No matter where you are, stop and count your blessings....... Tonight I heard from my brother in Long Beach, Mississippi. He stayed in Long Beach at a shelter that served both Civil Defense and served people who could not evacuate. He is fine, and after he got out and saw the destruction he considers himself to be very lucky to be alive. Most of Long Beach is gone from the railroad tracks to the beach. This includes many large hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, an entire elementary school and several homes that were there from the pre-Camille days. His description is that downtown Long Beach pretty much looks like a landfill. Officials right now are on a body search, and nobody is allowed south of the railroad tracks as they have declared an unofficial marshall law in that area. At his home all of the trees on his property, many of which were over 100 years old, are gone. His roof shingles are gone, and he is down to damaged plywood. A tree fell on the bedroom portion of the house, and a branch went all the way through to the inside of the house (through a brick wall). It was dark when they got home so they have not had a full chance to survey the outside of the house. His mother-in-lawâ€™s home is gone down to the slab. This is a home that survived hurricane Camille. They have no idea when power will be restored to their area, and he is worried that his entire home may be beyond repair. His wife is the superintendent of schools and they are not able to leave because she is now left with the task of rebuilding a semi-destroyed school system. At least one school is completely gone, and there is serious damage to every school building in the system. The old central office building is partially destroyed. In his area he is not even sure I can get to his home to bring him supplies. There is no gas being sold in his area, and cash is king! The only problem is that he has no way to get cash, so Iâ€™ll have to bring him some, along with gas for the generators at his home. Iâ€™ll also bring him ice chests full of food, and also food that will not spoil. We need to get permission to drive into that area before I can go over â€“ Iâ€™m hoping to make the trip Wednesday evening. My younger brother in Hattiesburg has checked in with less damage. Part of the roof on his home is gone, but that is a part that is over a non-living portion of the house. He will spend the day tomorrow trying to put tarps on the damaged areas of the house to keep future rain out. This home is less than a year old, and they just finished having trees removed from areas that would have fallen on the house. He said it was an extra expense, but today he is thankful he made that decision. We have reports that Baton Rouge to the East in Louisiana is really bad. I understand that major portions of the highway are not passable. I will also need to make certain that I can pass on the Louisiana portion of the highway to get to my brothers in Mississippi. I ask that you keep them, and all the people in the hurricane areas, in your prayers. They will be involved not only in getting their own home repaired, but in getting the children back to school to help restore some normal life for thousands of people. This will be a hard job that will cause them to go through very many emotional days. It will be hard, but Iâ€™m certain they will do the very best they can do to help as many people as possible.