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Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

September 29, 2005

Thursday, September 29th

The only place I can check my official email here in Millington is at a workstation set up in a conference room in our building. It faces a window, so as I was checking my email I was watching as different groups passed by on the golf course to which we are adjacent. It gave me pause for thought, watching people go about their daily routine, enjoying the weather, engaged in recreational activities while so many TENS of THOUSANDS of people are stranded, away from home, away from family, or have no homes, or have lost loved ones during this tragedy. It began to seem almost surreal, as if I were living in two separate and distinct worlds, each disconnected from the other, yet ultimately connected by the physical presence of those affected by Katrina in the world of those who are not.

The Navy’s Blue Angels are here in Millington for the Mid-South Air Show to be held this weekend. They have been flying around all day rehearsing. It looks to be an awesome show! On the way home this afternoon people were parked along side roads, in parking lots, in fields to watch the planes as they flew and climbed and circled and fell and twisted and turned in a beautiful, albeit noisy, aerial ballet.

You may notice that I’ve deleted some comments. The ones I delete are those that contain unsolicited links or promotions to items/services/websites that are trying to sell something. That’s not what LOT(L) is about.

Louisiana license plates are everywhere! Memphis must be a popular place for evacuating. At least three Navy commands have moved here from New Orleans. If they don’t return it will mean a significant financial loss for the city.

We have electricity in our home!! Yeah!! Today!! Great, now we can start paying for the electricity that we aren’t home to use. At least we’ll have air conditioning and washer and dryer when we go home to check on things in a week or so. Maybe cable, too.

We’ve watched a couple episodes of the new sci-fi programs on TV, Threshold, Invasion, Surface. They’re all pretty interesting, with some good story lines if you’re a sci-fi fan. Also, a new show called “Criminal Minds” with Mandy Patinkin is also pretty good. I’m actually getting to watch some of these, since I’m not in school in the evenings up here like I was in NOLA.

Our friends arrived this evening. We had a wonderful dinner at the original Corky's restaurant, followed by ice cream for dessert Cold Stone Creamery, a neat little place that makes ice cream fresh every day, and puts in it whatever you want for toppings or actually rolls it into the ice cream, like strawberries, or blueberries, or M&Ms. Finally we capped the night with coffee from Starbucks back in the hotel and lots of chit chat. It was a wonderful pick-me-up to have such close friends show up here in Memphis. Breakfast tomorrow will be nice, but it will be sad to say goodbye once again.

Please pray for all those missing children, that they will be reunited with their families quickly.

God bless us all, and good night.

Dean

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September 27, 2005

Tuesday, September 27th

Much has happened since my last post, some good, some not so good. All we can do is place our hope in God's divine presence in our lives.

As some of you may know, my daughter-in-law works for a law firm that relocated to Houston after hurricane Katrina. Now that things are settling down and people are beginning to return to New Orleans, we've just learned that of the five attorneys at the firm, four are returning and one has elected to remain in Houston. You guessed it.... the one she works for!! That means she and our oldest son will be relocating permanently to Houston. This is the first time the family has been truly split since he joined the Navy.

Our daughter took the grand-kids to Disney World last Sunday. She said they had a wonderful time and the littlest princess was on her best behavior the whole time!! Check out the photos of the grand-kids at Disney World: http://disneyphotopass.go.com/DPI/r.d?i=227392294 Don't know how long they will be available, but they're cute.

Because of the lack of space where her office relocated, Linda is working every other day while I have to go in daily (sux to be me!?!?!). I think I mentioned previously that they are moving into an abandoned K-Mart building, so her mini-vacation will be short lived.

Just got email from our very good friends who evacuated to Colorado. They are returning to New Orleans via MEMPHIS!!!!! We'll get to see them Thursday evening!! Wish our daughter could be here with us, as she loves them like family, as we do.

Looks like we will try to go to New Orleans over Columbus Day weekend to meet with our insurance adjustor. Hopefully we will have power to our house before that so we can stay in some comfort, at least.

Today I'm asking specifically for prayers for our Catholic school system. They are having to lay off many faculty and staff because of the storm and lack of students. As a very wise Archbishop from Uganda once said, "A school without God creates clever devils!"

Wishing everyone good health, happiness and a swift return to a life of some normalcy.

Take care, and God bless us all!

