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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Not to mention, all the unsung heroes that we will never hear about …
Image by osbkin on iStock


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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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