Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I finally scanned this photo of us. It was taken February 27, 2006 - Lundi Gras day, the day before Mardi Gras, and also my birthday. We were sitting on Greg's cousin, Lyle's, balcony waiting for the parades to start. Pre-Katrina we would usually take advantage of the holiday to get out of town and avoid the throngs of people. This year was different. We don't need any more beads or doubloons but we were just glad to be back home, taking part of one of the many things that makes New Orleans special. The crowds were smaller this year and mostly locals. Uptown, where we live, is usually more subdue than the French Quarter. Uptown is families with kids who set up camp in the same spot their family has for generations. The Quarter is where all the drunk obnoxious tourists who feel compelled to drink until they puke and lift their shirts go.
Yesterday, I kept thinking about what we were doing this time last year - boarding up the house, looking for a gas station that still had gas, getting cash, packing our things, gathering important papers then finally getting on the road. At this exact time last year, we were at Greg's parents, watching the fury of the storm whip trees around, over 100 miles north of New Orleans. It was fascinating and frightening. You couldn't not watch the storm. We didn't know about the levees breaking yet. It was a long day.
Anyway, today we are breathing a sign of relief that Ernesto isn't coming this way and that it keeps getting downgraded, for my friends and relatives in Florida. They don't need any hurricanes either. All the Katrina stuff is overwhelming, there really is no ignoring it. I think we will commemorate the one-year anniversary with a quiet dinner at home, thankful that we are in our home unlike so many others who are still scattered across the country, or living in trailers.