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Jan
18
2021
Reflections about hurricanes, the world we live in and making a difference

Good evening, gentlemen. If I have seemed a bit quiet lately, I can honestly say I have other things on my mind besides sex. What, you say? The wild tigress is not thinking about sex? What is going on? Yes, I have been reflecting a bit on my life and realize that I need to do more with it besides being Wild Anita and writing my blog. I had already contacted an animal shelter in Elgin a few weeks ago that I am hoping to volunteer at. But further, these last weeks with Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricanes Irma and Jose, I need to do more to assist those in need for disaster relief in our domestic U.S.A..

What started me thinking about this? Well, my Army son called to tell me that he likely will be traveling to Florida with his unit to assist in rescue/recovery for Hurricane Irma early next week. He just spent the past eight weeks in a special training in FT. Lee, Virginia as well as this past week was sent away for more training and now that he has returned home to finally see his wife after nine weeks, he is now being sent to help in Florida. I could tell he is exhausted but knows he has no choice. I reminded him when we talked of all the summers that he, his younger brother and I volunteered to renovate homes for the elderly and poor and how thankful those families were for all the help that we were to them and that they never could have afforded to do it themselves. It was heartwarming and rewarding work. I said that once he is down there in Florida doing the rescue/relief efforts, he would have the same feeling of purpose that he had back then. It’s just that now he is tired and wants some home time with his wife.

It’s not unlike any of us really. We all have feelings of selfishness, we work all week, and we only have weekends with our families. A lot of excess exist if you look around you, a home filled with lots of clothes, furniture, electronics of all sorts, entertainment center, vehicles, plenty of possessions that we are lucky to have. Imagine all of it wiped out by a hurricane. You may think, oh my gosh, what am I going to do, forgetting the fact that by some miracle you are still alive. The most important thing, your family is still with you and you are all alive. That’s where disaster relief comes in. You are saved and given a shelter, food, water, some donated clothing/shoes, everything needed for the moment to help you get back on your feet again. See “things” can be replaced. But should anyone close to you have not survived the hurricane, well, that is devastating. We have to be grateful in those moments as it could have been so much worse.

So back to my new mission, my first thought was that maybe I can go to Florida to assist in disaster relief next week as well. As I was reading the form and started to complete it, I got to the portion of the form that said the following: “Volunteer Environment: A disaster impacted area is a harsh environment, not only for survivors but for those offering assistance. Volunteers must be in appropriate health for the volunteer opportunity. Do you have any special conditions that Volunteer Supervisors need to be aware of”. Well, in my urgency to want to help, I forgot that I am having a right knee replacement surgery on November 17th at Rush Midwest Orthopedics (my left knee is also to be replaced sometime in 2018).

Even though many of my regulars know that I am very active in all of my sessions with them and you would hardly know I have knee issues (we are in bed, after all!), when I am walking and doing the stairs, my right knee gives out many times during the week. I doubt I could handle the long durations of being on my feet that being on location in Florida disaster relief would require. So I thought about it and went to the Salvation Army website http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/ and specifically looked for a volunteer application for disaster relief efforts in the Chicagoland area and completed it and registered for two disaster relief classes to take place in the next week. There are plenty of things I can do in Illinois to assist in disaster relief efforts for those effected by hurricanes in other parts of the country without having to leave the state.

I thought back to a time in 2007 when my former neighborhood in Illinois had been hit by a tornado (it had touched down a block from our house) and we had some wind damage and lost power for seven days. Our neighbor on our left shared his generator with us so we were able to keep from flooding and our refrigerator/freezer was able to continue to cool/freeze (we didn’t lose any food). It ended up every other neighbor had a generator so my neighbors good will and generosity passed down the line and neighbors that hardly knew each other came together in what could have been a tragedy and helped each other. See that is what is great about America, that we can all come together in tragedy and be there for each other, and help each other. In the midst of all of this insanity, anger, bigotry and hatred that is breaking out throughout our country, in times of tragedy it doesn’t matter what color you are, or what nationality, or what religion you believe in, American’s come together and are unified. That’s what makes our country great.

Hugs and kisses,

Anita