DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 01/03/05


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Christmas Ice Storm – 

January 3, 2005 – We enjoyed a quiet, lovely Christmas Day here in the Carolinas until an ice storm hit late in the evening. It continued through the night. We awoke the next morning to a cold, dark house with no electricity and no running water. Everything outside was covered with a heavy coat of ice, half an inch thick. The sound of freezing rain echoed through the morning, punctuated by the crack of falling limbs.

That, folks, is why you didn't see a new DaDane last week. No electricity mans no computer. No computer means no new DaDane. Life is back to normal now, but we are still clearing out debris from the storm. It made quite a mess and clean-up is slow. Thank goodness for the tractor.

About the New Year
I don't know about you, but in terms of domestic and international politics, I was happy to see the end of 2004. Good riddance. One can only hope things will improve in 2005, but I am not exactly holding my breath. This is a difficult time for our country, and for the world.

Like everyone else with access to the media, we watched in horror and disbelief as reports came in last week about a cluster of powerful tsunamis spawned by a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean. A week later, with over 155,000 known dead and many thousands missing, we realize we've witnessed an unprecedented disaster – brought on by the unfathomable powers of nature.

In August of 1945, America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, causing the death of 200,000 people. The righteousness of the bombing has been long hotly debated, but most assuredly for those who were on the ground, it too was an unprecedented disaster – delivered by mankind, not nature.

It so happens I am reading a book right now (John Hersey's "Hiroshima") about what it was like to be a survivor in Hiroshima during the hours, days, weeks and months following the bombing. Hersey follows the lives of six individuals as they struggle to endure and make sense of their horribly altered world. The book has given me a better perspective on the truth and intimacy of human suffering in the face of widespread destruction. Even so, I know I can never fully imagine the emotional and physical pain experienced by those who survived the recent tsunamis.

It is said that tragedy often brings out the best in people. I think we're seeing that now. Many nations and countless individuals are joining together to provide physical and financial aid to the areas of devastation. The United Nations reports that more than 2 billion dollars has been pledged by foreign governments and the World Bank. The United States has pledged 350 million, and more will likely follow. US military planes have already delivered over 200 tons of relief supplies. Meanwhile, American citizens and corporations have dug deep into their own pockets. Thus far, over 160 million has poured into relief agencies from America's private sector, and it keeps on coming. If you'd like to contribute, here is a comprehensive list of major aid groups.

Next Week
I promise next week we'll get back to the business of Great Danes. Somehow, it didn't seem right to present a regular Dane story this week after what happened last week.

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