I had some errands to do today which took me into a couple of retail outlets. The stores were busier than usual on a Monday morning during the school term. It was easy to spot the Ike evacuees. They were the ones with buggies full of plastic storage containers, food, clothing and other necessary items. They did not have trinkets, AV equipment or anything that could be considered the least bit unnecessary or un-needed. Most of them couldn't quite return a smile, either. A lot of them were talking on their cell phones and saying things like, " We can't go home yet because our street is still flooded," or " There was water in my house but I don't know how much or if it's still in there."
I can only imagine what it must be like for these people. Stephen and I were kind of homeless in 2002. We had left Asheville and come back to Austin with nowhere to lined up to live and no permanent work for either of us. We lived in a tent at the Kerrville Folk Festival for almost a month. We were pretty sure that someone would turn us on to some cool digs for little money while we were there and, sure enough, that's what happened. The only catch was that we could not move into the new place until the first part of July and the festival was over at the end of the first week of June. We managed to find a couple of house sitting gigs to get us by until then. In the meantime, some stuff was going on at the Festival that we would really have liked not to have had to witness and it was a hot dry festival that year and our tent was in the sun. I really wanted to leave but we had no place to go. I became physically ill.
When I hear people talking about not being able to go back home and know that they may not even have a home to go back to, my heart goes out to them. I heard on the radio that the Food Bank was asking for grooming supplies such as razors, shampoo, etc., so I went to my local dollar store and loaded up on some of these things along with some crayons and coloring books and dropped them off. It was a madhouse over there to say the least. If you don't live where there are a lot of evacuees and still want to help, here is a link where you will find a lot of ways to do so.
Soundtrack for this post: A Littlel Help From My Friends