August 31, 2017
Hurricanes... one of my earliest memories is of riding my tricycle up and down the hall, bored as only a 3-year old can be after days trapped inside with no power. It was in the wake of Hurricane Camille in August of 1969. Frederick devastated us in August of 1979. In August of 1985 I was in college; I remember sitting on the floor under the pay phone in the hospital in Hattiesburg - my grandmother was very ill in the cardiac care unit - crying because I couldn't get through to my mother as I watched Hurricane Elena head toward my family, and the utter relief I felt when I saw my mother march around the corner with her teased hairdo and her handbag swinging from her elbow.
The first feeder bands of rain from Hurricane Katrina hit us on August 28, 2005, as we were leaving my oldest brother's gravesite; my sister and I were able to fly back to California in less than a week to our safe and dry homes, but our two remaining brothers faced cleanup on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My older brother called me early October, dancing with glee, because his FEMA trailer had finally been installed. He made me listen to the sound of the air conditioner. They'd been living in a tent on their property in Kiln for 6 weeks.
But what else I remember about all these events is the overwhelming support from friends, family, and outright strangers in the days, weeks, and months of aftermath. Rallying around to help others in the face of disaster is one of America's greatest strengths, and we're going to be called upon mightily to do just that to help our fellow Americans recover from the disaster still unfolding in the greater Houston area, Beaumont, and Port Arthur, Texas. As I write this Wednesday afternoon in New Orleans, the bands of the eastern edge of tropical storm Harvey are moving through here; so far it looks as if we will be spared most of the storm, but my friends and colleagues in Louisiana to the west and north of me face potentially devastating flooding and tornadoes.
I have put together a work-in-progress page with information on what and where to donate, how to volunteer, etc. Please drop me a note if you have a particular charity or resource you'd like me to add to the page; I expect to be updating it for quite some time.
Enjoy this week's recipes, share them with family and friends, and, as always, let me know what's on your mind. Have a safe weekend, and if you're in a part of the U.S. that is dry, happy Labor Day!
Susan Ford, Publisher
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***Note*** Some of the activities in Harvey's path may be cancelled this weekend.
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