people that end up homeless?  We should ... in a nation as blessed as ours ... don't you think?  Why do we not get our military into these areas sooner.  These young soldiers are the sons and daughters of the folks who are suffering ... maybe not in reality but, certainly in spirit.  They are there to serve ... let them.  If governors of states so severely affected have to declare martial law, then they should.  They need to stop people who are adding to the problems rather than helping, they need to help people who have no one, they need to prioritize the emergency relief.

People are mostly good during crises ... they step up.  But, first we need to know how we can best help ourselves, we need to buck up and endure so that those who need the most help get it first.  This is all part of the preparedness mindset.  If huge storms continue to happen, it means loss of power, maybe loss of shelter.  What will you do in the various scenarios?  Do you have an alternate method of staying warm and dry?  Do you have someplace to go?  Will you heed the warnings and not put your children in harm's way?  If you don't receive the blunt end of the disaster, could you step up and help those who did?  We, as a nation, need to become more self reliant while simultaneously starting to think about how we can best serve our communities in times of need.

So, while we are praying for the people affected by this terrible storm, we should also be learning some key lessons about how we could be better prepared to help ourselves and help our community should we ever experience anything as terrible.