Alright Already!! Geez!!
It was a busy week, what with work, and getting ready to preach this weekend at my parish… first time for my new pastor, plus getting ready to officiate at a wedding Saturday evening. The homily, I’m told was ok. People seemed to like it, though that’s not necessarily the sign of a good homily. At least Fr. Joseph approved. The first go-round, at 5PM Mass on Saturday was a little shaky. Not only was I preaching for the first time in front of Fr. Joseph, but the archdeacon and his wife were present, as well. Those of you who know me well understand that I have issues with preaching in front of him.
The wedding was nice. Rehearsal on Thursday went well, and we followed up with dinner at Texas Roadkill on Westbank Expressway and Manhattan. It was super crowded, but the service was still pretty good. Besides, it was PJs night, so most of the wait staff were wearing pajamas. Interesting, to say the least. As I said the wedding was nice, but not without its moments. Once the wedding party had processed in, and the welcoming comments were made, it was time for the first reading. Unfortunately, the person who was to read thought the wedding started at 7:30PM and hadn’t arrived yet. Finally the bride’s father jumped up and came forward to do the reading. Still, we got the couple married and sent on their way! We wish them the best in their new life together.
My at work lunch bunch has found a new place for lunch. Sammy’s Market and Deli, on Live Oak Dr. in Metairie. Good food, good prices, and within a reasonable distance from work. As much as I like NOFS, I think the shrimp po-boys at Sammy’s might be just a little bit tastier.
Big J continues to maintain perfect attendance. Way to go!! You get a gold star!
H2 went to Houston for a 4-day weekend. He left the day before Linda arrived, so I had the whole house to myself for one day. I got a little taste of what H2 has been experiencing for the past 11 months. It’s a big, lonely place when no one else is there.
Sunday we had a great family-ish get together at “Eastern Restaurant”. P&J, Ian, BB, KenEllie, Linda and I. Its menu has two sections, one Chinese, one Japanese. The good thing about this restaurant is that they do both well. I had California rolls, fried dumplings, and a VERY spicy, but delicious, orange chicken. Outstanding!!
Later in the evening we picked up Fr. Deogratias Ekisa, a Ugandan priest who is studying in Rome, at the airport. He’s in the states for a couple of months to do mission appeals for his diocese back in Uganda. It is always a joy to see him! We took, him straight to P&J’s, where we enjoyed a supper of homemade chili and corn bread. Again, outstanding!!
Linda leaves this afternoon to return to Memphis. Please pray that she has a safe journey today and each time she travels. Update: She arrived safely!! I miss her already.
After 11 months it’s amazing to see how much of the city is still dead, lifeless, with little or no activity toward recovery. It’s also amazing to see how people are struggling to lead “normal” lives in those areas that were least affected by the storm. It’s a whole new “normal” though, as people from devastated areas combine with workers from other states to repopulate (read overpopulate! inhabitable areas. Lines remain long in stores and restaurants, and in many cases selections are still limited and hours of operation restricted.
While trying to remain positive, it is difficult to see New Orleans returning to the city it once was. So many people have either relocated to other cities and states, or have moved to the North Shore. So many areas show little signs of recovery after almost a year, it’s painfully obvious, at least to me, that the road to recovery will be long, long, LONG!! This isn’t going to be a couple of years. I believe we’re living in a city which is going to change demographically, and significantly. If it does return to its former “glory”, it will be slow in coming, as new people will have to move into the area, building the city up as they come. And it will take better education and big business to attract new citizens.
For me, Katrina gave New Orleans a golden opportunity for rebirth, and a chance to clean up its act, socially, politically, economically. So far, it hasn’t taken long for “business as usual” to come creeping back. And what about the rumored plan for recovery that our mayor spoke of during his reelection campaign? If there is a plan, apparently he is keeping it with him, and he ain’t here!! He seems to be any place BUT here.
Tomorrow is our annual Night Out Against Crime. Everyone gathers at a park in the neighborhood. Police and firefighters are there, along with elected officials. I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but doesn’t that leave a lot of homes unattended for several hours? And isn’t it advertised? And wouldn’t you think someone considering burglarizing a home would consider this an opportunity? Just wondering.