Memories of Ike won't stop Nacogdoches woman

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES (KTRE) - This time last year, Virginia Mathews' Nacogdoches home was open to the rains. Hurricane Ike uprooted a large oak tree. It fell into her home. At the time, Mathews was across the street having coffee with neighbors.

"We were sitting there looking out the window when it happened," said Mathews in a 2008 interview.

Mathews counted her blessings, never looked back and got to work.

Today, a new home, almost identical to the first one, sets on the same lot. "I've moved into my new home with the help of a lot of friends," smiled Mathews in her newly decorated living room.

Some of the same friends woke the hospital volunteer up this morning with phone calls to remind her of today's anniversary. Like she really needs reminding.

"I think most people don't even remember it, but just a few of the ones who were close to me remember it. And I remember it too, but in a good way because I have a home."

Mathews recently celebrated her 86th birthday in her new home. She's so comfortable in it that she rarely misses her old house. Following a thoughtful pause to the question, Mathews responded, "Not really, but I do miss people."

The friends who Virginia was having coffee with have since passed away.

"And so I don't have them, but I have neighbors with children and that's good because the children in my neighborhood have grown up and moved away. We now have a new crop of children," said Mathews.

Mathews isn't planning to leave. She's staying right where she is for a very long time in a very new house. While showing off a new bedroom she said, "life goes on."

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.