People often ask me how the city is coming along. (New Orleans).
And I have to say it truly depends on who you ask.
For me, Hurricane Katrina sent me and my husband into a whirlwind after it hit.
We are in construction, so obviously we became swamped in a bad, yet good way.
In a good way we were able to help several hospitals and medical facilities re-open as fast
as we could. We knew patient beds were few, so we busted our butts getting them back open. Our own office was flooded and needed attention, but we saved it for last. Honestly, we were too exhausted to deal with our own problems after helping others deal with theirs. -- But at least I was so damn busy, I didn't have time to sit back and think about alot of things my mind was burying that could have easily thrown me into depression.
Katrina just like any disaster brings out the best and worst in people, always has, always will. The government pointing fingers at each other. Nothing ever resolved. Some residents will never come back and others will never leave. My brother left and won't come back. Some waiting on Insurance money or the Louisiana Road home money before they decide what they are going to do. It's all just so crazy. Everyone that has remained is scared of next season, (June 1st) because the levee's aren't all back to the way they were before Katrina. (which wasn't much to begin with as we saw). I have a levee directly down my street and often think how fortunate I was that mine lucked out due to a jog in the hurricanes path.
But, there are people like myself. We try to hide from it. I don't like to watch the news, I don't like to venture into the areas where you see X's still painted on houses and no one lives there anymore. Just this Saturday we went to a friends birthday party. It was at her cousins boat house on Lake Pontchartrain. As my husband drove down West End Blvd. I felt my chest tightning, and my breathing becoming rapid. My temples were killing me from holding back the tears that wanted to burst free. The houses were like a grave symbol to me. They were dead and empty. I could still see the water mark about 10 feet high. There were a few rebuilding here and there, but not much. My heart hurt for them.
I became sad on the drive to the party seeing this up close again. I had to put on a fake smile once we got there, but after awhile I began to enjoy myself, and pretended all was well once again and forgot about what was next door to this boat house. An empty one, and other empty one. Just down the street all the restaurants were washed away, the good ole' seafood restaurant that you sat on the porch peeling crawfish and shrimp. Sucking heads and pinching tails as they say here locally. (crawfish that is).
No one knows what it is really like until you see it first hand. And we all can argue over the politics, I'll be the first one to tell you "THEY SUCK", especially in New Orleans, and stupid people re-elect them again... But, seeing destruction, death and a city hit rock bottom like that truly breaks your heart. At least it does mine. I love this city. Crime, crooked politics and all! I'll never move. I will continue to rebuild one building at a time and hope more and more people come back to this beautiful, but flawed city. Any thoughts, comments and questions are welcomed. --- I LOVE NEW ORLEANS!!!
Dawn (sorry for the typo's. I didn't spell check this time)