It was tough to avoid the media coverage of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I did a decent job of ignoring it by keeping the t.v. off for most of the weekend. But, I broke down for CBS Sunday Morning because that show and a bottomless cup of coffee is a total indulgence for me, particularly when it is raining outside and I have an excuse to lounge around in pjs. There was a story about NOLA and how it/we are doing and it was just right. I teared up, like I am supposed to, remembering the last morning we spent in our house - about what I would have done differently if I had known. I stopped myself from thinking too much about what it felt like in those first few days and weeks when we didn't even know if we would ever be back here, when people were so kind and accommodating that it made my heart ache, when Luz slept in borrowed beds and many different sets of arms and about how it changed the lives of loved ones, some in particular very slowly and quite profoundly. I am sure a doctor would agree that there is a little bit of ptsd in all of us, just in varying degrees.
On the other hand it also made me smile. It reminded me that it is okay for me to want to be here, that this is a really incredible place and I hope I never have to leave it again. Did you know that NOLA is the second fastest growing city in the nation? Okay, yeah, I get why the statistic is skewed, but at least people aren't leaving. We are on to something here and have been for a while. CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Alex Beard, a local artist who, incidentally, has some really amazing paintings/drawings/puzzles/books (I have coveted his animal designs as the perfect accent to a nursery/kid's room), who put it quite nicely when speaking about the general sentiment of New Orleanians these days when he said, "life is full of hard things...we will rise to the occasion." Alex, I could not agree more.
This is a nice Alex Beard drawing that caught my eye, The Plight of the Flamingos' Flight:
Quite fittingly, it rained all weekend, really rained. By noon today the cabin fever was high so I took Luz and James to the zoo for a somewhat wet adventure and then stopped by GG and Papa George's house for a visit and to play with all of the fun toys. It was a lovely day...
Checking out the animals:
Looking for the white tiger:
Preaching to the elephant fountain: