I went to New Orleans the first time, while I was pregnant with my second child. It was the dead of summer, I was huge and awkward, it was hot, humid, and miserable outside. The Ex-Husband made me walk for hours and hours at a brisk pace and was too cheap to buy water. We'd left our older child with my mother and I missed him terribly. The visit should have been completely unbearable. I should never have wanted to return.
But it wasn't, and I did. Want to return, that is. I can't explain any better than this: New Orleans felt homey. I liked where I was. I liked the people. I liked the surroundings. I liked the PLANTS, for heaven's sake. Everything just looked RIGHT. I felt completely content. I could wander the neighborhoods for hours, wondering about the places and the people. I think it was the history- I love history, and there is a palpable sense of it everywhere you look in New Orleans.
I badgered Joe for months afterward. I wanted to live there. I wanted to buy an old house in an older neighborhood and become a local. I've never felt that way about any other place I've visited. Anywhere.
I've been watching the news since before Hurricane Katrina rolled in. Watching with fear in my heart and a knot in my stomach. Then with Anger in my soul. This is a clusterfuck of impressive proportions. I knew LA govt was corrupt. I just didn't realise they were completely worthless as well. It's so damn useful to stand around pointing fingers at each other while the bodies are still floating in the water. Real practical, fellas.
I wish I had money to contribute. There is 200.00 in my bank account, and most of that is already earmarked for bills. I wish I was close enough by to do something. I'm in Kentucky; I could drive down. But what skills do I have to offer? I could do childcare, I suppose. Food preparation. But most likely I'd be another person in the way of the people who do the real work after something like this. I wish I had a guest room to house people.
I wish someone was taking donations of goods; I have seven boxes of outgrown kids' clothes and several bags of baby toys that I'd gladly offer up. I'd cheerfully pare down the house and share what I have, if I knew where to take things.
All I can offer are my prayers. They don't seem nearly enough.