When Byron came home and casually mentioned that a hurricane was headed in our direction the next week I did not really know what that meant. Being from the mountains of North Carolina I am best prepared for a snow storm. Any other kind of natural disaster seems foreign to me. Watching the news over the next few days we watched and waited on word on if we were evacuating or not. Byron left for work on that Monday and told me to pack a bag for a few days and get everything ready because we were probably going to be leaving that afternoon. I found this to be very inconvenient. However, Byron called me a few hours later and said it would only be a category one hurricane and we are going to stay put. So we head to the grocery store and stock up on food and round up our fellow coasties friends for dinner and wait for this "minor" hurricane to start.
When we woke up the next morning everything seemed so calm and I started to wonder if it was even going to become anything at all. Later that afternoon the winds started with the heavy rains and then our power went out. At this point I am still thinking just another tropical storm. I have learned every time it rains in New Orleans it floods. This is our new normal. However, when the power did not come back on and we were having to live by candle light in the smoldering heat without any cooked or refrigerated food for the next couple of days I decided Hurricanes are for the birds. How annoying is this? Being 32 weeks pregnant only added to my annoyance and I started to complain, a lot. By Thursday Byron decided we needed to go to the other base and stay there until we got power again. We had both had enough of living in the dark and sweating every ounce of bottled water we drank.
Byron's work place quickly became the shelter for all the families stationed at the Comm Station. I looked around and saw all the kids sleeping in sleeping bags and laughing. I walked into the kitchen and saw all the wives combining resources and preparing meals for everyone. All of the men of course finally had TV again due to the generator and were able to catch up on the start of the football season and everyone there was smiling. Living so far away from home it is difficult to be away from family and friends and I don't believe until that moment did I realize how lucky Byron and I are down here. We have found a home away from home. We have found people with common ground, they too are away from family and are living the military life where at times the lack of flexibility tends to "annoy" you. I also realized how fortunate we are to be part of the military. I am so proud of these men and women who have volunteered to serve this country. They protect us from terrorist, yes, but also from natural disasters. They guard and keep this country safe. They go out there when no one else is able and save lives. We saw so much devastation throughout the week. It turns out although Hurricane Isaac was a category one it hung around for so long and kept spinning it caused damage of a category five in some places. So many families lost their homes. To them this was their Hurricane Katrina.
With just a few minor damages and a week of being placed out of our home we made it back safe and sound. The power came back on, along with our ac. We cleaned up the mess, went to the grocery store and went back to normal life pretty quickly. We were so fortunate and blessed to be able to do that. So many families just a few miles away no longer have a home to go to. When that really sinks in I feel guilty for thinking that I was a victim in any way. God showed me so much over the last couple of weeks. I am so proud to be part of the United States Coast Guard family. I am so glad God reminded me to focus on what really matters in life. I pray that I am able to stay positive and not let the inconvenient days distract me from seeing all the good in my life. Throughout the hurricane I still had food, shelter and people that care about me. I still got a paycheck, thanks to Arbonne, one of the biggest God sends in my life. I have so much and hope that I am able to remember this when my child comes into the world next month. I want to teach her that life does not always give you sunny days but eventually the sun always comes back up.