Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle with a 155 miles-per-hour fury and extensive storm surge. It continued into Georgia as a hurricane wreaking significant damage and continues to impact much of the southeastern U.S.A.
Travelers through the southeastern U.S. need to keep aware of travel conditions as they will change regularly even after Hurricane Michael exits.
Thousands of emergency response team members are already working life-saving missions first, along with safety and security. Thousands more from various areas are currently traveling to the impacted areas.
There are more than 3,000 Florida National Guard troops on active status already working missions in support of key agencies.
Florida’s Division of Emergency Management is overseeing and coordinating response efforts as directed by Florida’s Governor Rick Scott. The U.S. Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been planning and positioning support to assist respective state governments and are already performing duties.
It is not feasible to identify all of those responding, as practically every local, state and federal U.S. agency is working on behalf of the citizens and guests.
Some of the first ones responding to help save lives involves the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). They normally respond with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four-wheel-drive vehicles. They all work in conjunction with law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies.
If you are considering traveling through the southeastern U.S., please travel only if necessary – at least until the major response and recovery efforts allow you to safely do so.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) highly suggests using one of their preferred tools to monitor roadway conditions. Florida 511. Also, please be aware that many of the roadways throughout the path of the storm are closed due to damage or being under water. It is best not to drive through water. “Turn around, don’t drown.”
Know before you go.
Information on roadway conditions and closures is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Florida 511. Drivers may dial 511 from their mobile phones to receive updates. (Please stop safety while using the device or let a passenger use it.) 511 is a free resource, however, cell phone minutes and text message charges may apply. Updates are also available on the web at www.FL511.com.
Georgia’s Department of Transportation Special Response Teams will begin clearing impacted roadways once the worst of the storm passes. In the event of major flooding, crews will wait until waters recede to begin clean up. Priority routes will be cleared first to ensure the public maintains access to hospitals, trauma centers and other public facilities.
Call 511 to report flash flooding, downed trees or other obstructions on roadways or bridges impeding travel
Take shelter as the system passes through the state
Do not to drive around barricades that are in place for motorist’s safety or through standing water
Residents should never clear tree limbs, downed trees or debris from roadways, as live power lines could be tangled in debris and cause injury or death; instead, wait for Georgia DOT and Georgia Power crews
Motorists who must drive should always treat flashing red and non-operational signals as a four-way stop
When we discuss spring and how the earth seems to regenerate, I think there are applications to our physical, mental and spiritual lives as well.
Why not look at our natural surroundings and compare?
When winter arrives it typically demonstrates that fall preceded it resulting in the natural environment becoming dormant. Leaves dry and fall, and nourish the earth. Trees, vegetation and even wildlife itself practically draws within. There is a lull of life, so it seems. And we’re lonely.
Then NEW LIFE springs forth with all its vibrant colors and freshness. It’s like that which was dead is now alive. I for one am appreciative of the NEW LIFE – physically, mentally and spiritually; and have embraced it.
Even our bodies want to regenerate physically. We’ve been somewhat sedentary for a season. They may become more hesitant to move quickly again, or maybe they lost some of the pizazz and strength.
This slow-down of our lives and the environment around us no doubt can affect our mental being as well. We ponder on the gloom and cold too much without thinking ahead of the vibrancy of spring. We need new growth and recovery with our own physical and mental lives.
Pondering on the past spring of life and the dormancy stage of our lives can and will affect our mental picture of life itself. Let’s think again of the spring of our lives and regenerate to even a new way of thinking.
Well, how about the spiritual as well? Maybe we have never given it much thought. Maybe we have thought about it before and discounted it. Maybe we recall a time when we were spiritual and then our progress slowed. Or maybe we feel disappointed in our lack of spiritual regeneration or growth, or someone has let us down.
Part of Wikipedia’s definition of “spiritual” mentions that it traditionally refers to a religious process of reformation which “aims to recover the original shape of man, oriented at ‘the image of God’ as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.”
It seems that all of humankind is in search of something or someone to help regenerate us – to shape us – toward our destiny or calling of life.
While there are beliefs around the world so varied as practically the sand on the seashore we still search.
Life is too short to not enjoy it, right? Doesn’t God want us to enjoy our lives and the creation He has established around us? I know there are many who are searching and many who do not consider an absolute or higher being. That’s each person’s decision and he or she has the right to individual beliefs.
Is it befitting though that the Christian Easter season coincides with spring? Easter represents NEW LIFE as recorded in New Testament recordings.
Google’s definition of Easter identifies this special time as “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.”
Compare Google’s definition of Easter to Wikipedia’s definition that modern spirituality is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Expansion of this definition states: “It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”
The word “resurrection” is referenced in Wikipedia as the “concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects. The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity.”
