I've spent the past couple of days working on this website. I changed the layout, added new images, wrote a blog post (this one), all while I was glued to the Weather Channel (see image, left). After first bluffing his way past me in Tampa, Hurricane Isaac took aim at my brother and his girlfriend in Gulfport, Mississippi. I watched the painstakingly slow progress of this "minimal" Category 1 storm as it just sat on top of the Gulf Coast for days causing levees to be over-topped, severe flooding, numerous tornadoes, and a lot of bad memories. Yes it was "only a cat 1 or 2" however, what made this storm so worrisome for me wasn't that it appeared to come for me and then my family. It wasn't that I thought it would strengthen and become the "grandaddy of hurricanes". It was the fact that it chose the seven year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to batter the Gulf Coast. I'm sure the people that lived through both storms felt way more unnerved than I did, and I would never try to put myself in their shoes. However, Katrina did impact me and changed my life in that, my brother who lives in Gulfport, once lived in Pass Christian, MS. One of the hardest hit parts of the Gulf Coast. He lives in Gulfport because Katrina destroyed his home. He still owns the land where his house once stood, but would you rebuild in a place that had 18ft of water 2 miles inland? Thankfully when Katrina hit, he wasn't home but just barely. He and I had been planning a trip to New Mexico. I arrived in Mississippi the day before Katrina hit. We left town a mere hours before all hell broke loose. That's not to say we were safe. We got caught in the throngs of people fleeing the gulf coast. It wasn't until many hours later that we learned precisely where landfall was and days later before we made contact with anyone in the area. It was after Labor Day before my brother was able to return and find the condition of his house. The memories of those stressful days came flooding (no pun intended) back to me this week. It was the single most stressful time in my life. I suppose its the feeling of helplessness watching friends and loved ones go through a natural disaster. But for me, the worst part of the Katrina disaster was being so out of touch. The further away from the coast we go the less we could find any updates. It was so frustrating. After that road trip from hell I bough a satellite radio for my brother and myself so we would never be that out of touch again. So that brings me back to Isaac. I have had the Weather Channel on for 3 days straight. Excellent coverage I might add. My thoughts are with all those impacted by this storm. It may not have been a "monster" storm like Katrina but to the families of the 24 people in Haiti that died when Isaac blew through, it might as well have been. If you would like to help those in Isaac's wake both here and Haiti. The Red Cross and Partners in Health both organization do good work all over the world. Now you may wonder, What does ANY of this have to do with jewelry? Well, I'm on a business trip (I have a full time job. Sadly, the recycled jewelry business, while fun and exciting, does not pay the bills, yet). Usually on such trips I bring my tools and create my designs in my hotel room. However thanks to Isaac, I was glued to the TV. Maybe now that I know my brother is safe and Isaac is someone Else's problem, I can get back to beading!
Re-Usin' by Susan is the culmination of many years of exploration and experimentation in jewelry making. People ask me how I got to be so creative. I tell them I ate paste as a child.