We are still in the Carolina's and we are not heading back to the Gulf Coast until Friday. We heard from a few of those who stayed behind that Dennis was not as devastating as it was expected. A lot of areas, including where we live, already have their electricity, water, cable, and phone services restored.
We might have to turn back by the time we get there though because Emily is out there and seems bent on visiting the Florida Panhandle like her cohorts. These Hurricanes must talk to each other and have this fascination about vacationing in our backyard. The Panhandle is very hospitable but its residents, like us, do not like destructive visitors. We would like Emily to visit other places if she is bearing tornadoes, heavy downpours, and storm surges instead of gifts. We live in Sunshine State not Tornado Alley, Emily!!! Just ranting and raving because there is not much we can do when it comes to the wrath of Mother Nature but can't we get a break? Some people say that these hurricanes are a small price to pay for living in paradise. Yeah, right! We've been living on and off the Gulf Coast for the past twenty years and we never had these much of a problem until last year with Ivan. Granting that we were pretty lucky to sustain just minor damages to our properties last year and probably some downed trees this time, we are not ready to brace for another one. We are not the welcome wagon for all hurricanes wishing to visit the USA. We actually felt guilty on the day Dennis strolled in our hometown because we were a few states away, soaking the sun at Paramount's Carowinds theme park. Every now and then we felt a twinge of guilt. There we were, riding the rides, watching the shows and taking pictures while those who stayed behind in the Panhandle were wracked by fear and anxiety. We felt sorry for those who can not afford to leave their homes, for sentimental or financial reasons. Our hearts went out to thosewhose homes are still damaged from Ivan's destructive forces and burdened by the financial, emotional and psychological agony inflicted by natural disasters. A lot of people on the Gulf Coast are yet to see their insurance checks from Hurricane Ivan. It is not easy to look at a home you lived in for decades destroyed and uninhabitable. It's heartwrenching to lose all the things you worked so hard to have. It's even harder to give up on pictures and other sentimental mementos gathered through the years. We know of people who are still battling the insurance companies for monies to repair their homes from last year's hurricane, are paying for mortgages in their uninhabited houses, paying for storage for their salvaged properties and paying for rent for a temporary domicile.
Why not move elsewhere, away from this hurricane infested place, you may ask. We asked ourselves the same question. The bottomline is that despite all our angst about the hurricanes that visited and will be visiting the Gulf Coast area, it is still home to us. It is where both of our children were born. It gave us the constancy that is very much needed by a mobile military family like ours. It is the place we tell people we are from when we are on temporary assignments in domestic or overseas military facilities. It is the only place, aside from Hawaii, that we always yearned to go back to to raise our children and to grow old in.