They are trying to wash you away.
Took 15 years to come back to my beloved city only to find it now completely under water. I did not want to leave, but Sunday morning with Category 5 warning and a mandatory evacuation notice, Steve made the decision for us. At doggie playdate we held a conference: Nancy not going, Bill nervous, Val going, Les gone. Back at the Can we gave ourselves an hour to get ready – we went to the LaLa house and secured the windows and tarp (nutty), took showers, brought the TT to the shopping center and parked on the third floor, and packed a few shorts and tank tops for a two night away trip. We drove in convoy with Nick, Val and Wade with Zeus and Cadillac in one car, Steve, Arlene and I in our Volvo, and Lorrie in her car.
You realize how fortunate you are to have a place to go – we saw cars jammed with 10 to 20 people piled in them, cars pulled over, rest stops overflowing with people and calm scenes like tailgate picnics eaten on the side of the road. The police had set up a contraflow to allow all lanes to be one way out of New Orleans but still we went 10 miles an hour all the way there. We hit one arm of the storm at a gas station somewhere in Mississippi and had a taste of Katrina. Arlene was so scared she got back into the car and wouldn’t pee. Steve now believes he has seen footage of that gas station in Hattiesburg leveled.
It took 16.5 hours to get to Shreveport where we were joined by my brother Bob, his wife Barbara, daughter Jana and her boyfriend David, my other nephew in law’s mother, Jeanine, at my niece Sara’s house. Sara and Michael and baby Rylee were the most welcoming hosts on the planet. Their neighbor came by and wanted to give us money.
Down the street – PJ’s coffee house was filled with New Orleans refugees the next morning.
We spent our evenings on the back porch, drinking and smoking and the weather was unbelievably beautiful – clear skies and a slightly cool breeze.
We spent days staring at the television. Then we needed a plan – so we, by a long circuitous route, decided on Dallas, or rather Arlington, and called and rented a corporate apt for a month. We drove to Arlington and moved into our new temporary dwelling on Wednesday afternoon. It’s a three bedroom and Nick, Val and Wade are in one room, Val’s mother Lorrie is in another, and Steve and I are in one room. We’re going today to rent folding tables to set up our offices. Hopefully will be up and running on Tuesday after Labor Day.