We didn't know how we were going to get through August 29, 2015 amid all the hoopla around the "Anniversary." G suggested we throw a party, invite friends over and fire up the grill. Sounded good to me. The morning of I saw our next door neighbors and invited them over. They moved in about 2 years ago (In 2005 the house was empty. The owners finally renovated it and sold it.). I told them we were having a party for the anniversary and to please come by. She said "That's nice. It's your anniversary?" I replied "No, for the Katrina Anniversary." She said "Oh, we weren't here then so I'm not sure of the actual date." I won't hold it against her, they are very nice people.
We're not the only ones who were not in the mood to rehash history. Many of our friends felt the same way. One of our friends blogged about it and it's been shared wide and far. Katrinaversary Blues: Of Resilience Tours, Carpetbloggers & Disaster Tourists.
Even Chris Rose, who spoke to us in the months following Katrina from the NOLA.com website, wrote a piece that appears on Vice.com: New Orleans Is Tired of Talking About Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately Chris Rose has had a tough go of it, fell on some hard times, and hasn't been writing as much as he used to. Every page of the Times-Picayune this past week seemed to have a K+10 story, complete with a special logo. Sunday, there was even a 68-page, full-color insert by ESPN titled "After The Storm: A summer in search of saints, sinners and lost souls in the New Orleans that Katrina left behind." Not gonna read it. Who has time?
I spent the weekend with friends and it was wonderful. Some friends were from Pre-Katrina but many were not. One of our newer friends told us his story. He wasn't living in New Orleans when Katrina struck, but was visiting with his girlfriend. He was lucky they were staying with some of her relatives, because he was able to evacuate with them, instead being stuck in a hotel and then loaded on to a bus bound to who knows where. Even after that he chose to move here.
When I shared the Chris Rose post on Facebook, a friend from Miami commented "Remember Hurricane Andrew here in Miami? Eventually it just becomes a 1 hour special on the Weather Channel." I do remember. It was a huge storm. I had been in south Florida visiting family and left just before Andrew hit. I had just graduated from FSU and was planning to move to New Orleans. My friend who was also moving and I wondered what was going to happen in Louisiana. Would we still have a place to move to? Thankfully we did. I never evacuated all the years I lived in Florida (I was born there). But I've evacuated more time than I can remember from New Orleans. We were in Houston when Rita hit and we were puzzled by how badly everyone was freaking out. Houston's pretty well inland and above sea level. We only had 1/4 tank of gas and couldn't leave even if we wanted to because all the gas stations sold out of gas 2 days before. The city shut down and looting began before the storm arrived. We hunkered down in the 2 story house we were staying in and never even lost power. Strange times.