I decided to order lunch from the little family-operated cafe downtown this afternoon. One of the specials was red beans and rice, which I love but often find prepared too bland around here. I was pleasantly surprised; and upon coming back I found an entry on my friends page from zeldakitty detailing current conditions in New Orleans.
I said when all the rescues were going on that there would be a time when life would go on for us but the survivors would still need a lot of help. Michelle does a much better job describing the state of things than I ever could. Sadly, I don't know what can be done. Mostly, it seems that the hardest thing is for a person to balance the need to go on with the need to talk about what happened, what still happens. I was only a little hurricane survivor, and I ran away... I had a very difficult time coping with winter storms, when the winds in Indiana can whip up to 50 or 60 miles an hour and tree limbs are coming down due to being weighed down with ice. I can't imagine putting daily tasks on top of my memories, being confronted day after day with debris and visible reminders, trying to recover only to be stopped in my tracks by limited resources or governmental regulations... It was hard enough for me to give up job opportunities and community allegiances I had built up in Florida, and I had only been there for two years. How would I leave the home of a lifetime? It was a wrenching decision, but I had to make it for my own safety.
If you have never experienced this kind of turmoil, please read Michelle's post and the comments that follow. I made some comments about the issue of rebuilding in the wake of Katrina that may have seemed very unfeeling to a number of people. Rebuilding is not an easy task, and Michelle's post demonstrates the reality of what I feared very well. It makes me very sad but doesn't surprise me. At the least, the rest of us need to pay attention to what is still happening there. It isn't all cleaned up and moving along.