Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#Blessed

The weekends are usually pretty busy for us. I go to class, meal plan, grocery shop, do laundry. Blog. This weekend, that didn't really happen. I'm glad that it didn't, especially the blogging part, because if it had, you would be reading a planned post and not my general thoughts. Keeping up a blog is hard work and you sometimes forget that the whole reason you have a blog is to write, not to just post content. And there are times that what you feel is deafening and you just need to just say it.

If you've watched the news at all lately, you've seen the sad parts of our world: politics, bombings, shootings, etc. It's hard to believe that there is any good left in this world. This past week and weekend has been a constant reminder of all the good that God has put in my life and in the lives of those closest to me. With all the bad going on, I felt the need to share some good.

I was scheduled to attend a training this past week in Jacksonville, Florida.  I left Tuesday morning, October 4, for training to take place Wednesday and Thursday and fly back Friday morning.  My mom called me panicked the morning of my Tuesday flight, worried about Hurricane Matthew and possibly being in its wake.  I told her I had prepared to be stuck, if that happened, and that I really wasn't that worried. I thought she was crazy and told my dad as much. I boarded my first flight and during my layover, I checked my work email.  When I started my current job, I never linked my work email to my personal phone. It's pretty much impossible to separate work and home otherwise. I learned that lesson the hard way. While I have enjoyed not seeing my work emails after hours, it does make it a challenge to check them when not in the office. I have to actively think to check my email, it doesn't just show up anymore. I logged in to my work email and saw that the agency hosting my training had decided to continue the training, but that instead of two days, it was being shortened to one and a half days.  I texted my co-worker that handles the travel in our office and she started working on changing my return flight from Friday to Thursday. It was going to cost an additional $300 to get me home before the hurricane. At that point, American Airlines hadn't added Jacksonville to the list of cities that you could change your flight and not be charged. For some reason, you also can't change return flights until you arrive at your destination. I guess they want to make sure you actually get to that destination? Weird. This turned out to be a blessing because by the time they were able to change my flights, Jacksonville had been added to the list. I was able to come home a day early with no extra charge.

When I arrived at training Wednesday morning, the trainer informed us that the last few versions of this particular training had been for one day, not the two days that we were signed up to attend. Since many of the participants were from Florida and other areas that were going to be hit by the hurricane, we all decided that it would be best to continue to do the training in one day and let everyone go home. So I managed to get the full amount of training in the one day that we had.

Let me tell you, leaving an evacuating city is an interesting thing. I flew out Thursday morning. Everyone in Jacksonville, FL had been ordered to evacuate. I wasn't sure if traffic was going to be bad on I-95 heading towards the airport or not, so I reserved a taxi early in the morning for my 10:30 am flight. While there were some people on the road, it was mostly deserted. The airport was a weird combination of completely full when flights were leaving and then completely empty. I flew out at 10:30 am Thursday, October 6.  The hurricane neared Florida on October 7, when I was originally scheduled to leave.

On Saturday, October 8, when Hurricane Matthew was making it's way through North Carolina, I sat in a chair for three hours (three hours!!) getting my hair done. I had it washed, colored and balayage completed. I've never sat in a chair for three hours for my hair in my life. It was worth it, though. It looks awesome. But I sat there and watched two weddings take place in the venue on the top floor of the building. I watched trees sway and rain fall. It honestly never got that bad in Durham, North Carolina. My husband had to go help his dad with their sump pump and septic system in south Raleigh, but overall, it wasn't that bad for us.  Then I saw the reports about the flooding in Fayetteville.

I grew up in Fayetteville.  It is not my favorite place, by a long shot.  But some of my favorite people, blood and not blood, live there.  The flooding is staggering. Roads washed away. The Cape Fear River at 58 feet (the flood stage is 41 feet!). People not able to leave their homes because of all the water. Power outages. No water or now having to boil water. It honestly breaks my heart. In the past few days, many cities across the state that I used to work in have also experienced staggering damage due to the flooding. And the flooding isn't even over yet. Knowing the capacity of these cities and what they are facing breaks my heart that much more.

But my parents are safe. My friends are safe. Houses have been damaged, but the people are okay. And that's what matters. I look at Haiti and my heart breaks all over again. I'm blessed. So, so blessed. Blessed that I have a crazy mom that made me pay attention to my email. Blessed that I have a co-worker that could work some travel magic and get me home without costing my employer extra money. Blessed that we really didn't get terrible weather where we live. Blessed that my parents live on high ground and were only without power for a few hours. Blessed that I serve a God that put all these people in place at the right time. I'm blessed and to not shine a light and say that in this dark, depressing world we live in just seems wrong. For those that are still in the aftermath of the flooding and the storm, I'm praying for you and what you might be facing. You might not feel it right now, but you are blessed, too, because we are in the US with the resources to handle this type of disaster. We aren't in Haiti. It might not be on the time table that we want, but recovery will happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment