by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
When last we chatted Oregon was preparing for the fabulous eclipse. It was a great party. Since then, correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels like we’ve been playing a national game of disaster whack-a-mole. Hurricane Harvey, wildfires in Oregon and the West, then Hurricane Irma. Yowsa.
Whoever ticked off Mother Nature, apologize now.
But miracles do happen through the efforts of “ordinary” Americans:
The fire fighters who stood their ground and saved the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls by surrounding it in a wall of water all night while the flames burned all around and over them and embers flew across the Columbia River. No easy feat that save, with the fire coming within thirty yards of the wood shingled lodge.
The shelter dogs and cats evacuated ahead of Hurricane Harvey from Houston to Oregon and Washington, many have already been adopted.
The 1,700 food boxes packed and shipped by the Oregon Food Bank to Houston to help feed those in need. Know they will be packing more for Florida.
The curator and a staff of nine at the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida who rode out the storm with the fifty-four Hemingway cats and all were spared. Angels were above them all.
The news reporter who helped get one exhausted baby dolphin back out into the sea and helped with other volunteers to carry another stranded dolphin back out into the ocean.
The bystanders who quickly realized two manatees were stranded in the mud after the storm suck took all the water from the bay. With the help of Manatee Sheriff Deputies, they dragged the two manatees back out into the ocean a hundred yards.
There will be many stories of kind acts and we will grieve for those who have died. We will also rejoice in the team who went out in the storm to help deliver a baby. Baby’s don’t wait for weather.
Through all the damage and destruction, we’ve seen the best of our country while Mother Nature hit us with her worst. Maybe she wanted to let us know she was in charge after all, by blocking out the sun then hitting us with her best shots.
Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Oregon, California, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the East Coast, we’ve got your back. Huge hugs and thanks to all the law enforcement, fire fighters, U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, FEMA, federal, state, county, city, power company and gasoline employees working their butts off now and for weeks to come.
A special thank you to the men and women at the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida and the military personnel at the Key West Naval Station who stayed behind and did their jobs. You guys are rock stars!
Also gratitude to the American Red Cross volunteers and staff, the non-profit agencies, and all the animal rescue groups. The retailers who opened their stores and the restaurants who are feeding people now are all a big part of our USA team.
Our hearts swell from the volunteer efforts of the Cajun Navy to the monster truck drivers and the thousands of folks who helped their neighbors and the news crews who jumped in to help when needed.
This is going to be a long rebuild, but we’ll get through this together. What better way to honor the loss of the men, women and children on 9/11 that we honored yesterday, than to become a better nation after their and their family’s sacrifice.
With folks like the ones in the video below, USA, we’ve got this.