Ivan the Terrible#039; lives up to his name By Rick Couch 08-21-2006 I thought when I moved away from Mobile I was done with Hurricanes. WRONG! Instead I encountered a storm far more intense than anyt

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 21, 2006

I thought when I moved away from Mobile I was done with Hurricanes. WRONG!

Instead I encountered a storm far more intense than anything I ever saw while living on the Gulf Coast.

But now that it's over it is time to move on and begin the clean up effort. Many of us are without power, hot water and some of the other luxuries we are accustomed to. While we suffer through the aftershocks of Hurricane Ivan there are a few things we all need to keep in mind.

First, remember how lucky we are. This may sound like a stretch, but in reality we are all fortunate to have avoided a loss of life. While the clean up is an annoyance please keep in mind there are others who have it far worse than us.

Second, remember this is something we can easily work through. On Friday Mayor Dexter McLendon reminded everyone we are not the first ones to ever go through a hurricane and everything will work out in the end. He is absolutely right. The area made it through the Opal clean up and it will make it through this one.

Third, we need to keep our sense of humor. For some people this is all they have right now. You can get a lot farther with a positive attitude than you can with a complaint. Be patient and keep a smile on your face. The odds are things will come together faster than expected.

Fourth, we should take advantage of the opportunities Hurricane Ivan has given us. I know it is hard to imagine opportunity coming from a natural disaster, but they are out there. With no electricity or cable we all have a chance to get to know each other again.

Conversation can again become the most important means of communication. We can also learn a lot about our friends and family members we may have missed out on.

People also have a chance to take up a new hobby or read a book they hadn't gotten around to. There are plenty of opportunities if people just look for them.

Last, and most importantly, be kind to workers who are laboring around the clock to make our lives more comfortable. There are many other places these people would rather be than here. Despite their separation from family and friends they are still working day and night to restore power and order to Butler County. Their efforts have already been seen in most of Greenville and other outlying areas of Butler County.

Please do not complain to them! They are doing the best they can. They do not need any interruptions to hear why your electricity should be turned on before John Doe's. If you are going to interact with the workers at all you should catch them during a down period and offer then a drink or a snack. They have done an outstanding job and deserve all the praise they can get.

In times like this it would be very easy to feel sorry for ourselves and stop. But things have already improved tremendously and there is no reason to doubt a full recovery is in the near future.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick. couch@greenvilleadvocate.com.