Seventeen years ago.
I can't remember many of the events from last week, but I remember almost every detail of that day.
I've written here about the events of that day. My memories. I don't need to revisit them right now.
I miss the "after".
Remember those days in mid-September when we weren't black or white, Republican or Democrat, pro or anti? We were just Americans. We cared for each other like never before in my lifetime. I wasn't around for "the big one". This was THE time when OUR country was under attack. And WE--WE THE PEOPLE--did what we could. We cried together. We went or we sent, or we just prayed. I wish we were that country again.
See that blue dot on this weather image? That's our new home. We had just moved in mid-June.
We had already planned to visit the family in Ohio, so we bumped our plans up a week and left before the proverbial s**t hit the fan.
When we passed gas station after gas station with no fuel and people with flatbed trucks selling bottled water in exchange for your first born, it really started hitting us what our new neighbors—our new family—were in for.
And then the guilt set in. We truly felt bad for leaving them behind. We did leave our generator with a neighbor for anyone with a need to use.
And they did. September 10, they lost power. Irma settled in to our beloved community with a vengeance.
At some point, a small tornado ripped through our neighborhood. A piece of one neighbor’s house went into the bedroom wall of another. Some carports were ripped apart. The storm tore some siding from our new home.
We were blessed. Not only because we had such little damage, but because of the love we experienced through it all.
My Facebook memory feed is flooded with offers of shelter and/or parking for our RV.
Our community has a private Facebook page. We watched it constantly for news. We read post after post of neighbor offering whatever they had to others. Extra gas. Water. Whatever they had that someone else might need. A neighbor we had met, but really didn’t know well, brought a ladder over and fixed our house so water wouldn’t enter through the missing siding.
After THE Nine-Eleven, the country went back to normal. The bickering and choosing sides grew worse until we have what we have today. Fortunately for us, our community was before, was then, and continues to be that place. Neighbor helping neighbor. People truly caring about others. Let them find out there’s a problem, and they circle the wagons!
Oh, how I wish it was everywhere again.