After evacuating from Hurricane Katrina, we returned home on the afternoon of Sept 9th. My sister-in-law, who lives two blocks away from our house (she returned home the day before), called to let us know that electricity had been restored to our homes. We packed up our things, bid adieu to Uncle Harold in Lafayette, and returned home.
First thing I noticed – or rather, didn’t notice - was the patch job Andy did to the roof. We lost a bunch of shingles, which he replaced on one of his day-trips back. You really can’t notice the spot unless you’re looking for it. Our fence is leaning, but it isn’t completely down. We hope to have it fixed this week.
We went through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for the most part unscathed. Our neighborhood has a lot of trees down – some of them on top of houses. Many other neighborhoods in Mandeville, LA have experienced the same. I see some of the larger homes in our area – the big brick and stucco houses that I envy (heck, I envy anything over 1400 square feet) - and many of them have trees through them. Yet here we are, in our tiny little house, safe and sound. I’ve never been so happy to see my little 1,163 square foot, vinyl siding home in my life. With all the giant trees in our neighborhood, I really didn’t expect to see it intact.
It was soooo nice to take a bubble bath that evening without having someone knock on the door – Uncle Harold’s house has only one bathroom and had eight evacuees. Sleeping in my own bed? Not as great as I imagined. I hoped it would be just Andy and me so I’d have a little room to spead out (rather than Andy, Sam, Zack and me as we slept on Harold's sofa bed) but it was not to be. I thought Zack might have enjoyed being back in his own bed amongst his 20 stuffed animals, but nope, he wanted to cuddle with me instead. He's adjusting to sleeping alone again.
Our old cat, Sebastian (age 16), is doing well. He lives outside and survived the wind and rain by camping out under Andy’s car. The turtle is okay, too. We brought home three geckos that we caught from Anne and Bobby’s house (our cousins – Harold’s daughter and son-in-law). They're also fine.
We’ve been getting settled into our new routine. I’ve been home schooling the older two boys until their public school re-opens on Oct. 3rd.
Our phone service was restored today, Sept. 25, and with it our internet service (yes, I’m still on – GASP! – dial up!). I’ve really missed the internet these past few weeks.
I’m a real web-browsing, emailing fanatic. Email has kept me in touch with people that I might ordinarily not hear from – former co-workers in another state, the friend who lives 15 miles away but is also a busy, busy mom, the sister who lives across the country and keeps farmer’s hours (up at dawn, in bed by dusk – more or less).
Increasingly I’ve come to rely on the internet for information. I think I’m pretty good at figuring out which sites are reputable versus which ones have bogus info. One of my favorites is www.snopes.com, a site devoted to debunking urban myths. You know the emails: “Women: Be on alert! This *really* happened in (insert state here)” or “Deodorant causes cancer!”
I’m also an eBay junkie. I shop sometimes, but I browse way more often than I should. Some of it is funny (a potato chip with the image of Jesus, anyone?), some of it is educational (there are discussion boards devoted to teaching people how to avoid bidding on fake designer items), some of it is a trip down memory lane (I recognize that Holly Hobby doll!)
I also get most of my news online – www.nola.com has my local news, and I visit the Washington Post’s website to catch up on what’s going on in my mother’s part of country.
I missed blogging – I’ve only been at it a month or so prior to Hurricane Katrina, but I've met some really great people.
I’ve missed to miss my daily emails from my mom. I’ve missed the silly jokes I receive from Mom, Uncle Harold and Rick in Virginia. I’ve missed hearing about Lynda’s latest art showing (she did two episodes of “Simply Quilts” on HGTV). I’ve missed hearing from everyone, actually.
It’s great to be back!