Dean

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September 26, 2005

Monday, September 26th

Monday brings a new week, with the remains of Hurricane Rita just clearing our area. By the time she reached us here in Memphis little remained but some gusty winds and light rains. We were fortunate because our neighbors in Northern Louisiana and Arkansas suffered tornadoes spawned by the storm. The forces of nature never cease to amaze me. No matter what we do, how strongly we think we’ve created something, in the end it is no match for Mother Nature.

Another member of our team has arrived in Tennessee, bringing our number to four. By next Monday we want to have all 60 here with network connections back to Ft. Worth up and running. We’ve got our hands full this week. Hopefully we won’t have any more storms to contend with and we’ll be able to get back into New Orleans to retrieve our equipment. Today Mayor Nagin is supposed to announce his new and improved plan to bring people back into the city.

Our pets are doing pretty well through this whole evolution, although I think being in small cages leaves the birds bored, because they seem to be eating more than they did at home. I guess they’ll be little porkers when we finally get to return to LA. Maybe we’ll enroll them in an avian weight loss program, or a gym.

A State Farm agent called us yesterday and gave us a quote on the damage to ¾ of our ’66 Mustang. He couldn’t see one side of it because it’s under the rubble that remains of our garage. It’ll be nice to get home and get that cleared out and rebuilt. Still waiting for an agent to assess the garage itself, as well as the house at 524. The boys tell me we lost some shingles and both wind turbines from the roof. We knew that our attic door had blown off and needs to be replaced. Thankfully, Mike took charge and covered everything with plastic until we can get the adjustors to evaluate and ok it for repairs.

I haven’t seen the news yet this AM, so I’m hoping that no new storms are brewing out in the Atlantic or Mediterranean. Please continue to pray for us and for all those affected by Katrina and Rita in any way. Your thoughts and prayers sustain us as we grapple with problems we would never have imagined we would have to deal with.

May God continue to bless us with health and happiness.

Dean

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September 25, 2005

Sunday, September 25th

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been ‘evacuees’ for a month!  Two weeks in Orlando with the whole family, then two weeks in Memphis just Linda and I.  The outpouring of love continues to boggle the mind.  Just a brief recap of some of the things we’ve experienced here in Memphis the past two weeks:

  1. Noticed a flyer in the lobby of our hotel advertising free admittance to “Wednesday Night Suppers” at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.  Went to the dinner, had a wonderful time meeting everyone, including two of the four deacons at that parish.  We were given complimentary tickets (value $30) by the church choir director to attend the first Oktoberfest at Holy Spirit that Saturday.

  2. Saturday we went to 5PM Mass where Linda and I were asked to bring up the gifts, then  we went to the Oktoberfest.  Food was great, the halls were alive with the sound of music! (Ouch!!) Linda saw a lady whose haircut she liked, so she went and asked her for her stylist’s name.

  3. Got a call from the lady (Annette) and her husband (Dave) the next morning and they took us to breakfast at a pretty cool place called Brother Juniper’s.

  4. Went to “Wednesday Night Supper” again.  Sat with a Memphis couple originally from New Jersey and a Metairie, LA family from New York.  Also met a gentleman (Tom) and his wife (Cathy) with whom we share common interests.

  5. Friday we went to “Smokin’ by the Lake”, a BBQ contest and party at the Navy Lake in Millington.  Ate a bunch of outstanding BBQ.  They know how to do it up right around here, for sure!!

  6. Saturday (yesterday) got a call from Tom who invited us to his house for dinner, followed by a movie.  After a wonderful dinner of Chinese take-out with some excellent Port for dessert we were given a tour of their absolutely gorgeous home, and were extended an invitation to stay there if we wanted to get out of the hotel.  Although we did give it some thought, I can’t see us inconveniencing another couple for several months, so we will probably stay put for now.

  7. After dinner we went to see the new Jodi Foster movie, Flight Plan.  Great movie!  If you’re a Jodi Foster fan, go see it, definitely!!

  8. Today, Sunday, we went to 12PM Mass and lunch at a nice Italian restaurant near our hotel.  The weather has deteriorated for the past day and a half into gusty wind and misty rainfall, but we are under tornado and flash flood watches at the moment.

