I sit here having just checked the latest update on Ophelia.

I am having a terrible time resolving my feelings about things right now.

Most of my friends know of my love for hurricanes and other severe weather events. I've always stated right up front that while I love mother nature and, more specifically, hurricanes, I do not like seeing anyone lose life or property. Unfortunately, Katrina, while a beautiful storm, did so much damage to life as I know it that I'm starting to take this shit a little personally.

What usually spares New Orleans and Jacksonville are the pressure fronts. Everytime a storm pops up it either rides straight up the coast or crosses the peninsula of Florida and smacks into the panhandle. On a rare occasion it steamrolls into Texas. But usually the Louisiana Coast and the Jacksonville area are spared the severe portion of the storms. Obviously, that's not the case this year.

Katrina has, for the foreseeable future, really changed life here in the Baton Rouge area. Today it took me 3 hours to go about 8 miles. So many people. While we definitely welcome the refugees from New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Baton Rouge is ill equipped for it. We are now the most populous city in Louisiana. But with all the people, we didn't get all the roads or housing or businesses. Houses that have yet to have the foundation poured are being sold. There's nothing to rent for miles around.

I took some cleaning supplies to Charlotte today. That was what took me 3 hours. The good news was that their house wasn't horrendously damaged. However, the area is unlivable for several months at the very best. So they will keep their rented place here. Totally uprooted.

The selfish side of me, is glad she's here in town. It's good to see old friends.

Gaylen has yet to make contact. I hear rumor that he is alive and well and in town. But text messages have gone unanswered and I don't have an email address for him.

Now Ophelia is heading for my boys. Nathan and Madison. She's a baby. A not-so-well organized Tropical Storm. But my boys, you see, they live on an island. I'm worried about them. Not because this is an intense storm, but because these storms are really hitting home.

This hurricane season has found me far less than pleased at the storms I'm seeing. It's breaking records left and right and if it keeps up, we may well run out of names.

Please, Ophelia, don't be too hard on my boys. Just be beautiful offshore and bring them waves upon which to surf and a cool breeze to ease their day.