Monday, September 15, 2008

Swimming Cows

A friend from the Netherlands responded to my post Galveston, oh Galveston by email (why people don't leave comments on the blog itself remains a mystery). He'd been reluctant to respond at all, he wrote, because of the storm and what it meant to us, with relatives evacuated and all that.
A girlfriend, also from my motherland returned from her summer vacation to find my storm post. She dropped everything, her floor covered with the contents of her luggage, to write about her earliest memories of the Flood of 1953. A small child when the dikes in Zeeland, the most southwestern province of the Netherlands, broke, she still remembers the photographs showing devastation, people straddling the roof top, a single cow on a float. She remembers the tension, sorrow and stress in her family for farms lost to the water. She recalls the hundreds of people coming to the Noordoostpolder, where her parents were pioneer farmers on re-gained land, trying to find work. My blog post about Ike hitting Galveston brought all those memories to the surface.

And here we are, in the northwestern state of the U.S., going to a party —after a restless night worrying about the welfare of our loved ones— attending a celebration, eating tidbits, listening to music, cheering to the future of Libraries for All.

And here it's Monday and I'm writing about music, and dinner shows, food and entertainment, while my father-in-law and brother-in-law are hunting for a generator and my mother-in-law is worried sick about her business on the Seawall Boulevard, worried about her cats, still locked inside the house —on higher ground, yes, but still, in walking distance from the beach.

On Sunday morning we saw images of boulders, that were part of the Seawall, deposited by the sheer force of water onto the boulevard that runs along the Seawall. The road completely covered with boulders that looked like props from Universal Studios, only we know they're real, not light weight, easy to lift, painted styrofoam!

I heard on NPR that a herd of cows survived, "they swam around all night," the spokesperson said. Eventually they were "swam" (read corralled) by people to higher ground. Now that's an amazing story.

People have lost their homes, their boats, but feel fortunate enough to say: "I'm alive."
And then there's the train crash in Los Angeles, and The Crash in Wall Street and, and …

Here, on high ground in Seattle, I feel somewhat ashamed when I see my post about frivolous things such as music, food and drink. But then I think about the Obama-rama at The Pink Door and realize that the show goes on, that the show must go on …
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