Thought the following was worth re-posting in light of the recent Hurricane Sandy. Keeping my New Yorkers in my prayers.
Here we are on day 6 of our hurrication and I’m finding it hard to figure out what I’ve done over the last few days with the exception of:
- eat lots of chocolate
- pick up lots of sticks and branches
- sweat a lot
- play scrabble
- look at facebook
- fantasize about new locations where we might live
Gosh now that I write all this down I think “whew, that’s an exhausting list…especially the chocolate part.” Okay I shouldn’t jest too much because truth be known hurricanes are serious business down here on the bayou. Now I know what you’re thinking, “like duh, Katrina. Hello?” But even a small storm, Cat 1, like dear Isaac who came to town to wish Ms. Katrina a happy 7th year anniversary, can wallop some damage on seemingly unsuspecting folks. After finally getting our power back — thank you Jesus for the small things in life like Thomas’ bulb! — we got in the car to drive north. I mean it is Labor Day weekend and my Mama always said that it is a “Yankee” holiday. Don’t ask because I’m still not quite sure I understand her explanation. Anyway…as I was saying…Hurricane Isaac caused damage north of us in an area that usually fairs much better than anyone else.
We drove on Hwy 25 toward Mississippi (they do celebrate Labor Day don’t they?) and when we passed by Franklinton the road was lined with cars, RVs and campers, on the higher ground away from the Bogue Chitta river. Honestly I’ve never been in the Bogue Chitta but it is a popular river for tubing and canoeing primarily because it is deep enough to float in without scraping your tush on the sandy bottom. Well, tubers beware: the BC was raging in normally dry spots that I’m sure haven’t seen its muddy water in 30 0r so years. Hence the campers along the highway. Ya’ see we Louisisana folk, no matter how smart or educated we are, we really don’t like to leave our property. So I guess the people who were flooded just decided to park along Hwy. 25 and wait until the river went back into its bank.
Hurricanes and the inconveniences that go along with it are just par for the course in this part of the US. Like my Uncle Chris and Uncle Tony who live outside of Folsom along the Little Tchefuncte river. We couldn’t reach them by phone so we drove up to check on them yesterday. Luckily the sweetest couple, Ruthie and Wayne Zito, met us at the bank of the road (I say bank because the road was a river) with their small flat boat. I must admit it has been about 20 years since I’ve been on a boat because frankly it is just not my thing. However, a girl has to do what she’s gotta do, so I rolled up my jeans, took off my shoes and waded over to the boat. Luckily I’m a country girl at heart so even the couple of times that I had to jump out and push didn’t really bother me. The cool river water actually felt good on all of my ant bites from the day before. Here’s a look at Lake Friedrichs-Rotolo:
The Zito’s were angels on earth to go and check on the Uncles. Plus they get an extra point in heaven for allowing two New Yorkers (even though I’m a native “swamp people”) to ride in the boat with them. Luckily the Uncles were snug as bugs in their bungalow, surrounded by their moat. Tony and Karl went out for supplies (with Mr. Zito of course!) while I visited with Ruthie and Uncle Chris. My Uncle has Altzheimer’s so I had to remind him a couple of times who I was. I read to him from a History of New Orleans book and I was amazed how much he remembered about his hometown. Isaac reminded me that I need to visit with my Uncles more often.
Storms do that; they make you slow down and catch your breath. They force you to quickly evaluate what’s important and what you really need to be grateful for in life. Anyone not from here may wonder why Louisianians stay when we have nasty hurricanes and floods? The ebb and flow of the storm water cleans out our eco-systems, our fridges, and sadly sometimes our homes. Hurricanes bring us together while its blowing through and tearing our environments apart. We learn about Mother Earth and how quickly she can recoup from the damages, and we learn how to survive.
Okay so I’m not saying I LIKE hurricanes and I’m certainly praying for all of those adversely affected by the storm. I’m just saying that I’m grateful for my time off with family, friends, and new acquaintances. Most of all, I’m grateful for chocolate.