There are numerous accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian’s New Testament. I like how Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, documented the resurrection of Christ.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”8 Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24 (New International Version)
While Jesus lived here on Earth his ministry was about LOVE and PEACE through God. He talked about drawing all people through Him to God. He talked about providing abundant life to all who believed and trust in Him.
The butterfly reminds me of the old life and how it served a purpose, created as a caterpillar. It then died to self for a higher purpose. This too reminds me of a transformation in life.
So, is it worth the opportunity to leave the dead and dread of winter in our lives to spring forth into hope as Jesus Christ mentioned? He talked about providing abundant life, not death. I think that’s a great sign of hope and spiritual rebirth that will complement our mental and physical regeneration as well.
As our external environment springs forth we have a choice to allow or disallow the internal being to spring forth also. I’m sure happy with my choice and feel that I’m experiencing abundant LIFE today.
Let’s spring forth with color and brightness with new life to help the world wherein we are placed. Besides, our season is too short to not live life abundantly here before moving on.
Depending on where you are around the globe you either adjusted your clock or you are about to change with the time. Maybe you’ll change it later this month. Maybe it’s time to actually “change with the time.”
It’s what we call Daylight Saving Time when we turn the clock forward on the second Sunday in March in the U.S.A. The idea was initially created to help farmers and others to have extra daylight. Well, I could always use that extra hour of sleep I’ll lose tonight. Many of you have already lost it.
I feel for the person who will be late for work because he or she “didn’t get the memo” or forget to set the clock. Well – maybe the clock can be blamed for it this time.
What about all of you traveling? Are computers automatic enough to keep up with your travels and the constant time changes?
Railroads and industry make good use of time and may be impacted by time changes.
Does the time change affect you in addition to the jet lag?
There has been some buzz lately about initiatives to keep the clock the same without having to “spring forward” or “fall back.” Why can’t we just keep it the same? I know I feel a little more tired each time we change – whether forward or backward – and it takes about a week to adjust. Maybe it’s only my mindset.
Regardless, can’t we just keep it the same? Has the time come where the time change doesn’t really matter that much? I would like to hear your thoughts around the world. Do you even change the time to accommodate the season?
In the U.S. Arizona and Hawaii don’t change and Florida has just passed legislation to keep the time on Daylight Saving Time. I’m not sure if that is the right course of action. If anything, can’t we keep it on the standard time? I mean, it’s not like we get extra time. We all have 24 hours in a day, right?
Maybe I’m not that smart to really understand the issues.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in Florida shines brightly with upgraded lens compared to years past, still leading mariners and land travelers to their safety.
So, is light relative to the task at hand? Lighthouses are still in use (although more scarce) and provide their intended light. If we need more daylight maybe, just maybe, we can use solar and other artificial light more effectively and efficiently.
Webexibits.org (http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/b2.html) mentions a poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicating “Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because ‘there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings.’ A 1976 survey of 2.7 million citizens in New South Wales, Australia, found 68% liked daylight saving. Indeed, some say that the primary reason that Daylight Saving Time is a part of many societies is simply because people like to enjoy long summer evenings, and that reasons such as energy conservation are merely rationalizations.”
“Daylight Saving Time is one of those weird quirks of the Western world — most countries outside Europe and North America don’t take part,” CNN states. “Everyone, for the most part, is pretty excited to fall back in October and bemoans losing an hour of sleep in March.”
I say let’s just make the best of it until we can “change with the time” again.
I must admit I wasn’t very familiar with the 2018 International Women’s Day for March 8 so I had to check it out a little further. I initially heard about it on the news the very day it was beginning but didn’t think much of it.
According to http://internationalwomensday.com the intent for the emphasis is to have collective action and shared ownership to move forward gender parity so there would not be such divides among us around the world. “Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There’s a strong call to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”
In my opinion, progress has to be an ongoing initiative and effort by all – both women and men to achieve gender parity. Do you agree?
As I pondered the morning news about the day’s emphasis, it must have struck a nerve to trigger my brain – or maybe it was a brain wave (however you want to describe it).
Occasionally during the day the thought entered my mind about how important women are in our world and I thought about the women who influenced my life.
Women, you are appreciated more than you may realize! I know there are so many in today’s society, around the globe, who abuse and mistreat even the lovely name of “woman.” I’m sorry for that as you are more than deserving of kindness and love as well as respect. I get it. In fact, where would I be without a loving and caring mother who taught me the right principles of life and God’s Love, showing my why I need to honor God’s special creation.
While my dad was away trying to find a steady job my mother would take a job to help us survive. The job I briefly recall is when she worked at a garment factory. She would catch a ride with others before daylight and would arrive home late in the afternoon.
