It’s a rite of passage on the Gulf Coast to be a part of a major hurricane. Most of the people I’ve talked to today think I’m crazy that I wish I were home for Ivan. But they have never lived through hurricanes like we gulf coasters have. There’s something about hurricane parties, no matter how young or old you are. I was 8 or 10 when Elena hit – the biggest hurricane I’ve lived through. I think it was a Category 3. I thought it was great how the family really came together to help each other with preparations, like getting gas, stocking up on food and water, and having one big slumber party in the hallways away from the windows. There is nothing like walking through the grocery store and seeing aisles completely bare (all bread, bottle water, batteries, etc all sold out). Once the hurricane hits and the power goes out, all of the adults start playing games with you to pass the time. A week later, when the power does come on, there’s another big party. And, you’re actually excited when you are finally able to go back to school.

I love hearing stories about Hurricane Camille. It destroyed all of the Mississippi Gulf Coast back in ‘69. I grew up looking at before and after Camille photos everywhere. Some of my favorite Camille stories collected are about how the Bay St. Louis bridge broke in 3 parts where you had to turn to get to the next part (the bridge is otherwise just a straight line). Or how the hurricane eye flew over my hometown where they could look up and see blue sky, but on the horizon was a wall of tornados that sounded like 5 trains approaching.

I’ve been monitoring from time to time, and of course, watching the weather channel at 10 till the hour for the latest update. I’m missing my Hurricane Tracking chart, which for some reason, you cannot pick up at the local grocery store up here. <grins>

I spoke with my Mom on Tuesday around 2pm CST. They are going to ride out the hurricane in my hometown, so best of luck to them. My hometown is Waveland, MS which is about 30 minutes east of the LA / MS border.  Can’t wait to see the photos of all the action, and i’m hoping that when i come home in November, most of the buildings i remember are still there.