Thanksgiving has always been one of our favorite holidays here in the Lowcountry. It’s a time when we get to stop our usual routine in order to gather family and friends and pay a little more attention to – and express our gratitude for – the things that make our lives special.
Just over a month ago, Hurricane Matthew paid us an unwelcome visit. Now that we’ve settled back in our homes and the cleanup efforts are in full force, we realize we have much to be thankful for.
Reflecting on the experience, it is striking how much Matthew confirms our dreams rather than shattering them. The way our Town and County services and officials stepped forward as if they did this all the time, even though it’s been nearly two decades since we even had a close call. The way people pitched in together to take up where the first responders left off. The way our neighbors shared whatever they had – people with gas stoves cooking for people with electric ranges when the power was out at first, for example. People inviting others to sleep in their homes or come by for food or a hot shower.
This sense of real community – real home – is a reminder we can be truly grateful for.
Our neighbors who came here from the Midwest remind us that, unlike tornadoes, hurricanes give a decent interval of warning. When they arrive they are not unexpected. The gratitude we see all around us now is maybe one unexpected outcome of this storm.
Let’s remember safety first as we continue the work that brings our precious Lowcountry back and better than ever. This means thinking realistically about what tasks are within our personal scope and which ones would be safer – and better done – in the hands of a professional. Let us know if we can offer any advice or direction. Working together we will rebuild our beautiful Lowcountry. It may take awhile, but we’ll get it done.
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!