Early this week, Hurricane Sally made landfall in the place I’d like to call home one day soon. Orange Beach, Alabama.
My mother-in-law started wintering for a couple of months each year in Orange Beach a number of years ago. When she first told me about it, I thought “Alabama…really? How quaint…and backwoods.” I will be the first to admit I was 100% wrong.
Orange Beach is an absolute paradise. Charming people, delicious restaurants, fish markets with catch of the day offerings – you haven’t lived until you’ve had fresh Gulf Shrimp – and so many more little bits of perfection. My southern accent kicks in about 5 minutes after arrival. I exclaim with pride I do know the difference between “Y’all” and “All Y’all”.
Seeing the pictures of the damage from Hurricane Sally brought my heart pain like I can’t describe. Seeing the large fishing boats laying on the side of roads rather than in the water, marinas destroyed, the pier at Gulf Shores State Park, being renovated, nearly finished, had the mid-section completely wiped out. Walls and windows blown out of buildings, massive flooding, loss of power and phone service.
We have a trip back to Orange Beach planned for February next year. As the time approaches, I will be checking in to ensure that everything is still on the up and up, although I have a feeling that rebuilding will be rapid and strong. 16 years ago, Hurricane Ivan hit Orange Beach, and while no storm is forgotten, the residents rebuild the best they can. My husband and I were in Orange Beach a couple of years ago when Hurricane Nate swept through, the eastern edge of the storm brought high winds, rising tide, and the need for curfews to keep people as safe as possible. As mild as that storm was, I don’t care to go through anything worse.
My thoughts, prayers, and hope go to the people in the Gulf Coast.