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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Shock and Awe

Yeah, I know you've heard that phrase before but I'm stealing it. I can't think of any other way to better describe what I'm feeling. And, you could say that Hurricane Katrina has executed a mother nature style of Operation Shock and Awe on the gulf coast mid-south. The situation that has unfolded after the storm is simply mind boggling, and it appears that it will likely have major long term effects on the entire country. I'm now officially a refugee, with no home and virtually all of my personal possesions are wiped out. The only things that I was able to grab were a couple pair of jeans, shoes, a few shirts, toiletries and my medications. When we woke up early Sunday morning and saw that the strength of the storm had increased overnight and was headed almost directly over New Orleans we quickly decided to bail. We also saw that they had called for mandatory evacuations for our area in Jefferson Parish.

That began one very long journey of bumper to bumper traffic headed north away from the city. Some highways were restricted by police because they were already too congested for more traffic and I was forced to go almost due north. It took me nearly 10 hours at the wheel to go a distance that would have ordinarily taken less than 2 on an ordinary day. At first I was going to go to my brothers place in Hammond, La. but they decided to leave as well because his home was very near to the path of the storm. After a few phone calls on my cell between me and my family we decided to meet up in Dallas, Tx. Maggie of Maggiez Farm had been planning to come visit me in N.O. next week and I called her and we talked about me coming to see her instead. I decided to spend one night in Dallas on the road and the next morning I left early and headed for Arizona which is where I am at the moment, writing this post from her PC.

Her generosity and kindness has been overwhelming and I feel very welcome here, she has opened up her home to me to stay as long as I need, although at this point in time I'm not sure how long I will stay. I will be playing that by ear depending on the situation in N.O. Hopefully they may allow people into the area soon to retrieve whatever personal belongings that we might have remaining, but moving back there will likely be a matter of weeks and possibly months before the area can actually support a population.

I just now got a call from my mother in Dallas and she has informed me that the house is still standing but the roof looks heavily damaged, and also it appears that the huge oak tree in the middle of the backyard may have fallen over onto the house. The details are a bit shaky, some of you may recall a picture that I posted before of the front of the house, and from the street out front it always looks like that tree is leaning against the house because it so large. So, we're still not sure. There is also no news whatsoever of the welfare of my grandmother and uncle that stayed behind. Right now that is my biggest worry, I really hope they are ok.

I got to read some of the comments that you guys left on my last post and the outpouring of love and sympathy from you all actually moved me to tears, and I'm not one to cry very easily! I'm going to keep you all informed of my situation as best as I can! I don't think I will be able to access my regular ISP's email address so if anyone wants or needs to contact me you can try sending to my biteseven at gmail.com address. Thanks everyone for caring, hugs and kisses!!!!