Betsy and Preston enjoy one of Preston’s signature Kool-Aid blends.

The flood of May 2010 brought many hidden blessings and one of them was Preston Bailey. Before the flood, we were amiable acquaintances. Preston would come by and pick up household items for his nonprofit, Welcome Home Ministries. But after the flood, when the Chicks were in full-on flood relief and recovery mode, Preston became a general in the battlefield.  Most of his efforts had nothing to do with his day job.

Preston found people who needed help. Anywhere and everywhere. He worked through his church. He worked through his fraternity. And he worked through his wide array of social connections. Because of his devotion to a duty he felt called to, we’ve seen a lot of Preston the last two years. And we felt we knew him fairly well. We had truly become friends.

So it was with some surprise that, during one of his visits, he mentioned his love of Kool-Aid. Really? Kool-Aid? “It is my one point of vanity,” he said. As it turns out, Preston is a Kool-Aid connoisseur. Just drinking the stuff is way too simple. He mixes his own flavors from the various packets of powder. Grape lemonade is a favorite.

“You want me to bring you some Kool-Aid?” he asked. Why, of course! So last week, Preston arrived with a gallon jug of grape lemonade Kool-Aid. And after one sip, I understood his passion for it. That sweet powdery drink takes you back to childhood. It’s a hot summer day, you’ve just gotten done with a rousing game of kickball and your mom brings out a frosty pitcher of Kool-Aid.

We drank our Kool-Aid and smiled. As I said, the flood brought us many hidden blessings.

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