Well, 8/29 (somehow it just doesn't have the same ring as 9/11) has come and gone. Even though I swore I wouldn't, Monday night I watched the NBC special about the first 5 days of the storm, followed by the local NBC affiliate's documentary of their coverage of the storm. It still brought tears watching it happen all over again, feeling the anxiety, the helplessness overwhelming again.
Tuesday morning I went to a memorial Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. It was an awesome Mass, with an excellent homily by Archbishop Hughes. All the big shot politicians were there... Congressmen William Jefferson (the one under indictment) and Bobby Jindal, Senator Robert Vitter, General Honore, Governor Blanco and President and Mrs. Bush. I've never actually seen ANY politician of significance up close and personal before. Sad it took a hurricane of such proportions to bring it about. "W" is shorter than I would have thought, and Laura Bush seemed as nice as I thought.
Tuesday night KenEllie talked me into watching the Spike Lee film about Katrina. Interesting film, but not surprising, considering who made it. Although I found it very biased and misleading at times, I'm sure it is exactly what Mr. Lee intended it to be. His focus was on the lower 9th Ward, and the African American community, especially those who took refuge at the Superdome or the convention center. His main interviews were wtih black activists, so their take was not unexpected either. I have nothing against Mr. Lee's right to choose his topic. I'm only sorry that it will probably be the main source of (mis)information about New Orleans after the storm that most people in the US will see. While images of 80% of New Orleans being flooded, it wasn't pointed out that a good bit of that flooding was to the tune of a foot or two of water and much of those areas is coming back to life. It also wasn't pointed out that 100% of St. Bernard parish, Chalmette, Arabi, Meraux, etc. was gone under 10-20 feet of water. 100%!!! Of course that wasn't mentioned, it was a predominantly middle class white community of closely knit families. Will the rest of the country hear about that? Not nearly as much as they should, I would reckon.
Friday I head to Memphis to spend the weekend with Linda. H2 will return from Houston tomorrow, so maybe I'll get to at least say "Hi" to him before I cut out. He was contacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They sent him an application packet, so he's going to apply to them to become a special agent. Prayers are asked for him as he tries to begin a new career in law enforcement. He's a great kid! We really love him and are super proud of him!!
Yesterday I arrived home to find the city removing the one remaining sycamore tree from the front of our house. We had two until the storm, which downed one, and broke off the top third of the second one. We've been trying to get the city to take them down for 20 years. Thank you, Katrina, my dark cloud with a silver lining. Now we can put up bradford pears, which should be a lot less destructive of the sidewalk, and shed a lot fewer leaves, leaving us, hopefully, with much happier neighbors.
If you've ever been to New Orleans, and have traveled from the West Bank to the East Bank across the Crescent City Connection, you will know that there are several toll booths that scan toll tags rather than collecting cash. You'll also know that for about 1/2 mile before the booths, the toll tag lanes have signs painted in the lane stating that it is a toll tag only lane. So why is it that EVERY STINKING MORNING the toll tag lanes come to a dead halt because someone stayed in the lane until they reached the toll booth, and only then decided to move over to the cash lane? Aarrrggghhhhhhh!!!! I think they're the same people who put on their turn signal (maybe) as they cut you off. Remember people, a turn signal does NOT constitute the right of way.
Which reminds me... After the tree cutters had left, two men returned with a stump grinder pulled behind a pick up truck. They pulled up in front of the house facing against traffic, put out cones, and started prepping the site for the grinder. A couple of cars came up and inched by. Then a woman from our church came by, inched rather quickly by, and left about a 3 foot crease in the side of her car. The next thing you know she's out complaining loudly about how the truck is going the wrong way, and was it a city truck, and who's responsible for fixing her car? I tried to explain nicely that the truck was parked, as in NOT MOVING, and SHE HIT THE TRUCK, not vice versa. She replies, "So you're saying it's MY fault?!? But they're going the wrong way!" Then she proceeded to go to our "out on bail for stabbing his roommate who was committing suicide to death" neighbor to borrow his phone to call the police. I wouldn't be surprised if she drives up to the toll booth before changing lanes, too!
OK. I'm tired. Gotta go to bed. I hope Big J is enjoying his trip to N. Carolina. Rumor has it that T&K went ring looking (not shopping). Please pray that their relationship remains on track and that God blesses them with much happiness.
Take care, good night, and God bless you all, too!