Friday, September 5, 2008

Hurricane Childhood Experience

Hurricane Fay set the stage for this season, jumping all over Florida and crossing over it 2 or 3 times. Gustav still is influencing Louisiana after landing there over a week ago. Now Hanna is coming up the east coast and headed our way towards North Carolina. Ike is targeting Florida and will be a force to reckon with if it makes landfall there as it is being compared to Andrew... Somehow mother nature makes sure that there never is a dull moment. Be it fires, snow storms, volcanoes, earthquakes, the list goes on and on.

While growing up in Florida, snow storms or earthquakes weren't an issue, hurricanes were a different story though. As a kid, I found the whole experience of a hurricane coming, to be a fun one. Grant it that while during one, and listening to the strong winds outside, did get me scared, the time before and after the hurricane got me excited and made them very memorable to me. The preparations prior to them, such as boarding up or taping all the windows was a time when the family got together and shared a common goal. Going to the grocery store with my mom and getting all the goodies for the event was my chance to eat junk food! During the hurricanes, our house was always dark because of the boarded up windows. Most of the hurricanes that I lived through hit during the evenings and we all would gather together on the floor with our candles and flashlights and talk and eat our candy, sodas, pastries, chips, etc., while the wind was blowing all around our house. Most of the time there were cousins, aunts and uncles that would join us for the event. The next morning, after the storm was over, all of us kids would go out and see how many trees were blown down. This was one of the most exciting things I loved about hurricanes. All the trees that had fallen down gave us kids a lot more things in our back yard to play on. The fallen trees were like a whole new playground for us! We loved to climb on the now reachable branches. The new playground lasted several weeks, until the trees were hauled away by cleanup crews.

I guess, I was one of the lucky kids, who never experienced any REAL harm done to my family or our home by a hurricane. I realize now, as an adult, that many families aren't as fortunate. Hurricanes are not all fun and games. Families can become emotionally, physically and economically devastated. My hope now is that we all help each other as much as possible, so that more children experience hurricanes in awe, as I did when I was a child.
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