Every year, I volunteer at the college Rich and I attended, to interview the students so they are ready for their “real interviews.”  The accounting majors are hired earlier than most, and their interviews are later this month.  I had my first seminars with them today, to prepare them for the process.  I really enjoy doing this, it’s a labor of love for me, as I hope by me volunteering my time to help them get jobs, that later, they will pay it forward, by either donating their time or monies, or both to the college.

After the seminar, I met with my girlfriend and gave her the things I had made for her fundraiser.  I’m not sure if they are good enough or marketable, but I did the best I could in the time I had to do them.  I made six cards and nine covered notebooks, and several matchbook notebooks.  I made videos of all of them so you can see the process of how I made them.

When I looked at the things that my girlfriend and another woman had made, I felt like I was a small fish in a big pond, as they both are extremely talented artists.  The other lady made witches out of deco mesh and a felt hat that was completely adorable.  She even makes her own brand of soy candles.  So yeah, I felt like I was out of my league.  On the other hand, I’m glad I participated because at least I tried.  (That’s the theory I’m sticking with, at least for now.)

I’m watching the weather channel and the hurricane that’s headed toward Florida is frightening.  It’s not bad enough that our friends in Texas have suffered so recently, but now we have another huge storm coming for our shorelines.  It’s really scary.  I saw the devastation in St. Maarten, and Rich and I had been (unfortunately) stuck there in a level 4 hurricane in 1999, and believe me, it was no fun.  They don’t have any resources or technology to help their people get back on their feet, and I saw today, that their brand new airport was almost completely destroyed by this storm.  It took them several years to build it and now it’s ruined.  I watched as a major building just fell into the ocean, and thought how scared the people that live there must be.   The camera crews were filming from the same hotel Rich and I stayed in while we were on the island and I couldn’t believe the difference in a level 4 vs. a level 5.  Our room was on the fourth floor of seven floors, and on the end of the building.  We had water coming through the walls of the hotel (and our hotel was supposed to be the safest on the island.)  We had three to four inches of water on our floor and water was pouring through the bathroom ceiling.  We had water in bottles and the water in the bottles rocked like we were on a boat…and that was a level 4.  I showed a video on YouTube from our last trip to St. Maarten last December, and videotaped the hotel we stayed in, and showed how high the waves were spraying the coast.  There was a smaller hotel in front of ours and the waves were crashing over the roof of that hotel that was on a large cliff.  Again, a level 4.

Our flight was the only one that left St. Maarten, by the grace of God, and people were begging to buy our plane tickets for thousands of dollars.  Our taxi driver had to drive around small yachts that had washed up on the road.  Airplanes were overturns and helicopters were on their sides–it was not an experience I ever want to relive.

The power of today’s storm is massive and entirely frightening to me.  I don’t envy anyone in it’s path and pray that our friends on St. Maarten have lived to talk about it when we see them again.  As for the people in Florida and along the coast, I really hope that they are taking the evacuation seriously, as this is nothing to consider “riding out.”

I hope the storm takes a turn and heads away from the United States, as we’ve already had one horrible storm and we really don’t need another.  I know we’re all hoping for a miracle, let’s hope we get one.

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