Sunday, August 29, 2010

the sun'll come up...

on the five year anniversary of hurricane katrina, the networks have flooded the airwaves with images of a submerged, battered and beaten new orleans and gulf coast region taken in the days after the storm.

seeing those images again, the tension and uneasiness of those days leading up to katrina making landfall have resurfaced.

one might question why someone ensconced in the middle of the texas panhandle would have cause to worry about a storm 900 miles away.  ordinarily one might only have a general concern for people unknown. that concern expanded exponentially with loved ones living at the center of katrina's bulls eye.

the good thing about hurricanes is that the storm track can be monitored over days, even weeks coming up to landfall.  that's also the bad thing about hurricanes in that the storm track can be monitored giving time for  concern and unease to build as a storm's aim places loved ones in it's sights.

even here in little a-town we were touched in a major way by the beast that was katrina, having family living in the big easy then.  fortunately they had the opportunity, and good sense, to evacuate ahead of the storms' making landfall.  they were safe.

still the life they had spent years cultivating was changed.  though the second story apartment in the house on olga street was not flooded, the waters came up into the first floor structure and the roof was compromised by the wind allowing the flooding rains entry into what was "home" before the storm. "home" was no longer habitable.  the apartment on prytannia escaped major damage.

as the flood waters claimed the city and as they receded again the face of new orleans, outside bourbon street and the garden district, was the picture of devastation.  the vibe of the city took a hit.  as time passed,  thousands of those evacuated ahead of the storm, and after, didn't return.  it was not because they didn't want to but because in many cases the "home" left behind was no more.

time, circumstance and different opportunities eventually drew ours away from new orleans.  the lure was the same, the city was not.  secretly i celebrated having all gone from hurricane's way.

in time new orleans and the gulf began to heal.  the ruin that remained after the storm was cleaned up, repaired or rebuilt.  the draw that remained grew stronger as healing progressed.

b. relocated to california.  he did his all to become one with the big easy.  he was saddened by his leaving and vowed to return.  when he moved to the big easy he immersed himself in the mystique of it all. the mystery that is new orleans still pulls at him, he's still missing the city. nevertheless, he has taken a page from past experience and is immersing himself in the different vibe that is wine country.  living smack dab in the middle of the napa/sonoma valley wine country, he is well on his way to becoming a certifiable wine he grew to love new orleans, he is finding himself liking san francisco.  vastly different, but still good.   

i find a certain irony in his trading tornado country for hurricane country and the latter for earthquake country.  perhaps he simply enjoys living in "the danger zone."

j., his now ex-, returned to "home" to little a-town for a time after katrina. l.j. soon followed her here.  the lure of "home" for her proved weaker than the call of life in the big easy for the two of them.  she and l.j. were drawn back to louisiana by a pull as strong as a mother's love.  again, they live in hurricane way.

k. brought k. moved here from mckinney for a time. we were blessed having family near us.  last year ennui and the pull that is the big easy drew the two of them to hurricane way.

hurricane season is traditionally july 1st- october 31st. from that "season" comes concern for me.  k. and k., j. and l.j. living in harm's way has boosted my hurricane watch interest.  when each new system forms off the coast of africa, my hurricane antennae go up and they stay up until i see the threat to the big easy and the gulf has passed. hurry up, november!

and they're singing- ala keith urban                                                 
someday baby//     you and i are gonna be the ones//    good luck's gonna shine//    someday baby//          you and i are gonna be the ones//    so hold on//    we're headed for a better life

to them all, i say-- in my heart of hearts, i truly hope it's so.

to all the hurricanes yet to form, i para a phrase borrowed by horace greely. "go east young storms, go east".  aio

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