As I sit with my morning coffee, laptop in my lap and watching the news I am aware of what a long 3 years it’s been. And, in many ways, and in some ways it seems to have just flown by. I am, in essence, watching history repeat itself. It’s Gustav this time, not Katrina and a week later. But those are minor details. We have learned some hard and valuable lessons from the time Hurricane Katrina came and struck with a vengeance. We watch, holding our breath, fingers crossed, hoping and praying that the levees don’t break.
We watched last time as she wreaked havoc on the folks along the Gulf Coast and devastated lives, cities, hopes and dreams. I vividly remember the images on television. The stories that struck me at that time were of those mothers giving birth in the filth and grime of the public streets in the oppressive heat and humidity. And the newborn babies crying. And the children without parents. And the homes that were flooded. And the pets abandoned and left to die. It was such a heartbreaking sight to me as I lay in my 38 week pregnant body atop of my bed watching the news. There was nothing I could do but shed a tear or two. My heart went out to these people. In my cool, comfortable air conditioned home, on my comfortable bed I was glued to the television set mesmerized by the images flashing in front of me. Never had I been so aware of my safety and comforts. I wanted to be able to help these people. There was nothing, absolutely nothing I could do.
The following weekend I was off my bed and my husband and I decided that we would honor our children’s wishes to have a lemonade stand. It was Labor Day and the neighborhood was bustling. We would have our stand in front of the house which was then on a fairly busy road. We would surely get a lot of traffic. One thing I told the children. This money would not be theirs. It would go to the people of New Orleans. They loved the idea! Our lemonade stand was born. Don and Rebecca made the sign. We went out and bought lemonade making supplies. And burgers and dogs and chips. We ended up having a massive barbecue. The best was in the end we raised over $300 that the children brought into the Red Cross. We had a great Labor Day. My kids had fun and did something to help those in need.
Two days later I was having a Labor Day of my own!
This is one of my favorite pictures!
Rebecca and Annie are also expecting!
We are at the Red Cross ready to give them the money we raised