Monday, August 27, 2012
A hurricane, Issac, is swirling in the Gulf and causing all the weather forecasters in states with a coastline to work overtime. For a minute there, it was thought that Issac was going to hit around Mobile causing those of us in middle Alabama to make sure we were prepared for any power outages from winds or spin-off tornadoes. I had my mental list going: knitting that could be done in low light, gas for the car, batteries for flashlights and Coleman lantern, books on the Nook, and cookies.
But as always, when we have a hurricane along the Gulf around the time school starts back up, my mind wanders back to Hurricane Frederick. Frederick pounded Mobile and the remnants moved upward to Birmingham bringing drenching rain and high winds rendering an umbrella utterly useless. I was in my first semester at Samford University and slogged to class through the pouring rain and wading standing water. In my opinion, I should have gotten extra credit for showing up.
That afternoon, when I arrived for my Spanish class, all wet and chilled, I found that my professor, Senora Allgood, had rounded up enough coffee mugs and styrofoam coffee cups for everyone in class. She had fired up her electric pot to heat up water and handed out cups of hot water and tea bags. The only problem was that she didn't have enough tea bags so we had to share - two people per tea bag. But we didn't care. We were just grateful for having something hot to drink and thankful for her kindness.
Frederick hit in 1979. Thirty-three years ago. I'm still grateful for that cup of tea and I'm reminded that it's the small things that are remembered the most and have the greatest impact.