Friday, August 29, 2008

Hurricane Talk

I'm fascinated by weather. One of the greatest days in my life was that Saturday in the 80's when we got cable TV, and thus was able to look at a weather radar all day and night if I so desired. I'm really interested in severe weather and certainly a hurricane qualifies. And as much as I'm curious about Gustav, there's a huge part of me that is already hurting for those who will have their lives changed forever by this storm.

Yesterday at the bus lot, we were told that our buses would probably not be used to transport evacuees along the Texas coast. Today word came down that Rick Perry really did want them after all...and tonight 100 of them are being driven by our drivers to Beaumont. That caused some very hard feelings amongst the other drivers because no one knows the criteria that were used to select the ones going. There are hard feelings because the drivers who left tonight will make at least $3000 for their services, and maybe a lot more should this emergency drag out. All we know is that it wasn't based on tenure or age. Some of the drivers who earned a big check last year for 4 days work (forgot the name of the storm) got a call today asking them if they wanted to drive tonight. Others, such as I, didn't get a call last year and didn't get one today. Kinda irrelevant for me since I wasn't that interested in stress involved.

Back when I taught Texas History, I used hurricanes to help teach latitude and longitude, directions, geography, and weather. Each student was given two or three different hurricane tracking charts. Every day there was a tropical storm or hurricane, we would begin class by charting the latest storm coordinates and connecting the dots with the locations from the previous day. Once the kids knew how to do it, I would simply have the latitude and longitude of the storm(s) on the board as the students walked in...they would eagerly get out their charts and begin finding the new locations, all before the tardy bell rang. I had kids who didn't get excited about anything else, but would ask questions about hurricanes 'til the cows came home.

We're kinda out in the country and we use propane as our fuel. Two days ago I ordered 300+ gallons of the stuff because I feared what might happen to the price if Gustav lowered the boom on our refineries and platforms. I would gladly give up being smug if only this storm suddenly disintegrated. Let's be in prayer for all those who live in the path of Gustav and those who will be helping them.

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