That about sums it up!  As you can see, we’re keeping pretty busy, especially when you add in going to work every day at the Navy base in Millington.  We try to keep in touch daily with our kids.  They say all is well in Algiers, although electricity continues to be an off and on (ouch, again) situation.
We’re keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers and hope to be united with family and friends again soon.

As always, take care and may God’s blessings be on all of us.

Dean

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September 24, 2005

Touro Hospital - A Children's Hospital Clone?

Wow!!  The compassion being shown by the New Orleans hospitals continues.  A friend of our daughter, whose husband is also a sheriff’s deputy, like our son-in-law, was called by Touro Hospital and told to return to work.  She told them she had evactuated to New York to her family, so she would need time to get back, and that she has no place to live in New Orleans.  Their reply was not an offer of help in finding lodging, but rather they fired her, too.  What is wrong with these institutions?  People are homeless.  There is no support infrastructure in place for people to get the bare necessities to live on.  Why not add salt in their wounds by taking away their livelihood as well?

Corporate America can really suck at times, ya know?

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Saturday, September 24th

It’s 10:00 AM on Saturday.  We’re up and moving slowly, had breakfast and coffee in the lobby and watched CNN on the lobby TV.  While at breakfast I called my daughter-in-law (she’s the only early riser among the kids) to find out how everyone fared.  She said they had some wind, but not too bad, and only occasional light rain.  She did mention that they seem to lose power every night and get it back about 6 hours later, almost as if it’s being turned off and back on on a schedule.  Everyone is fine who stayed in New Orleans.  We are so very thankful that we were spared any more damage, but once again our hearts go out to those whose homes are in the 9th Ward, where more flooding is occurring.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, we again went to Holy Spirit for their “Wednesday Suppers”.  As luck would have it we sat at a table with a Memphis couple who had lived there for 5 years but who were originally from NJ.  We, of course, are from NY.  Another family was there, from Metairie, LA who were originally from NY, also.  The Metairie family was leaving the next day for Nacogdoches, TX.  This morning during the Hurricane Rita report the newscaster mentioned that Rita was down to a Cat 1 storm in the vicinity of Nacogdoches!  Please, join me in praying that that family evacuated again and is safe!

Lake Charles, LA seems to have taken a beating from Rita.  I guess Mother Nature isn’t finished with LA yet.  Hopefully no more hurricanes this season will take aim at the Gulf coast or  the LA and TX coastline.

For those who know him, we heard yesterday from Fr. Deo.  He returned to Rome from his Italian immersion program somewhere in rural Italy, has a room of his own and is enjoying the food served at the university there.  His Italian is progressing, though he says he can understand it better than he can speak it, which is normal.  He’s here in the States for a couple of days to attend a wedding, then he’ll go back to Rome.

As always, we appreciate and continue to ask for your thoughts and prayers for us, our families and friends and for all those touched in any way by Katrina and/or Rita.  These disasters offer us opportunities to grow closer to God and to each other if we only take the time to look for them.

Take care, my friends, and may God bless you all!

Dean

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September 23, 2005

COMPASSION NOT HIGH ON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL'S LIST

My daughter just found out that she was fired from her job at Children's Hospital New Orleans because she can't come back to work on Monday. She was notified today that she is one of eight out of 30 secretaries that are called back for Monday. Talk about short notice!! It doesn't matter that there are no schools for her two children, so they're enrolled in school in Orlando, FL, no electricity in her house (again, thanks to Rita), and no stores to buy the basic necessities of life. It's beyond their capacity to try to treat their employees with understanding and compassion, apparently. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though. As I understand it, Children's was charging their employees for meals during Katrina when everyone was trapped by the flooding. These were people who had stayed behind to help with the patients' care. (But, hey, at least they were still getting their employee discount). Really makes me want to donate to them again during their next telethon.....NOT!!!

Once again the god of $$ reigns supreme. Sadly some people didn't learn anything from Katrina about what truly matters in life.

Dean

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Friday, September 23rd

Who would have thought, a week ago, that people who had evacuated to Houston would now be evacuating to New Orleans?  That's what my daughter-in-law did!  Still, watching the news and seeing what Katrina did to Pensacola, I don't think New Orleans is completely out of the woods on this one.  They're still in for some strong winds and rain. 
 
That, coupled with the evacuation orders complicates the cleanup of the area and the return of people to their homes to assess, reclaim and secure what is left of their property. 
 
