When we first moved to this house, three and a half years ago, I never thought I'd find myself thinking that I was grateful to live on a hill.
Our area didn't experience the kind of devastation like our neighbors to the south, in Lewis County, but there was scattered flooding all over - thus, leading President Bush to make the decision to declare this area a disaster. Hopefully this will pave the way for funds to make it to the people who need it most in a timely and effective manner.
But, unfortunately, we all know how that goes.
It has been the case time and time again, that people, (everyday ordinary people like you and me) make more of a difference than the governing bodies and all the red tape that must be navigated when it comes to helping in times of disaster.
People get things done. People leave their jobs to help their neighbors. People buy extra gifts at Christmastime. People donate anything they can. People offer hugs, and words of encouragement, in person. People look at their checking accounts and figure the exact amount they can afford to give. People make the difference.
Our state is in the middle of it's own mini version of Hurricane Katrina. The areas hardest hit by flood waters is in one of the poorest counties in the state. Many of the people didn't have flood insurance and even more are living paycheck to paycheck. A large economic factor in Lewis County is retail-based businesses, which are now under water.
This is an area full of farmers, people working in agriculture and logging. It is an area rich in natural beauty and a hardiness of people.
Nobody deserves to be left behind after disaster strikes. Nobody.
Kathryn, one of the founders of Seattle Mom Blogs and blogger-extraordinaire herself at Daring Young Mom, spent the weekend volunteering in the flood area. She saw the devastation first-hand and truly understands now, through her experience, just how bad it is.
I think it is nearly impossible for those of us tucked into our warm and dry homes to grasp the enormity of the situation without seeing it with our own eyes. When we watch the news broadcasts and read the stories in the newspapers, it is just another story - unless we are there, living it, with mud five feet up our living room walls and our belongings strewn all over our property like someone picked up our home and shook it and then put it back down and poured water and mud over everything.
We cannot imagine.
We cannot imagine how lucky we are who have avoided disaster, this time. For we cannot know when our time for help will come. There is no way of knowing.
I've donated what I can on Kathryn's site, and I urge you to do the same. You can trust that whatever you can give will get where it needs to be. Please join her in offering some resemblance of comfort and joy to the families and individuals in our state affected by this horrible event.