Ugh, it makes me sick just to think about it... The oil won't stop and it's destroying the Gulf Coast! Even as BP boasts of "success," the reality here is far from it.
So many people have been affected and it isn't over yet.
Right now -- in truth -- there is no end in sight.
I have friends whose entire livelihoods are dependent upon gulf shrimp and seafood.
Friends whose families have worked on the off-shore oil rigs for decades.
Friends who have just started to truly rebuild their lives -- and their businesses -- after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 5 years ago.
And I can't even begin to think about the wildlife... the pelicans, the turtles, and all the animals dying from such a senseless accident. It makes me want to break down and cry.
Just a few weeks ago, we agonized over whether or not to go forward with our vacation to Destin -- a trip we've had planned since last fall.
Would there be oil? Tar balls? Rancid fumes?
We watched the news and checked web updates daily... hourly.
We prayed about it and decided that, come what may, we would go.
I am SO glad we did!
Who knows when -- or if -- the Gulf Coast will ever be as beautiful again. I heard yesterday that lots of tar balls are washing up in Pensacola and there is some oil smell and "greasy spots" from the spreading gunk. Just 3 weeks ago, the beaches at Destin looked like this:
In all the summers that I have gone to these beaches, I have NEVER seen the water as crystal clear and beautiful as it was 3 weeks ago!
and more importantly, NO OIL!!
We were ecstatic!
Not only were the beaches and water pristine, we had the wonder of seeing dolphins and stingrays! I have never seen stingrays so close to the shore.
An older gentleman informed us that earlier that morning, they had seen a manatee swimming close to the shoreline. Manatees NEVER come that close to the shore; obviously, the oil was driving these sea creatures in, in search of cleaner water.
We spent a joyous week at the beach and I am so thankful now that we did. I shudder to think what is coming... and the ominous signs of what has already arrived. How can we not mourn?
Destin's beaches are still beautiful at this moment, but for how long?
I fear that I am posting these pictures for posterity's sake, but I sincerely pray I am wrong.
Biblical end-time prophesies aside (that's a whole 'nother blog post, not for me to write), this is devastation on a monumental scale.
There's no amount of money that can replace what's been (or could be) lost...