August 27th, 2006

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Sunday Memories

Juannie and I cleaned up the deepest recesses of our backyard this morning to prepare for the delivery of our new storage shed. It was a very different start to the final Sunday in August than we experienced last year.

Memories from that other Sunday morning...

-Seeing endless lines of cars stuffed with people, pets and belongings snaking along Williams Blvd. and on to I-10 going West toward Baton Rouge.

-Marveling at the sunny skies over the water as we crawled across the Spillway because I knew what the city was facing in less than twenty-four hours.

-Looking at the silhouette of the New Orleans skyline through the back window and worrying about all of the people who didn't have a way out of the city.

-Crying silent tears when they announced Katrina was now a Category 5 on WWL radio.

-Begging my parents over the phone to evacuate and when they wouldn't listen, calling my brothers to tell them that I didn't have the strength anymore to convince them to leave.

-Wondering if the enormous gnawing knot in my stomach, that had appeared two days before when I saw Katrina was headed toward NO, would ever go away with no idea I'd still have it at varying levels a year later.

-Praying along with Father Maestri as he said the Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on the radio and being more fearful than I'd ever been before in my entire life.

-Feeling a touch of relief when I reached my brother and he told me my parents were on their way to meet him in Baton Rouge.

-Being proud of Juannie, Bess and Rocky for being so supportive when I fell apart numerous times during that seemingly endless drive to Jackson.

-Feeling welcome and grateful when we reached the home of our friend, Thomas, in Jackson not knowing that we'd have to stay there for three weeks.
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My Ties To The Lower 9th Ward

Both of my parents grew up in the now infamous Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Juannie lived in the 9th Ward when he was a little boy. My father owned a drugstore on St. Claude Avenue and I worked in his store during the summer. My grandmother lived in the same house in the 300 block of Tricou Street for seventy years until it was sold two years ago. She broke her hip and couldn't live alone anymore.

This article shares the story of some people from the Lower 9th Ward since Katrina.

I agree with what Theodora Guilbeaux said about the misinformation spread by the media about the 9th Ward last year. Poor people did live there but lots of people chose to live in those neighborhoods because they wanted to be there. They stuck close to their family and friends, their heritage, their property and their fond memories.

Snagged from swampytad.
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Corgi Capers

The dogs and I are spending some time outside enjoying the breezy pleasantness of the evening...

Rocky is minding his own business sniffing and strolling leisurely around the yard. Bess interrupts her own doings to watch him and then hunkers down in the grass. She is now stalking her prey.

Rocky is unaware of the change in his status from stroller to stalkee and continues his ambling. Bessie makes herself as small as possible and is ready to pounce when the target nears her.

Then Rocky inexplicably stops and rolls around on the ground making grunting noises. Once he's done with this, he remains still as if he's resting on the lawn. Bessie is confused. "What is going on? Why is that goofy boy messing up my plan for him?"

Bessie gets bored watching him while he continues to recline. She starts walking around the yard sniffing the wind and watching the mockingbirds.

Rocky leaps up from his seemingly indolent pose. He tears over to Bess, catches her unaware and tackles her. Then the chase is on. Rocky chases Bess as she escapes his clutches. Then Bess turns the tables and doubles back and starts after Rocky. Wrestling occurs randomly. More running and barking.

As if on cue, both dogs stop and lie down in the cool grass. Back to relaxation time once again.