Uh-0h. After ravaging Louisiana, Gustav is headed our way. I've been out of town since Saturday and planned to be gone for a week but rushed home this morning to ... prepare. And wait. To prepare and wait and help.
But the weather is calm and beautiful now. (Above, a picture of Freeman House's original barn.) Freeman House is about 1 hour west of Shreveport, Louisiana, a community already packed with folks who fled Katrina and decided to stay. Our little town also absorbed some of Katrina's displaced, so we are familiar with what we're already seeing this morning: long gas lines, a busy grocery store, heavier traffic. News reports say 1.9 million have been evacuated from the Gulf as of this morning. Some are headed here, just ahead of the rain, apparently. The weather forecast calls for 10 straight days of rain.
So we get ready. I have buckets and gallon glass jars out, ready to catch the water that always pours into Freeman House when we get these leftover hurricane rains. (A new roof estimate is $10,000. Can't afford that just now.) I also have baggies of personal hygiene items: toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc., ready to distribute if need be. I have meals ready to cook and a cleared-out library floor so someone can sleep here if they need to. We'll see.
I may be in and out this week, depending on what comes our way. In the meantime, the people affected by Gustav are in my most fervent prayers.
Happy September, all. -Brin