Mom would come home tired but ALWAYS took the time to ask us about how things went during the day and spend quality time with us. She walked us a considerable distance to be involved in local sports. She never complained. By the way I’m sure thankful for grandparents too as they helped shape our lives during the day when Mom was away.
I remember at times when we would be hungry and there was limited food to eat. All of a sudden my mother was not hungry. I understand it now – that she was indeed hungry but she happened to lose her appetite so we would eat. Wow! What unselfishness and reflection of love.
You see, my mother sacrificed more than I’ll never know. I can only reflect on just a short piece about how significant she was in my life and that of my siblings. Mom maybe wouldn’t be considered a professional in today’s society but believe me – she was professional in every sense of the word. Where would I be without her? She is now passed into eternal peace and rest but her influence remains.
I’m sure Mom could have benefited from some of the work protections and equal pay we have today, even though we still need change. Our whole family would have benefited. I’m thankful we have seen many positive changes over the years.
In my eyes women and men ARE equal as God created us. The laws and workplace policies and procedures need to continue changing to ensure these equalities in every nation around the world. Why wouldn’t they?
In fact, God Himself is not a respecter of persons and loves us all equally. He empowers us equally and wants the best from us equally. Unfortunately, history doesn’t reflect these equalities. Even societal norms didn’t favor women to the extent they should have. We need to continue improving to ensure the gifts and talents of women are used effectively and responsibly.
Did history record successful women at all? Sure but I wonder how many accomplishments were never recorded.
If you would indulge me just a couple more minutes, there is an historical account of a woman who proved herself among a community and gained the respect as a professional – against many obstacles.
According to Mary Fairchild at Thoughtco.com (https://www.thoughtco.com/lydia-in-the-bible-4150413) Lydia in the Bible was one of thousands of minor characters mentioned in scripture, but after 2,000 years, she is still remembered for her contribution to early Christianity. “Her story is told in the book of Acts. Although the information on her is sketchy, Bible scholars have concluded she was an exceptional person in the ancient world.”
“Luke, the author of Acts, called Lydia a seller of purple goods. She was originally from the city of Thyatira, in the Roman province of Asia, across the Aegean Sea from Philippi. One of the trade guilds in Thyatira made expensive purple dye, probably from the roots of the madder plant.”
Lydia was influential with her business in a town that was heavily involved in international trade. She recognized the importance of being a professional in business as well as community involvement. She no doubt earned the respect of the community.
It is believed Lydia was wealthy because she insisted the Apostle Paul and his companions stay at her home. You don’t see this very much in the historical records. It appears she contributed money or supplies for Paul’s further missionary work along the Roman highway. It is likely she influenced thousands of travelers as well during the time she was at this location.
According to Fairchild, “Lydia ran a successful business selling a luxury product: purple cloth. This was a unique achievement for a woman during the male-dominated Roman empire. More importantly, though, she believed in Jesus Christ as Savior, was baptized and had her entire household baptized too. When she took Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke into her house, she created one of the first home churches in Europe.”
Lydia no doubt was a strong and successful businesswoman who was well respected by her community and succeeded in a society mostly dominated by males.
Are there Lydias in our society today? You bet! I’m confident they exist in every facet of life and place of business and employment. We need to recognize them.
Do we need to protect and further the cause of the Lydias? Absolutely. I have seen positive changes over the years and while people may not agree with every motive and method to further women’s advancement today, they are nonetheless equal and need the equal parity in all walks of life.
Recognizing this need and keeping the vision and focus before us will make significant improvements toward true equality being a reality. The path may seem narrow and uphill ahead but the journey must continue.
Okay, have you been absent from something for awhile and forget where you left off, or what you thought, or your activity?
That’s me. I can’t believe it’s been a long time since I last posted something on the blog. When I starting writing it I wanted to express thoughts on a mother’s influence, life experiences and travels (primarily where most people have not gone).
But you know what? Life does get in the way of our plans and intentions. With various obligations writing became a back-burner. Can you relate? I’m sure most of you have plenty of time to share your thoughts on paper, right?
Well, I’m now entering a new stage of life where the “job” obligations are no longer and I have more freedom of thought – if I establish a sensible, time-conscious routine that doesn’t become a burden.
There are many places I’ve already visited – gathering images and information – but those images and thoughts just sit there. I look forward to sharing them in the days, months and years ahead; of course mixed with more recent travels as well.
Maybe I’ll plan for one blog post a week, as long as I have something to say. What do you suggest?
I appreciate those who have offered advice in the past to write “something” every day to stay in the routine, even if only for a few minutes. I DO want to post meaningful thoughts however.