Thursday, September 02, 2004

Hurricane Frances. With Charley only 2 weeks or so in the past and Hurricane Andrew "seared, I mean seared" in our memories, we have been watching Frances make its way toward us this week with considerable interest and concern. This morning we awakened to a "Hurricane Watch", and at 11 AM the watch turned into a "Hurricane Warning". At the office we went into pack-up mode, according to plan, as the business day began, moving everything from the outer offices to the inner offices except for the large pieces of furniture. By the time the weather service declared a "Hurricane Warning" we were nearly finished, and everyone had left for home by about 1 PM.

After we arrived back home, Carol and I pulled the camper out of the garage so that we could retrieve the metal pots and pans that would work better on our grill and camper stove. Getting the camper out of the garage also gave us room to bring down the shutters that are stored in the loft. People all over the neighborhood were out hammering, sawing, and putting up shutters too. I drove over to Reyna Luisi's house, the widow of my friend Mike who died two years ago of the same cancer I had. Reyna had bought my mother's house, and I wanted to see if she was getting up the shutters OK. Several of her friends and relatives were helping her, so she was well set. I returned to our house, and Carol and I finished putting up our shutters up about 5 PM. After a visit to the home of a new family in our church (more on that below) I took down my ham radio antenna while Carol made dinner (boy, can that lady cook!).

Several people younger than I either called or came over to see if we needed help. In years past, we were the ones calling older people with the same inquiry. Carol and I seemed to have passed some sort of threshold, and I'm not sure I am all that happy about it.

The minister of our church and his family prepared for their first hurricane. As we were putting our shutters up, he was driving by on his way to help a new family in our church with their shutters. He stopped to say hello and to tell us where he was going, in case we could get over there too. He and his family had already put the shutters up on their house, and they were all squared away. His son, a high school senior, came over about a half our later to see how we were doing. He was one of the people who wanted to know if we needed any help. We were about finished, so all of us went over to the house of the new family, where we found the pastor hard at work with the father of the family and a friend of his.

That pretty much defines his ministry approach.

We are hoping that Hurricane Frances will bear north and hit around Daytona Beach. We hate to wish such a thing on other people, but we still think that we are due some slack from Providence in light of Hurricane Andrew. We also pray that the hurricane will simply stall and weaken before it gets here. It is a very big one.

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