Things continue to very slowly improve on a regional level. There are still miles of mostly empty neighborhoods and the people who are back are not getting the support they need from local, state or federal government to get things moving. So, many have taken things into their own hands using whatever savings or extra money they can get scrounge up to do what they can to make their homes livable or are still in a FEMA travel trailers on the front lawns of their homes. Every week there are stories on the local news stations about elderly couples and families with small children stuck between FEMA and the local power company trying to get electricity hooked up to their trailers or sometimes even the keys so they can just get into the tiny things. This is still happening sixteen months after the storm.
My brother, Dale, had his computer stolen when his house got broken into back in August. He can't file a claim with his insurance company because he hasn't been able to get a police report. The New Orleans Police Department told him that they are still writing up the reports by hand because of a lack of computers and they are months behind on them. He checks with them weekly and they still haven't caught up to August.
The shock at the end of last year has given way to endless frustration. And even though our situation has been and is still certainly better than many people in southern Louisiana, New Orleans or the Gulf Coast, Juannie and I are still much shorter tempered, more easily agitated and generally more stressed on a regular basis than we wish to be. We still drink more than we should although one of our joint resolutions for 2007 is to start the South Beach Diet. We've both gained weight in the midst of all the upheaval that included no stove and it will help us cut way back on our alcohol consumption. We are waiting until the end of football season to start, though, since playoffs this year will HOPEFULLY mean parties and festivities thanks to the miraculous season of the New Orleans Saints.
The press has made much of how the Saints' great season has lifted the spirits of people here. Unless you live in this area, you can't really comprehend how much the team means to us during every season but especially this year. The ongoing diversion of an exciting and winning team is so important plus it gives the people who are muddling through in this area something positive to talk about and something to look forward to.
So this meandering post does end on a postive note. And now I go out into the rain to walk my beloved poochers!
And here's a picture I took yesterday with my new camera phone. I am so glad that Rocky isn't scared of this one!