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on my mind tonight...

Katrina was tough, but Rita is tougher for me on a personal level.

Mainly because we’ve all been shown in the last few weeks how bad it can be.

But also because it’s hard to see the people of Houston, still my hometown in so many ways, who have come together to support and minister to Katrina evacuees now having to flee themselves.

…And because my brother and his spouse are stuck in Houston, after making a vain attempt to get out. They made it as far as the outskirts of town before the gas started running out, so they turned back. And her father died yesterday after a long illness. So I imagine there will be floods of emotion to match the deluge that will beat against their windows and rock their garage apartment.

…Because I have no idea if my stepmother is safely in San Antonio or not, but that’s where she was headed when I talked to her this morning. A few of her beloved mementos of Dad were the first to get packed into the car, but what if the things I love and treasure but haven’t had a chance to claim yet aren’t among them?

…Because my husband and I had our first kiss underneath the Sallyport at Rice University:

and we had our wedding reception at the faculty club there, and we drove, biked and walked the boulevards bordering the campus thousands of times, and the live oaks there were so thick and full that they formed a green tunnel over the wide streets, and we just don’t know what is going to become of that landscape, because Tropical Storm Allison devastated parts of the city four years ago, and that was a Seattle spit-drizzle compared to this.

…And because last fall we went to Hermann Park, and we walked down a curved sidewalk beside a duck pond near the zoo, and we found the bench that we were looking for, and of course, it was the only one with people on it. And while I waited some distance away, R asked them if they wouldn’t mind moving so that I could sit on the bench that is my father’s only permanent memorial. We took panoramic pictures of a view that might well be radically changed this time next week. And I think now that I didn’t sit there nearly long enough.

All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.
I know this.
But it does feel like watching a car accident in slow motion.

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