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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Notes, Thoughts, Hurricane Fatigue, and Hope

September 10, 2005

Living one hour north of the Gulf of Mexico has its advantages. Then again…

I hope to never again take electricity and running water for granted.

After seeing hours of bad news on television— people shooting rescue workers and doom-and-gloom talking heads— it’s good to know that there are people out there getting the job done. It’s good to know that the Red Cross, the National Guard, and hundreds of other agencies are working tirelessly to save and restore lives.

Tens of thousands of electric power workers are working day and night throughout the region, praise the Lord for the power workers.

There are thousands of heart-moving stories out there. Stories like the Kensington Woods Church of Christ in my hometown where members from all across the country went to work immediately sending tractor trailers to the area filled with water, food, baby supplies, chain saws, generators, cash, and gas. The members of the church then distributed all of those items throughout the community without care to church affiliation. Just one requirement was needed: being in need.

Neighbors are helping neighbors. Strangers are helping strangers. All with one common goal: the attempt to restore normalcy.

Sometimes it is not until you lose something that you appreciate it.

Two days after the storm, I was sitting in the dark eating a sandwich. It was a sandwich made of cheap, pressed luncheon meat, Bunny bread, and Creole mustard. That simple meal might as well have been Prime aged New York Strip and a two-pound lobster tail. Actually it might have tasted better than any steak and lobster meal has ever tasted. It was at that precise moment that it struck me… Creole mustard is a beautiful thing.

Creole mustard, unadorned. No special seasoning on the meat, nothing extraordinary about the bread, nothing complicated at all, just plain old Creole mustard. Simple, easy, uncomplicated— like life should be. Maybe as life will be, again.

A week after hurricane Katrina my house is still without electricity. Yet, I have a house.

Tens of thousands have lost everything. Everything. Everything is too much.

Nevertheless, there is still good news out there. There is still hope.

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