Scenes from Hurricane Harvey’s havoc in Houston and other Texas locations linger. I can’t remember a more devastating paroxysm of nature.
One memorable TV image is that of a young woman with two small children lashing out at a TV reporter, ordering him to “get that (expletive) microphone out of my face!”
Under the circumstances, her reaction was certainly excusable. She had waited 36 hours to be rescued from her flood-ravaged home. Also, when the media does its job, the press may seem intrusive at times.
I can only imagine the flood victims’ sense of total loss of all but but life in many cases, the accompanying feeling of despair and, possibly, anger, and the questioning of “Why this?” and “Why me?”
For those of faith, Harvey was a test for thousands. The oft-used expression of consolation, “It was the Lord’s will,” may be hard to accept under such circumstances.
I remember a newspaper account of a Georgia paraplegic who froze to death after being left in the woods by an ex-girlfriend.
The victim’s aunt was quoted as saying, “It’s a shame he had to die so young, but the Lord doesn’t make mistakes.”
A few years ago, two of my older brothers died within 48 hours of each other.
I was standing in the receiving line at the funeral home when a well-meaning woman, a stranger to me, pumped my hand, embraced me and chirped cheerfully, “Honey, the good Lord knows what He’s doing when He takes ‘em two at the time.”
At the moment, I wasn’t quite sure He did.
I ranked her efforts of consolation as among the most insensitive I’d ever heard.
Putting one’s heartfelt sympathy into words isn’t always easy when disaster or whatever strikes a friend or loved one. When the right words won’t come, a good beginning is a murmured expression of sorrow and a warm embrace.
I thought President Trump did an OK job in dealing with Harvey. During his visit to Texas, he expressed concern for the victims and promised prompt help from the government. And he didn’t blame former President Obama for the hurricane.
Still, there were critics who said he lacked empathy, warmth and understanding, during his remarks.
When someone is in public office, there’s always a critic.
Even first lady Melania Trump’s seemingly 7-inch heels caused caustic comment.
But not from me. I figure if you’re going to be walking around in an area that’s recently received 51 inches of rainfall, you need all the elevation you can get.
The age of dot.coms
While sitting on the porch sipping breakfast coffee and listening to the tweeting of birds, I realized that the word “tweet” has been purloined by our electronic culture, especially by our president. His tweets, in effect, are heard around the world with mixed reaction and results.
Also, the computer age has changed our addresses. Time was when we lived on Route 2, Dobson or 1234 Elm St. Now we get most of our mail at ____ @dot.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the early days of computer communication, a friend lamented, “I must be the only person left on earth who doesn’t have a dot.com!”
She soon procured one.
▪ Another irritant perpetuated by TV panel shows is the use of “alternate facts.”
What goes here? If we can call a spade a spade, why in the name of Moses can’t we call a lie a lie?
Another friend has an even better synonym. In her vocabulary, someone who is abusing the truth is telling a “bare faced tale.”
▪ Reader Delyle Evans’ favorite unfavorite word has to do with the way many people respond to the almost universal greeting, “How are you?” with “I’m good.”
“What does ‘good’ mean?” Evans asks. “Is the person a good person who never breaks the 10 Commandments, does he feel good, etc? I always say, ‘Fine, thank you, and how are you? ’”
Now many of you readers might call all this “nit picking.” And in the whole scheme of things, it may well be. But to me, respect for the English language is to be desired.