sadness for hurricane victims

As I watched the TV and print coverage of Hurricane Irene, I was anxious as each report came in and then relieved when the outcome wasn't as severe as expected. But still, there is widespread devastation and heartbreak. and loss. My heart goes out to the millions who are suffering from horrible flooding and lack of power.

This photo was on CNN this morning, and I when I saw it I caught my breath and stared. This, the reported explained, is all this family has left of their home.

Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina.

After seeing this photo, I walked through my kitchen and into the living room, touched my precious possessions, ran my hand across the smooth, shiny wood of my favorite table, walked outside, and sat on my front porch. I looked back at my house behind me - attached to my steps - and sent a message of gratitude heavenward. Then I went to the computer to find this photo, so I can remember to never take what I have for granted.