Saturday, May 15, 2010

the happy place

There has been so much drama around here with the flooding that a lot of folks have had a really hard time finding the silver lining. I mean gah....with the beer plant underwater how were the stores gonna stay stocked?? For five days, it was a madhouse with rednecks boating in the water and bringing lawn chairs and sammiches to the party. Local law enforcement had the entrances blocked but there was no extra help to keep the gawkers away. The National Guard showed up on Wednesday or Thursday of last week and were here until yesterday. Now we can drive through and see what's left of that side of town. Some businesses will survive and rebuild. Most homeowners will not because it's just too much of a risk around that river. I drove through today for the first time and felt sick when I saw the family grocery store that I shopped at every day. The prices were outrageous, but you paid for convenience and to me it's worth every penny to have a relationship with a store owner rather than be seen as a way to make money. The Hinson family is that kinda people, and they've been a part of MY family for fifty years.

When we were kids and rode to school in town with Mama, she would stop by there in the afternoons and get us a snack like a coke and candy bar in the afternoons. This was after she had worked all day. And before she canned all night. Sheesh! No wonder she was always tired. Up the road a little bit north there was another family store owned by Pierce and his family. There was a church on every corner in the blue collar residential neighborhood behind his business. Like Mr. Van, he gave credit to people knowing that some would eventually pay and the rest was just his good deed for the day so somebody's grandma can eat.

There is a used tire place that stakes out both side of the road with mountains of rubber and employees who roll 'em across the two lane without ever looking up. Everybody knows to drive slow when you get south of the Dairy Queen because you might just hit one of the guys if he's not quick. There is a convenience store, a cheap motel, several bars and the official headquarters of Boss Hoss. Go figure that one! The kudzu bar sits just off the highway by the river but is high up enough that it didn't get touched. The folks behind them? That's a different story I imagine.

I have heard the phrase "act of God" on more than one occasion these past two weeks and at first I took offense to the idea of Big Ernie causing bad things to happen. That's not my idea of what it's about. However, the more I thought about it I realized that it's all about what we do with the chance to build something new after a natural disaster or a broken relationship. And so it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I think the way we have to look at events like that is that it is an opportunity to grow and advance. I don't think God "causes" catastrophes, but we may bring them on ourselves, for reasons we will never know. Attitude is key to survival and growth.

    A man who is a friend of my son-in-law's, and does home reconstruction has been scouting work in your general vicinity. He says the damage is devastating to some. He seems destined to help re-build, but not by gouging them on prices.