Dad and Darwin went down there Sunday and brought back photographs of the destruction. Dad couldn't take the wondering, and they didn't have as much trouble getting in or finding gas as they'd anticipated. Cops rode by twice while they were looking but only gave them a solemn salute.
They found Dad's folding camp chair, saw, shovel and toolbox. The metal futon frame twisted and thrown against the fence. The whole family - Dad, Mom, Darwin, my sister and I - plan to go down on Sunday to search for more, as the surge apparently swept everything to the northwest, and most of my parents' stuff - if there is anymore left - should be in the neighbors' yards.
The loss is almost total, yet we manage to feel grateful looking at the houses of their neighbors, who lived there full-time and are now homeless. We are not even certain whether the neighbors evacuated.
Here in West Alabama, the acts of kindness outweigh the selfishness by far. Hundreds of families have relocated here (25,000 to 30,000 evacuees across Alabama), and there are so many volunteers you have to fill out an application and sign up for a time slot. People provide hot meals, clothes, toys, a roof over their heads.
But what can you really do to fix a life that's totally changed? What can you do to take away a total loss?