A Tree by the Stream

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Katrina Truck Drivers

I'm finally getting the technical kinks worked out. Here are a few of my photos of the Katrina Truck and its intrepid drivers. The top photo shows my MIT classmate Wayne, holding up the last package of diapers to be loaded--he was about to close the loading door when a red sedan pulled up and handed one more package out through the passenger window. He's also in the second photo down, the man on the far right is my classmate Wayne, standing behind his wife Chantielle. Chantielle and the two other men drove the truck from Vancouver, WA to the Astodome in Houston, heaviy loaded with diapers, wipes, and formula.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Katrina Truck -- belated update

I had computer problems for a while; I still can't read the disk with the photos I had developed.

However, here's the text version of the update that I would have posted online on September 9 if I could have....

The truck arrived in Houston the morning of September 9 and was able to drive straight to the Astrodome to unload. At that time, Vancouver, WA was the furthest location to send actual supplies. The drivers signed on as volunteers at the Astrodome for the day; Chantielle had to fly home, but the others were able to stay for a while and then drive the truck back.

Lots of people worked very hard to make this trip a success--I know your efforts were appreciated at the other end.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


The truck left from Vancouver tonight about 9 p.m., with lots of prayers and cheers.
Details and photos tomorrow, if they come up. I used a one-time camera and I'll take it in tomorrow.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina Truck--Departure Scheduled

Wayne writes:

Hello All,

We will have this truck full by the end of today!!!!!! Amazing I can not express in words how I feel. We ALL did it. This has been a wonderful experience.

My wife and two others will be pulling out tonight and on their way to Houston. We are trying to rally forces to be at the truck at 8PM tonight (Monday) to wish them a safe trip, exchange hugs and tears, and take care of any last minute details. I am personally asking everyone to show up. We all have worked tirelessly the last 3-4 days and it would do everyone a lot of good to get together one last time as a whole. Bring your families, kids, friends, neighbors, pets, anyone and help us send this wonderful truck down the full of good spirit as well as good baby stuff!!

8PM tonight. Wal-Mart / Carl's Jr. parking lot at 9000 NE Hwy. 99.


Thank You,


The photos show donors shopping and some of the supplies. They aren't my own photos, as I live 40 miles or so away and haven't been down to the truck since I took some diapers in myself. I think Wayne gets the photo credit.

I know the Red Cross and many other agencies say "just send money," and I encourage you to do so if you want to give that way. But it feels so right to be involved in such a hand-on way with the effort. Most of us won't have the chance to help face-to-face and to say that we care, but this gets us a stop closer.

The state of Oregon is taking a thousand Katrina refugees. The city of Portland is setting up a shelter in a mothballed high school.

A question that will linger for a long time: If we can make this kind of an effort for the people who are made suddenly and tragically homeless by a storm, why can't we do better for the homeless who live among us every day?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Urgent need: Pallets and Boxes

The Houston Food Bank needs the baby supplies to be packed in boxes and loaded on pallets. If you, or someone you know in the Vancouver or Portland area, can help with this, please contact me via hurrikathelp@yahoo.com and I'll put you in touch. They also need a pallet jack for loading.

Departure is rescheduled for Tuesday, September 6. Donations are accepted through Monday at the following locations:

1. East Park Church
3:00PM until 7:00PM
15815 NE 18th Street
Vancouver, WA 98684

2. Journey Community Church at
Skyridge Middle School
5220 NW Parker
Camas, WA
8:00AM until 2:00PM

3. At the Truck Itself
7:00AM until 12 midnight
Wal-Mart / Carl’s Jr. / Regal Cinemas Parking lot
9000 NE Hwy 99
Vancouver, WA

Katrina Truck from Vancouver

My classmates and I, along with our professor, spent three hours of class time discussing the effects of hurricane Katrina and what we could do to help. We have a number of ideas that are still in the early stages, but one student, Wayne, arrived in class with a plan already in place--his wife Chantielle was making arrangements for a truck to take to Houston with supplies for babies. Diapers, wipes, and formula. She contacted the Oregon Food Bank and the Houston Food Bank for permission to use their names, located a sign painter friend to donate a professionally painted sign, found a business to donate the cost of a truck and gas.

Chantielle (top photo) and a friend are now collecting donations at the Highway 99 Wal-Mart in Vancouver, at the entrance by the movie theater. They are loading the donations into the largest Ryder truck they could rent. They will be there through the end of the day Sunday, beginning at 6:30 a.m.

The Big Easy

Check out "The Big Easy" by Christopher Fisher (of somewhere in Texas). It's a powerful poem (hey, would I link to a bit of doggerel?). It's haunting.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Where I used to live

This was our old place outside town. We rented it for about 6 years; then my husband (now ex) left and after the divorce I moved into town. I still miss this place, which had character and charm. I keep reminding myself that it was the kind of charm that wore thin by the middle of February, and what the first winter there was like, when we were burning truckloads of wood pallets to stay warm. If you held a hand up to the walls on a cold day, you could actually feel the cold air coming in right through them. But it was on 5 acres with trees and a meadow and apples, plums and blackberries. I loved it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Safe? Unsafe? Good?

J. Mark Bertrand--a very talented writer--has a post on The Master's Artist on the notion of "safe" Christian fiction. I admit I had a time in my life when I enjoyed having a safe harbor in my reading life--but it's not what I want to read most of the time, and it's really not what I want to write.

This piece is more than a casual blog post. It's a very good essay. If you like it, you might also enjoy exploring his own blog, or his writing.

Safe or Good

Creative cleaning

DS12 aka Discreet is cleaning his room, without being asked. Many giggles from his room, where his best friend is helping him. They pulled the big outdoor trash can to a position under his window and are shooting baskets at it. Except to remind them that anything that misses outside has to be picked up, I'm staying out of the way and hoping that the expedition into order won't end with everything pulled out of his drawers and nothing put away.

Story contest

Dave at Faith in Fiction has announced a new short story contest. The goal: to write a conversion story that doesn't make the reader want to throw the book against the wall. To write a conversion story that makes the reader want to keep reading to keep reading, to beg for more. Prizes, publications, incentives are still undecided, but in his Christmas story contest last year, several very good stories were submitted and the best were published in Infuze magazine.

If you aren't familiar with Dave, he's an acquisitions editor at Bethany House who is carrying on an ongoing dialogue about the nature of Christian fiction with a number of Christian writers (most of them NOT signed on with Bethany House.)

The conversion story, a mandatory feature of most CBA fiction, is also one of the most frequently criticized features.