Reflections on Hurricane Andrew

Today marks the 21st anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  On August 24, 1992 this category 5 hurricane ravaged the lands of South Florida. Here are some of my reflections on the storm…

Sunday, August 23: My husband and I were co-hosts at a local radio station. It was an interesting and fun experience. Upon our return home, we paid serious attention to the forecast and proceeded to make some preparations for the storm. We had never experienced a hurricane so we had no idea what to expect. I recall my husband taping our windows and bringing in loose items from the patio into our garage. We also filled up some buckets of water. That was the extent of our preparation. Was that serious attention to the news? I remember thinking how can we have a hurricane coming when the sky is so serene and blue. Now I know that was the calm before the storm!

Sunday night: We went to sleep with no worries at all. Sometime during the early morning hours, perhaps about 2 A.M, we woke up to the howling wind and the crashing of tree branches against the walls. We sprung out of bed. Our entire household woke about the same time – my parents and our two young children joined us in the living room.

In the living room: We drew the vertical blinds to see what was going on outside. The children and I knelt on the sofa with our noses pressed to the windowpane, observing the swaying of the coconut palm in our yard and the thick sheets of pelting rain. We were so naïve! The front door rattled and bulged with the pressure of the wind and I vividly recall telling my dad and my husband as they were getting ready to place a sofa against the door, “do not put the new sofa, get the old one”. Was I stupid or what? In the interim of moving the sofa, the door could have come crashing down and we would have had some pretty serious injuries. I can’t remember what time the power went out.

Finding comfort on the floor: I think we were one of the few families that stayed in such close proximity to the danger of Hurricane Andrew. Most people gathered in their bathtubs,  in a study, or in a room. On the other hand, we brought out our comforters and spread them in the living room. We cuddled with the children until the howling and crashing winds and rains stopped. The children and I eventually fell asleep.

The daylight hours: The reality of Hurricane Andrew truly kicked in for us when we ventured outside. Our street was a jaw dropping sight… tiles from the rooftops, fallen fences, damaged cars, broken windows, houses with partial rooftops, blown out doors, dislodged cars, uprooted trees…you name the type of damage a hurricane can bring and it was there. The charging wind ripped apart one of my neighbor’s sliding doors, picked up a stereo speaker, and hit him smack above the eye. He had a huge bulge for days.

The damage to our property: The damage was minimal. It doesn’t compare to the other residents, so I don’t speak of it. We were saved from Hurricane Andrew, and I thank God and count my blessings for the protection. We were happy to only have had to deal with the loss of power for about a week, the summer heat during the day, and the mosquitoes by night. Hurricane Andrew taught us a valuable lesson in preparing for a storm.

Did I say I was four months pregnant at the time?

The aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in the Miami...

The aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in the Miami area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Creative Intent

It’s been over a year since I took these photos with the intention of learning how to make this craft item. Have I learned to make it? Not yet, but the intent is still there. I don’t have any idea what it’s called, so if you know the name, please share with me.

I’ve been very busy this week and haven’t had a chance to put pen to paper for a new blog post. These photos are fitting for this week’s photo challenge (one shot, two ways) and help me meet my goal of one post per week.

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Raksha Bandhan

On August 20th faces will light up with smiles and hearts will laugh together. Why? This day marks another Raksha Bandhan festival.  Hindus and some non-Hindus throughout the world eagerly look forward to this auspicious day. What is Raksha Bandhan?

Raksha Bandhan is the celebration of the relationship between a brother and a sister. It falls on the full moon in the month of Sravana in the lunar calendar. Raksha means protection and bandhan means to tie. Sisters tie a woven thread bracelet called a rakhi around the wrists of their brothers.

Photo credit: Google images

Photo credit: Google images

As a sister ties the rakhi, she prays for blessings and the wellbeing of her brother and he in turn promises to protect her forever. Although the thread of the rakhi is frail and can easily be broken, symbolically, it has immeasurable strength; it is stronger than iron chains. The rakhi symbolizes that unbreakable bond of love and trust between brothers and sisters.  On Raki day, as it is fondly called, brothers and sisters try to meet, but if this is not possible, sisters deliver their rakhis by mail, call, send e-greetings, or cards for their brothers.

English: A sampling of rakhis. Image by self -...

A sampling of rakhis.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Raksha Bandhan is not only for biological brothers and sisters, but for any sister who wishes to seek the protection of a brother. Additionally, it is not uncommon for Hindu women to tie rakhis on non-Hindu men.

Like most Hindu festivals, Raksha Bandhan brings singing, dancing, and food! Here in South Florida, the Raksha Bandhan celebrations have already begun. Last Saturday, I attended a show presented by the Araya Samaj of Florida which was a delightful treat! As expected, my sweet tooth was thoroughly satisfied. There was also lots of singing and dancing. One young dancer enthralled me with her beautiful and graceful moves.

Lillian Grace Latchmin is a 12-year-old bharatanatyam dance student. She is a dedicated young lady who wants to excel in this Indian classical dance form. Bharatanatyam, the oldest of all the classical dance styles in India is a powerful and dynamic dance that requires patient and committed practice. Lily’s commitment to her passion certainly shone through when she stepped on stage with her graceful moves. Her dance added an extra sparkle to the Raksha Bandhan show!

Lily 1

A happy and blessed Raksha Bandhan 2013!

May the bond of love and trust between brothers and sisters remain steadfast and strong.

Nature’s Masterpiece: Niagara Falls

Last summer, I got to experience an awesome masterpiece of nature. I’m submitting photos of Niagara Falls for this week’s photo challenge. I’ve been to Niagara many times before, but last year was especially memorable because I took a ride in the Maid of the Mist into the dense mist of spray of the falls.

I expected to get some kind of spray from the falls when I was given a raincoat. However, to my surprise, I was in a heavy downpour of “rain” from the falls for several minutes. I enjoyed every moment! My heart swells with admiration each time I see the beauty of nature in the photos I took that day.

Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls, Canada

The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, Canada