Sometimes things get put into proper perspective and it's like a slap in the face or a good swift kick in the ass.

Hurricane Katrina is a good case in point. I've been griping and whinging for the last couple of weeks about what a major pain in the ass it is to move with just a few days notice. Well.

At least that notice didn't come with a hurricane of epic proportions backing it up. My stuff, my home, my family, all are safe and dry, thank you, God.

Unlike so many people, including my 15 year old eldest son (step-step son, actually. Son of my husband's dead wife), who lives in Slidell, LA, and whose home has been flooded out. His personal effects, except for what he was able to bring with him, are destroyed. And he and the grandparents he lives with are among the lucky ones. They had somewhere to go. A ranch near College Station, TX, a house in Innis, TX, and several other plots of real estate.

Currently, the grandparents are on their way back to Slidell to assess the damage, and UserSupport (my pet name for him because he calls us at 3 AM with stupid user questions) is staying with us for at least a week. The boy is traumatized and losing it every time he thinks about the last thing he saw on TV: the recognizable body of one of his friends from high school.

Or take the way I bitch and complain about the three sons who live with us on a regular basis, the trouble they get into, the headaches I get.

I met my new neighbors yesterday, Lance and Pam. They have a thirteen year old son who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. A few years back he had a double lung transplant, and now his body is rejecting the lungs. He's on the waiting list for a new set.

But that's not all. Pam and Lance had a daughter once. She died a few years ago, right around the time their Sean had his lung transplant. You guessed it, Cystic Fibrosis. And now it's looking like their son may go, as well.

This puts it all into perspective for me. Yes, I have had a hellacious move. No, my family and belongings are not dead or destroyed. Yes, my kids are little creatures from Where The Wild Things Are. No, I wouldn't trade that to have them laying in a bed gasping and fighting for every single breath they take.

So many little daily hassles in life, who would have ever thought that I'd be grateful for them? But I am.

I am truly grateful for a safe home and healthy family.

I am utterly heartbroken for all of the dead, dying, wounded, hurting people out there.

But me and mine, we're alive. That means that for us, there is always hope. Thank you, God.