to say that this has been a very bizarre week is a massive understatement. last thursday i started a four day marathon of packing up my 15 years in my little one bedroom apt in park slope, brooklyn to move to a six room apartment in a river city up the Hudson River. during the weekend Katrina made her appearance and as of 1 pm on monday when the tv was packed i was tuned in and watching the developments.
the move went from 7 am to 11 pm on monday in 85+ and 100% humidity. one of the longest days and most uncomfortable ones of my life. and of course i was shanghaied by the moving company and the total was $1000 more than the "guaranteed estimate" (yeah guaranteed right). but as i was without tv or radio as all was packed and exhausted - i fell on the sofa and slept.
tuesday morning i discovered that all my "first day after move" boxes were of course misplaced and i had none of the little things - like my toothbrush, tea, a mug, hot water pot or even a pot. well, then i heard from my sister who lives where i have moved about the flooding in New Orleans. i was without phone or internet until late tuesday and when i went online i couldnt believe the destruction and the horror of it all.
i am one of five girls and one of us lives(d) in New Orleans and her house is directly in the path of the 17th Street levee breach. we now have confirmed that the house is totally submerged under 15-20 feet of water and so she and her artist husband and their three year old son have lost everything.
the fates were good to them in one aspect - they were up here in the northeast and so my nephew was spared the trauma of the evacuation and all that. they are also fortunate in that they are visiting family members on an island in Maine with no television ... and so they are being spared the barrage of media coverage.
we are rallying as best we can for my sister and her family - they had planned to move out of New Orleans to raise my nephew in the northeast anyway and this trip was the beginning stages of that plan but all of their possessions were still in the house.
i grew up in Baton Rouge but spent much time in New Orleans (its an hour drive) - that was were the "good" musicians went to play and the New Orleans Opera company is there, the MET used to tour there when they toured. and it was a gorgeous gracious city, which i have many fond memories of.
we spent our summers in pass christian until camille destroyed it and then we moved to santa rosa island. with Ivan last august and now Katrina, i feel as if all of my childhood is being destroyed.
i find a very bizarre ironic juxtaposition of the new start of my move with the destruction of katrina. i loved new orleans and was considering moving there at some point - the only thing keeping me back is the weather - even though i was born and raised in South Louisiana, i dont do humidity very well. the weather in south louisiana is humid 4/5 of the year.
so i sit amid all my wordly goods - many many boxes and am slowing recovering from the monstrous four day push and then the move. as i slowly empty these boxes and sort thru and arrange and organize my life into a new home, my heart and soul are weeping for all of new orleans and the gulf coast.
yes we/they will endure but it will be a damn hard road to recovery.