My best friend moved away the February before last. Way down south to Mississippi. I have missed her dearly, and think of her daily. Today I can not get her off my mind. We don't get to talk as often as we would like, but when we do she enjoys regaling me with little snippets of her Southern life. Tales of work, the town and just how different things are down there with the slower pace of life. Glimpses of tranquil visits to Gulfport where she would leisurely stroll on the beach and wild nights down in New Orleans sipping Hurricanes and walking the French Quarter. These places have been forever changed today. And I have to wonder how her small Mississippi town has faired in the storm's brutality. Is she okay? Did they make it through? Has her living room flooded as she feared it would? Is their roof leaking? Is it even still there? The last I heard she had lost power at about 12 pm and still had regular phone service but that cell service was down. That they were fine, but that the worse was yet to come. Since then I have heard nothing. I have called many times over the past hours since that last call. The one that I missed and only got to hear the shakily left voice mail recording. The response I have received had varied. From the phone ringing without answer, to a busy signal and for the past three hours just the voice recording from the phone company informing me that all circuits are busy. Watching CNN has become a way to keep in touch. To see if her town is mentioned, to wait and see if pictures are posted. If just by chance I can hear that they escaped the brunt of the storm. Since I could not get through on the phone I wrote her an email. It may seem strange to do so knowing that she has no way of checking it. But it made me feel a tiny bit better to send it. To pour out some of my feelings, knowing that it may not be read until way after the fact, but hoping that it will be read eventually by the person that it was meant for. Knowing that as I sit here worrying, there are others doing exactly the same. One of my college friends has a brother that lives in New Orleans. He left the city a few days before the hurricane struck, knowing that the storm was coming. The thing of it is he evacuated to Jackson, Mississippi. Instead of putting himself out of harms way he walked right into the midst of the storm. No doubt they are all anxiously waiting to hear from him. So many people are affected by this storm. But worse of all the residents of the areas the storm has torn through. We can only hope that they have made it through as best as possible, and that they can find some way to make it through what is yet to come. American Red Cross The Salvation Army BBB for Charities -- Investigate all charities before donating. The pictures in this entry are from August 28th. As they went around town yesterday my best friend and her fiance took photos of some of the places that were getting ready for the storm. One can only wonder if these places are still standing tonight.