Check out members.cox.net/dirt3 for some photos of Algiers property damage.

We continue to pray for the victims of Katrina and now add to that a prayer that the people of Texas and Louisiana don’t become victims of Rita, as well.  It is mind-numbing to try to grasp the devastation that has occurred and then imagine the potential for even more on a similar scale,  with more than two months to go in this hurricane season.

Truly blessed our those of us who are able to sustain our hope and faith through our relationship with God.  I ask Blessed Mary, our mother, to intercede for us, through her son, Jesus Christ, that God may grant us the strength and courage to continue to be beacons of Christ’s light to those we encounter who are struggling to cope, who are feeling hopelessness and despair, who need someone to help them through the seeming endless darkness that disaster often brings.

May God continue to bless us, and may we bask in the warmth of His love and kindness.

Dean

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September 22, 2005

Just a Thought...

You know, I got to thinking today, as I got yet another fast busy signal, or "We can't complete your call at this time" message. It seems to me that the cellular phone companies are really skating by on this one. Finger pointing right and left as to who didn't do this or that, or who didn't evacuate soon enough, or who didn't arrange for buses, or who didn't secure the city soon enough, or which breakfast cereals tend to bloat people who evacuate (ok, maybe I exaggerated a little). Anyway, I can't recall hearing anyone on the national news channels pointing fingers at the cell phone companies and accusing them of not being responsive to the disaster, and not being able to keep a network of communications flowing. With so many people using cell phones, many as their only means of communication, it is critical that this method of communication be reliable under all conditions, or at least be able to be restored in a short time, neither of which appears to be the case. For the amount of $$ these companies take in we, the consumers, should expect and receive better service than what we are getting, don't you think? Anyway, that's my gripe, and I'm sticking to it.

Dean

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REST IN PEACE, BROTHER

I am crushed. Deflated. Empty. I've just learned that my dear friend and brother Deacon, Tom Stallings died yesterday of a heart attack. He was young, mid-40s. My heart and prayers go out to his wife, Trisha, and their children. I wish I could be there for the funeral to honor someone I love and respect deeply.

Please pray for Trisha and family, and especially for the repose of Tom's soul as he goes to meet our Lord. May the first words he hears be, "Welcome, Tom, my good and faithful servant."

With heavy heart and tears in my eyes,

Dean

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Thursday, September 22nd

I'm going crazy! Trying to set up temporary digs for 60 SPAWAR New Orleans people to work in loaned spaces at a small command here in Millington. It's like putting 20# of dooky in a 10# sack! Everyone is trying to be helpful, people have moved out of their work spaces so that we can be co-located, but network connections are a problem and everytime we find a solution, the local people plunge on ahead without even glancing at our solutions. Argh!!

Our attempt to get back to New Orleans to get equipment and bring it to Millington has stalled because of Rita. All efforts to get this program (TFARS) back on track seem to be for nought. I think I"m too old for this. I'm becoming more impatient and short tempered. I feel like I don't have enough good years left to put up with incompetence! I guess I need to work on patience. It is a virtue, you know.

We continue to reside at the La Quinta here in Memphis. Looking to maybe move to a suite, but they tell us nothing is available until at least October 2nd, and that will only be good for 30 days. Any suggestions?

Went to "Wednesday Supper" at Church of the Holy Spirit last night. Once again we were given free admittance and were treated wonderfully. Dinner was a delicious green salad with nuts and strawberries, corn on the cob, rolls and barbecue'd pork loin. Dessert was a yellow lemon cake. Everything was delicious!! The parish seems to be extremely active, with a lot of parishioner participation. Everyone has been SO warm and welcoming to us. They even gave us a new parishioner packet with a coffee cup and a CD of the Holy Spirit Schola Choir music.

Still, it ain't N'Awlins, dahlin'!! Homesick, homesick, homesick!! We want to be back in Algiers.

Patience, I guess. It will happen. Until then, Corky's is right around the corner (1 1/2 miles) so I'm like a pig in a poke! Still haven't tried the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse which is less than 1/2 mile from the hotel. Maybe this weekend.

As Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us, everyone!!!"

Dean

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September 21, 2005

GOD IS GOOD!!!

