Boy if the last few weeks haven’t woken most of us up to what is important in this life, then nothing will. I know there are times when people in other areas outside of our own will often not be dwelled on by some folks. But the hurricanes of Harvey and Irma have totally sucked the quality of life away from millions of our fellow Americans. Almost everyone has a loved one or friend affected by this devastation.

I just heard my cousin in Naples got her power back. She was jubilant to have her washing machine and air conditioning in the screaming hot and humid weather. She and her husband are so thankful their home was spared any tragic damage. This is also true of my husband’s sister’s winter home on Marco Island. Deep damage all around but they have been alerted that their home and boat were, in comparison, unscathed. They can hardly believe it.

We were so thankful they weren’t there during this time. My dear friend’s daughter and her family live in Texas. They were hunkered down and my friend was praying for mercy for her girl and her home. All we wanted was for people to be safe.

I think of all the times my son-in-law’s family has vacationed in Florida, St. Marten and the rest of the Caribbean. How blessed we feel that none of them were there when this state and islands were all but blown off the face of the earth.

Most people lost everything they owned but their spirit and the gratitude that they are alive, their kids are safe and they can still hug their pets is all the joy they need right now. Think of how thousands of people jumped right in to help each other. Rescuing, recovering and salvaging for folks they never met before. People who were the most vulnerable they had ever been in their entire lives.

I mean even Disney World was evacuated. Supposedly the happiest place on earth. Nursing home residents airlifted to other states for oxygen and dialysis. Survival. People were, and still are, reaching out to any hand and people reaching back regardless of color, race, religion, political affiliation, beliefs or station in life. It doesn’t matter because we are all humans and deep down we truly care when it comes to a crisis.

The tragedy of 9/11 had its 16th anniversary also during all this chaos. That was another time when everyone from across the country shared time, money, help, supplies and love to one another. Then it all starts to fade. If only when we get a really hard kick in the pants and the reality of what is actually important in life, we all would continue to remember how this feels. Love thy neighbor.

No more hate. No hating. No bullies. Kindness. Caring. No violence. Helping. Gratitude. Loving. Respect. Honesty. No judging. Peace.

If my father were living he would be pounding his Bible which would be open to Revelations. Floods, fires, wars and rumors of wars and the end of the world would have been imminent in his mind. He did this every time anything of that nature happened. Well, right now I think he probably would have been about spot on. The world has really slid off the tracks. Now I don’t believe this is the end of times but it is a huge wake-up call to all of us to open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to what needs to change and what to be thankful for.

Anyway, that’s about it this time. Oh, and you know what? In August of 1955 Hurricane Diane blasted Florida and the east coast. Yup. My father heard the name Diane on the barn radio while milking cows on August 22, 1955. Yesiree that is me, Hurricane Diane Lynn Brynildson Skoug. Another whirl wind they say.

Until next time…