Friday, January 30, 2009

Snow and Ice

Yesterday was the first day I was out and about after a cruel Snow and Ice Storm pelted the mid-west. We got layers of snow and ice, then about 8 - 10 inches of Snow on top. Yes, it was beautiful, but the destruction it bought with it was pretty cruel.

I worked yesterday, and as I drove through the city I shot a few pictures through the windshield of my car. Trees were broken and down in most every yard I passed.

Limb and power lines were still falling ... but that was only what people could see on the outside. Countless people and families are still without electricity.

What most of us with electricity and shelter don't know or think about, is the many people that are in hotels or shelters ... and some of those people are severely disabled. Severely disabled and sharing a room with three or four others in their same situation, along with their caregivers.

It was very eye opening to me ... and even though I do a drug exchange monthly in group homes, seeing these young adults outside of their comfort zone, and outside of what is their normal left me very shaken. It was very hard ... both for them and me, and they have my prayers.

Yes, the ice and snow on the trees are beautiful ... but what's behind the scene is unknown unless you're living it.

I stood in the lobby of a very well known hotel yesterday as a thin worn out woman came in and ask for a room for her eighty-nine year old Father. She had come from Madisonville, KY to Evansville in hopes of finding a warm room to take care of her Father. They told her there were no rooms available and they were suggesting she drive as far away as Terre Haute, Indiana.

When I saw the tears and the defeat in her eyes, I had to step forward. I ask the Manager that was talking to her if it would be possible to bunk up some of the employees and their children that were staying there. I told her that my sister was a Chef at the Hilton Inn across the street and I knew that in order to keep the hotel running they were providing rooms for their staff and that the parents and kids were in separate rooms. I ask her if they were doing the same thing and if they could give this woman a room. I also said that if she could not or would not, I would call my sister across the street and ask her to give up her room and bunk with her teenage son.

What I really wanted to say was that I would love to call the TV station and ask them to ask the Hotel to give the woman and man a room ... but that was just the thought that crossed my mind. For a second or two, I felt like I was in a stand-off with that manager and she was waiting to see if I was going to back down. I couldn't ... it just isn't in me.

So ... thank you to the Drury Inn in Evansville, Indiana for doing the right thing. Even though I'm a nobody ... I'm proud of you, and I slept better last night knowing that an old man was warm and being taken care of.