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Hurricanes show how we must take care of our neighbors, countrymen

We think we have it bad here in Oklahoma with tornadoes, wind and extreme weather, but there is a bright side. That is: We don't live in Houston or Florida.

Who needs reality TV when you have one storm of the century after another happening so close, right now? My latest obsession is to watch the weather on TV. The morning talk shows got nothin' on the Weather Channel and CNN. Though I have to say, sometimes you just want to tell those dummies to get out of the rain. I saw a cameraman wipe out yesterday, and I've seen enough embattled, rain-soaked reporters to last a lifetime.

First there was Harvey, and now Irma. For me, the Harvey coverage was much more compelling than Irma. Perhaps it's because I relate more to Houston; I used to live in Houston, I still have family and friends down there, but what got me was the fact that they got some 48 inches of rain.

That's mind-boggling. Simply insane. I've never seen anything like some of what I've seen lately, on the news, social media, and just pictures from friends.

I have a yoga friend in Beaumont, and I messaged him last week to inquire about his well-being. He sent me a picture that was taken a week after Harvey hit his area. It showed the top of a street sign that was inches under water. Street signs typically are anywhere from 6 feet to 9 feet tall, and this one was still standing, but completely submerged, a week after the storm. One week later and the water still wasn't safe enough to shower with, much less drink.

And I get mad when the line's too long at Starbucks.

Though so many are struggling, I've seen many examples of how such a catastrophic event can cause a correction in people's lives, where they gain clarity and perspective as to what really matters in the world. What doesn't kill us can truly makes us stronger.

There is a lot of talk about climate change, with both sides hunkering down, if you will, to their respective positions that support or deny that possibility. But I think my yoga friend put it best, when he simply stated, "Mother Earth is upset."

That strikes me as an understatement.

So on the subject of taking care of our neighbors, the time for our Coat and Blanket Drive is upon us, and your donation of new or gently used coats and blankets are needed and appreciated. I'll get back to you on other drop-off places, but you can always (year-round, in fact) drop off now at Salas Urban Cantina.

The people at Faith-Based Church who coordinate the Thanksgiving Giveaway are starting to organize, and pledges for 1,200 of one certain item or canned good are needed, and of course, money is that gift that keeps on giving  or in this case  buys hams and turkeys for families that might otherwise not have a good meal for Thanksgiving.

If you're part of a school, church or civic group, or just so inclined, and want to help or pledge, you can contact me and I'll hook you up with the right person.

Just as we've witnessed lately in Texas and Florida, we take care of our own here. Blessings to all of you, may you have many to count, and do so often.

The Lawton Constitution

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