Newfound respect for Mother Nature
On a sidenote.....
During my travels south, I drove right through some of the areas hardest hit my Hurricane Charley. The clips they show you on the Weather Channel and the news do not begin for even a moment to truly illustrate the devastation and the loss.
As you're driving along I-75 South, through an area of lush meadows with cattle, and thick forests of scrub pines and other leafy trees, bright with new growth from all the recent rains.... you suddenly begin to notice lightpoles - huge, tall, freeway lightpoles, bent - nay BROKEN, like a flower whose stem could not support it's pollen-heavy head - snapped in two, the upper half bent to the ground.
Trees - huge thick, otherwise seemingly healthy trees, snapped in half.
Billboards ripped clean of their advertisement, leaving only a twisted skelton of splintered lumber and dangling light fixtures.
And then as you get closer to the city, you see entire neighborhoods, homes appearing as if a bomb had exploded before them. Siding peeled away as if it were mere wrapping paper. Roofs lifted clean off the structure beneath them.
And then beyond that, a trailer park - or what was once one. Mobile homes totally obliterated, resembling a pile of matchsticks now, rather than the community of homes it once was.
To their credit, I must say the residents of this area show great strength and great resolve. Much like the very visible signs of strength that were illustrated (in the form of signs, posters, and flags) post 9/11, there were similar sights post-Charley. On the plywood covering the places that once held windows were spray-painted messages "Sorry Charley - We won!" or "Hotel's closed, but the bar is open! Charley won't scare us away!" And some merely had spray painted images of an American Flag over a twister.
So as we here in Florida brace ourselves for yet another hurricane (Francis is apparently gonna come a-knockin toward the end of this week), I have faith that whatever comes our way, we'll be able to handle.