In case you haven't noticed, there is an additional child in our family photo. I would like you all to meet the newest member of our family. She is the pretty little 7 year old in the purple dress. "Eloise" now has a little sister. We have decided to call her, "Amelia Bedelia".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bitter Sweet

This morning marked the end of the beginning of our recovery. In 2005 when we (my husband, daughter, and I) were sleeping on the pullout sofa in a friends travel trailer, the thought of having our own trailer was a dream. FEMA told us we wouldn't get one for at least 6 months. Our friend was a blessing, but his wife and kids were scheduled to come home soon. Two families in one travel trailer just wasn't going to work. So we went to Alabama and purchased one for $24,000. OUCH! We will be paying for ten more years. We really didn't have a choice though. We needed to hurry home and get the church up and running. We arrived in the church parking lot like a turtle with it's home on it's back, but we were so happy to have a place to call home for a while. It started with just our pastor, his wife, his son, and my family. We ran generators only at night and ate cold Raviolis out of the can for a couple of weeks. At last count we had 7 families and a couple of singles parked at the church. It was an adventure, but finally the summer after Katrina we all packed up and moved our trailers to our own property. By this time we had secured temporary power to our trailers and some of the streets had been cleared by bull dozers. I don't know why, but this was a very emotional moment for me. Yes I was tired of living like a nomadic tribe and yes I was glad to be getting closer to my house(shell-studs no walls or doors) but I had grown accustomed to my brand of weird. We had pulled together and were safe. As we one by one pulled of the church property it was like launching off into the deep unknown. There were other families who never lived at the church for various reasons, but visited often. I'm sure they missed the group meals and campfires too. Things have settled alot since then, but we're not out of the woods just yet due to the fact that 60% of the population didn't have the will or strength to come back. There are still tons of abandoned properties. As "Twilight Zone" as this may be we have all simply gotten used to it. I don't feel the tears welling up nearly as often. For the most part it's out of my mind until something jostles my memory. That something happened today. We closed up the old trailer and moved it away. No more monument to destruction. No daily reminder of how uncertain the future is. I should be thrilled...I am, but there is still this little pang in my heart as I realize that this is the end of another chapter in my life.


Laura Leigh Dobson said...

i was in MS during the hurricane and we suffered no such damage, just pro longed power outage, but those south of us certainly did. it seems like so long ago but in many ways it is all so fresh.

Laura Leigh Dobson said...

yep, that's "little" Lee . . . to distinguish him from my dad. He came into our lives about a year ago when my brother and sister-in-law adopted him. He is such a joy.

Laura Leigh Dobson said...

hey, he was a foster child in Oregon. they live in MS. They found him through a private agency i believe, though i am not sure what particular agency.
i can see the youtube clip but when i click on it i get nothing.

Monique said...

Hello... it's me at your home away from home. Your last few blogs have left me with a lump in my throat! Those were emotional days for us all. I guess I felt the same way when all of our guests finally pulled out of here, and we were left to our lonesome! As crazy as it was, it became my new way of life, and then all of my childhood friends and family moved back home, and I was left trying to figure out how to "normalize". We've managed; however I still look back on those days as a gift from God- difficult in some ways, but more of a blessing in the end.

Laura Leigh Dobson said...

no. we are all from Mississippi. :)