Thursday, September 11, 2008
The September book drawing will be for my new co-authored book: A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday
Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment to enter your name. Drawing will be held Sept. 30, 2008.
Check out the new Christmas blog inspired by this book, more contests for gift basket and books begins on Sept. 15th at blog:
The 1900 Hurricane hit Galveston, Texas with ferocity causing devastation to life and property. Survivors met with a night of terror on the 8th of September, the night when over 6,000 perished. With little warning, the storm swept into the Gulf and barged into an unprepared community. Homes and families splintered, some to never heal.
As Hurricane Ike approaches, I recall stories of courage and bravery recounted from that 108 year-old disaster. The uncanny date for it was September 8, 1900.
This week I spoke with author Janice Thompson who wrote a compelling novel about the 1900 storm, “Hurricane” (Cook Communications). Although out of print, a few copies are still available online. In her fiction, a few characters’ lives also had storm surges, undercurrents that battered their foundations.
When Janice and I spoke we talked about life rip tides. Janice said, “Everyone is shaped by storms.” We either prove strong or weak. We come through with better understanding or we may be robbed of momentum.
The Great Storm is considered this nation’s worst natural disaster. The Sisters of Charity ran a hospital and an orphanage several miles from what is now known as The Strand in Galveston, Texas. At the first sign of rising water the 10 sisters took a few supplies and 90 children to the second floor of the girl’s dormitory.
During the escapes to higher floors, to comfort and distract the children, they sang an old French hymn, “Queen of the Waves.” When forceful salt water rose to the third floor, each nun used pieces of clothes line to lash 6 to 8 children to their waist cinctures.
Afterwards, only three of the boys were saved by clinging to a tree. They finally made it to the high stacks of rubble in the main part of town to tell of the sisters’ bravery. When burials began, the children, some still lashed to nuns were buried together.
As I finish this column on Thursday A. M., Hurricane Ike is churning the Gulf of Mexico, nearing us, an unwelcome intruder. It looks like we’ll all have ample opportunities to rally and take care of our own and our neighbors, those close to our homes and those fleeing the Bay Area.
Some folk already have personal storms they’re battling, so during this weather crisis, be kinder than you need to be. It’s a good time to follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Each year, no matter where the Sisters of Charity are serving, foreign or in the Houston area, they sing “Queen of the Waves” on September 8th in memory of the courageous.
Take care, neighbors. May the greatest caregiver of all watch over this patch of his earth and sea. Be a blessing in a storm.