While we were in Algiers two Fridays ago, picking up extra clothes and stuff, we offered the use of our 3 bedroom apartment (currently home to youngest son and 2 roomies) to two NOPD officers. The only stipulation was that when my son and daughter-in-law returned from Houston the apartment would go to them. As it turned out, my son didn't go to Houston, so I finally had to tell the officers that I had to take back the offer. You can imagine how bad I felt as I faced this predicament. So, I left a message on an Algiers blog, stating the facts and asking if anyone could help. Tonight I got a call from someone who owns a 4-bedroom house in Tall Timbers and would be willing to let them stay there!! What a relief! The generosity of people continues to overwhelm me.

Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for the safety and wellbeing of others!!

Dean

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Wednesday, September 21st - Updated


When we first evacuated New Orleans, we went to Orlando and people thought we were crazy not to be going to Texas. We thought, hey, EVERYONE is going to Texas, and if New Orleans is the target, then Orlando should be pretty safe. As it turns out, looks like at least as far as Katrina and Rita are concerned, we made a good decision. Now we're concerned with our daughter-in-law, who is in Houston. She was going to come back to Algiers, but New Orleans appears to be shut down for now. Will it reopen in time for her to get out of Houston and back to NOLA?

And still 2 1/2 months of hurricane season to go!!

Come on, prayer warriors!! We need some divine intervention!

Dean

It's 10:30 am and I've spoken to a couple of the New Orleans Herricks and one Houston Herrick. Looks like the daughter-in-law is going to make a run for New Orleans. Apparently the West Bank is still open, so she should be able to get home ok. Seems kind of strange to hear someone heading to New Orleans to escape a hurricane after all that's happened. If the storm does turn North, my deputy sheriff son-in-law assures me that they are planning to "beat feet" out of there. The one who works for the NEX says they are sending him to P'Cola if the evacuation actually is necessary. So, I guess everyone is pretty well covered, and has a plan of action, just in case.

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September 20, 2005

Tuesday, September 20th - evening

I want to go HOME!!! Eating out all the time is getting really old! And wouldn't you know the hotel is right in the middle of an area with many of our fave restaurants. Corky's (my personal favorite for BBQ, along with the SHED) is about a mile away. Ruth's Chris is maybe 1/4 mile. Micky D's (my fast food favorite, NOT Linda's) is about 1/10th of a mile. Near Micky D's is an Italian restaurant that is great! We thought it was a little pizza place, so we stopped in for lunch one day. Wow, hostesses in dresses and heels, fancy cherry wood all around, cloth napkins! No little pizza joint,was this, but the food was terrific. Across the street from Ruth's Chris is a BP gas station that serves sushi. We haven't tried that yet!

Our son Mike says the curfew in Algiers is being enforced. He was stopped twice while trying to return home in the evening. They will let you travel to and from your home, but they don't want people wandering around the neighborhood, which should make those like us who can't get home fell a little more secure worrying about our "stuff".

Kenny has gone back to his day job working in the IT department for the Royal Sonesta. Last week they had him working night audit to try and catch up from the storm. I think he's glad to be back on his regular job.

Linda used to work for EPMAC, now she works for EPMART. :-) Seems that since the spaces given to her command at Millington amounted to about 30 computers for 190 people, EPMAC is contracting for an old K-Mart that was used by the Corps of Engineers so it already is wired for LAN and PC stuff. They should be moving in about two weeks, which will mean she will have to drive a little further to work than she does now.

I hope everyone remains safe and secure as Hurricane Rita approaches. Keep the faith.

Dean

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Tuesday, September 20th



There is no end in sight! Every day the destruction and devastation of Katrina strikes closer to home as I discover more and more friends and coworkers who have suffered total, or nearly total, loss of their homes and property.

It seems that for every person I meet that has suffered only minor damage to their homes, there are another 3 or 4 who lost everything, homes, cars...

What makes this even more tragic in a sense is the nature of the people of Southeast Louisiana. They are a close knit, family oriented people, who settle near one another so that families stay together. Some of the "damn" Yankees, such as Linda and I, should we have lost everything, could at least have pieced together some record of our pre-Katrina lives through the family photos and movies of our family members living in other areas of the country. Not so for many natives of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. When their homes were lost, so too were the homes of parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins. Family histories and memories washed away in a fury as Mother Nature reclaims what is hers.

