Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


No matter how many hurricane seasons I go through, I'll never get used to seeing the heartbreaking images of the aftermath. People who have lost so much, and in some cases, lost everything. It makes me so thankful for so many things.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I think it makes all of us, especially those of us in hurricane-prone areas, realize that could be us. That regardless of how much you prepare, water and wind almost always win. But, so does the heart and soul of Americans – always stepping up to help.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


No kidding! There's always a critical need for donations – whether money, clothing, emergency supplies, the list seems endless. Which is why we focused on money and listed some great organizations in Ida … Don't Know What To Do.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Not only is sending money the fastest and easiest way to help, but when you focus on credible relief organizations with boots on the ground, they know best what is most needed and where.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



Well, what I find most amazing is when I read about neighbors helping neighbors, especially when they define "neighbors" as people in neighboring states. Or, sometimes, many states away. It makes me realize that amidst all the bad news focused on how we've become a divided nation, there are still genuinely good people who don't think twice about helping others. Sometimes because they have needed expertise, other times because they're just willing to roll up their sleeves.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



It is easy to be a fair-weather friend, but it takes a very special person to be a bad-weather hero.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



I saw that first-hand during Hurricane Harvey when we found ourselves under a mandatory evacuation in Sugar Land, with only a few hours advance notice. A good friend became our hero when he took a major detour from his evacuation plans to get all of us (which included two teenagers, an almost 90-year-old woman, and two Labradoodles!) to Austin safely. He knew all the backroads, and seemingly their elevation, as for the first few hours until we could get out from under all the heavy rains, water went right up to the edge of the road, but we never got flooded.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



And, I am sure those memories came flooding back (sorry, could not resist) when you were recently in Nashville getting Sawyer moved into college and got caught driving in heavy rain. It was not until later in the day that I learned there was severe flooding 60 miles away in Waverly. Regardless, I do know that you hate driving in the rain.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



Luckily, Nashville escaped the worst of it, but we were carefully watching the local weather with great concern. The images and flooding were heartbreaking and scary, and brought back bad memories of flash floods in Texas. But I smiled when you sent me that article about the amazing helicopter pilot who, along with his fiancé, was alone in the sky rescuing people in Waverly during the deadly floods.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



Talk about a real-life hero. Putting aside his safety to focus on helping as many people as he could. And, you know there will be many stories of heroics coming out of Hurricane Ida, not only along the Gulf Coast but also the devastating floods it has caused in the Northeast.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



Absolutely. And they're stories we won't soon forget. I've read how so many people want to help the Cajun Navy and its Hurricane Ida efforts as a way of thanking them for all the help they gave Houston during Harvey.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



They are amazing, but if you want to talk about memorable stories, it will be hard to beat Hurricane Ida's cow-saving good Samaritans!


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



The stories of people saving animals always touch my heart. Heroes really do show up wherever they're needed, don't they? But I can't help but wonder how they always seem to be at the right place at the right time.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



That is a "belief" question, but I do know that technology and social media have helped. We may take issue with people feeling the need to always be connected, but in times of emergencies, it can be the difference between life and death. And, when it comes to matching people needing help with those wanting to give it, online organizations like CrowdSource Rescue are invaluable.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io



Well, it always warms my heart to see how people will come together, as they always do, to help each other in times of need.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



Not to mention, all the unsung heroes that we will never hear about …
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Quick! Define literacy (without Google or Siri's help). Ok, finished? We bet that you may have stopped at the ability to read and write. Which, technically, isn't wrong. It just isn't completely right, either. Which is what Red found out when she discovered, much to her surprise, that it includes such critical areas as financial, digital, and health literacy.

Red even admitted to Black that she didn't understand all those terms, although she had another concern … was Black going to use her as a poster child for her lack of literacy skills in this month's column, "RED & BLACK … A Blueprint For Life?!"

P.S. – This month's column is in honor of September being Adult & Family Literacy Month.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Underlying photo by mphillips007 on iStock


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

I can't believe how quickly the year's flying by. And that tomorrow's already the fall equinox.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I cannot believe that you know that but did not know when Rosh Hashanah fell this year.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

I got the dates mixed up. And I'll admit I had to look up the fall equinox date because it also varies slightly from year to year.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Technically, the equinox is not a day, but rather an exact moment – when the Sun crosses the Equator.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

Picky, picky, picky. But if I remember correctly, although science class was decades ago, on the equinox, we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Not exactly, but close enough. But, why are we even talking about this?
Keep Reading ... Show less
Photo by Spauln on iStock

Initially, I just chalked this up to being "old" and accepting the fact I remember telephones before they were "smart" (and will admit they can make me feel "less-than-smart"). I am old enough to remember rotary dial phones (see the image above) where you had to place a finger in the hole associated with the number, then rotate the dial round to the end-stop and let the dial return under its own power. I will not go into the science behind it, but it was extremely reliable – although very hard on your manicure.

But, this is not about the history of telephones or the associated technology that has improved to the point computers that once required a large, air-conditioned room can now fit in your back pocket or handbag. This is not about us all (regardless of age) needing to be digitally literate. It is not about the fact the older we are, the larger the screen size we prefer, although we might claim it is a function of what we are used to versus admitting to declining vision as we age.

Rather, this is about a recent experience that first made me feel old. Then roll my eyes. And then open my eyes to an opportunity.

Keep Reading ... Show less