I was going through some old notebooks and found something I had written about Hurricane Katrina. I entitled it The Hurricanes of Life. I by was affected in a very small way by Katrina, but it had a huge impact on my life andI am remembering Hurricane Katrina, which hit l and on August 29, 2005.
My family and I had decided to vacation in Gulf Shores Alabama that year. Our arrival date was August 27. We knew about the hurricane. We knew it was expected to hit somewhere along the coast of the Gulf between Texas and Florida. It had yet to be determined exactly where it would land on the day of our departure, so after much deliberation and conferring with family members who were already vacationing at Gulf Shores, we decided to stay the course and hit the road.
After a 12 hour road trip, on a sunny, hot day, we arrived at the beach. The waves were higher than normal for the Gulf, the sea rougher than usual, but other than that all things appeared to be okay, until we heard that the direction of the hurricane had changed and was expected to hit Alabama by morning.
We had decided to leave and go to Panama City Beach even before the evacuation was instated. We left and headed to Panama City Beach, Florida. That proved to be a mistake as far as vacations go. While we were there, we were impacted with up to 55 MPH winds, that kept us pretty much indoors for three days.
During our stay there we met many people who had come to Panama City Beach from the New Orleans area. We talked and empathized with those people, and prayed for them and their loved ones; especially those who received the news of total devastation to their homes, their businesses, their worlds, as we stood by and listened.
It wasn’t the best vacation we ever experienced. In fact, as far as vacations go, it pretty much sucked. But that was but one week of our lives. Those people, when they left Panama City Beach, were going back to the remains of what was left of their lives.
I still think of those people often, some eight years after the fact. Our time together was short, minutely so in the grand scheme of things, but what a lasting impact it had on my life.