Dean

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September 19, 2005

Monday - September 19th

Mondays... BAH!!! Normally I hate Mondays, but today starts the "Coming Home" series on CNN, and I'm looking forward with mixed emotions to watching. I'm anxious to view scenes from the neighborhood, and to watch as my friends and neighbors return home, but sad that Linda and I are unable to return as well. So much to do, and so far away!!

Linda and I were at dinner at (would you believe it?) the "Crescent City" restaurant located very near our hotel. With much trepidation I ordered shrimp creole appetizer and chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, both of which were actually pretty good. We sat next to a couple that I recognized from work. They are from the 9th Ward in New Orleans and had about 4 feet of water in their home, which is a raised shotgun house, so the water was at least 7 feet in their neighborhood! It is so hard to meet these people and try to sympathize and empathize with them, and have to answer their inevitable questions with, "No, our house is ok, we didn't do too badly at all." It almost makes me feel guilty that I didn't lose more than I did.

Please continue to pray for us, and especially for all those who suffered so much more and continue to suffer and wait and watch for their turn at returning and trying to rebuild their lives.

God Bless!

Dean

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September 18, 2005

OF POSSIBLE INTEREST

CNN is beginning a series called "Coming Home" starting tomorrow, Monday. It will cover the return to New Orleans, and begins with zip code 70114, which happens to be our neighborhood! Perhaps you will see one or more of our sons, who have returned and are living there now.

I can't believe both Linda's and my jobs have relocated "temporarily" to Millington, TN. It's really difficult knowing that we could be home getting repairs done and cleaning up what damage we did sustain from the storm. I hope that our temporary relocation is just that, temporary, and short in duration, as well!!

Dean

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More Ramblings

It's later in the day on Sunday, September 18th. While I was walking the dog outside our hotel, I stopped to speak to a woman wearing a University of New Orleans tee shirt. She was traveling with her son and his wife and 15 pets! They were loading their two cars to head back to her home in Slidell, LA, which had been partially submerged by the storm. She was struggling to prepare herself mentally for the devastation she new was waiting for her in Slidell. I can't begin to imagine the pressures she must be feeling at this moment. She had been desperately trying to figure out the logistics of a place to stay with all her pets (she saves stray dogs and cats) when she got a call from friend who told her that he had prepared his house for her to stay in while he was tending to his ailing mother. During this time of trial the heart felt generosity of others shines through! It's sad that the night of their arrival at our hotel both of her family's vehicles were broken into and possessions were taken. It's hard to imagine so many others in situations similar to hers.

My wife and I have had only positive experiences here so far. Providence led us to a wonderful church only 2 1/2 miles from the hotel. We have attended two social functions at the church and were welcomed with open arms by the people we met there. The parish choir held an Oktoberfest last night to raise funds for a trip to Austria. The choir director treated us to complimentary tickets to the festivities. The parish choir sang songs from A Sound of Music. It was a welcome respite from the time we are spending thinking about and missing our home and children. This morning we were treated to a wonderful breakfast at a place called Brother Juniper's by a couple we had met at the Oktoberfest. It seems that daily we receive outpourings of warmth, love and compassion. I pray that those who have lost so much more experience the same, in even greater quantity.

All in all, life is still good. We miss our family and friends, but God is providing us with new friends, good health, and hopefully, an appreciation of and thankfulness for the little things in life that we perhaps used to take for granted.

Dean

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A Greeting


Well, it's Sunday, the 18th of September in the year of our Lord 2005. Katrina was three weeks ago. Still seems unreal as images continue to appear on the television day and night. In the aftermath of the storm that left tens of thousands of people homeless I can only thank God that my family is alive and well, and that our property suffered only minor damage and looting. The greatest impact on my life is the separation of family, which, hopefully will be only temporary. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who suffered so much more physically and emotionally and who have lost homes, cars, possessions, and sadly, family members.

Being forced to evacuate finds me with a lot of time on my hands, a lot of time to think about "things", and a lot of time to try and put everything that has happened in the last three weeks into perspective.

As a result, I've decided to start this weblog to chronicle the post-Katrina journey of my family and myself, and to offer others an opportunity to share their experiences as well.

Hopefully this can be a vehicle that provides some outlet, some healing and may create some friendships along the way.

If you've gotten this far, God bless you, as I know that I tend to roam and ramble in my thoughts. I look forward to reading your thoughts, as well, and I wish you all a blessed day today, and everyday!

Deacon Dean

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