One of the most bizarre aspects of life after the hurricane was announced Friday. They’ve found watermelons growing wild all over St. Charles Parish, which is just west of the New Orleans airport. Apparently the Katrina winds carried the seeds aloft from somewhere and broadcast them all over our area. They are now producing fruit. The agriculture expert said on radio, “I wouldn’t dare eat them, but I’ve never heard of this happening anywhere.”
The winds of Katrina have blown many fascinating tidbits of life our way. We have new friends whom we will know and treasure from here on home. We have been repeatedly blessed in tangible and intangible ways that make us teary-eyed just to reflect on them. Through this invention called “the worldwide web” we have contacts with people all over the globe, all of them interested in our situation, many praying, several giving, and a few coming. I have even met another Joe McKeever. He lives in New Hampshire not far from my daughter’s home. We’re close in age and have the same color hair (is white a color?), the same stocky build, and a houseful of beloved grandchildren. Two extremely blessed Joes.
Last year on Christmas Day, Margaret and I drove to Cheaha State Park in east central Alabama, near Anniston. We rented rooms in the lodge and took our meals in the restaurant and enjoyed hiking the woods and sitting on the bluff where we could look out over 25 miles. Then we had an idea. We made immediate reservations for a chalet for this year. So, Sunday, Christmas Day, we will again drive to that wonderful mountaintop and get things set up. On Monday our sons–Marty from Charlotte NC and Neil from New Orleans–will arrive with their families. We’ve reserved two rooms in the lodge in case the parents want some peace and quiet at night, but the daytimes belong to the villa. We go for walks in the frigid air, then return to the blazing fire and hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Grandpa will spin a few yarns for the five grandchildren and we’ll build a lot of memories. We plan to laugh and play games and act silly and hug a lot. Meanwhile, no one will mention the words ‘hurricane’ or ‘Katrina’ and for a few days we will forget that that monster ever existed.
Thanks to our friends who love us and pray for us. Thanks to you who drop in on the website regularly, and particularly for forwarding some of these messages to others you think will appreciate them or benefit from them. Thank you so much to you who have given money to assist us in ministering to the pastors and churches of the New Orleans area. You’re the best.