Thursday, May 5, 2011

The River 2011 - perspective

It's a roller coaster of course. One day you're not even paying attention, the next the world seeems to be collapsing around you. least we are getting some advance notice to prepare, unlike the unfortunate in Alabama. The needs of your household and livelihood which seemed out of your control yesterday, dependent on the whims of a swollen river and weather north of you, and on officials with a multi-million dollar agenda - to preserve the future of the Riverwalk and the businesses there, seem somewhat more stable today.

Rumors abound and they are easy to believe as reality is all too scary on its own, but as officials deal with some of the more outragous rumors they realize the need to set the record straight and inform the public as to the truth (we hope).

As I drove down the levee, Tuesday, seeing the river nearly at eye level, I felt the sudden urgency to make a plan, find a hole to stash our belongings, somewhere safe. I was nearly shivering with it by the time I got the crawfish unloaded and began visiting storage businesses. The fear, uncertainty, lack of control and lack of a plan was the worst. Where would we go? What should we do about our businesses? disconnect and move and lose income? Stay and trust the officials when they say they have confidence in the levees to hold 65'. If the worst happened and we do flood, okay, we'd lose the house and everything left behind but suddenly friends have stepped up to offer places to store the businesses - at least they can be moved if necessary. And others have said if you get evacuated, bring everything here.

But something else - Mary touched on this yesterday in her comment - the feeling of gratitude for friends, community, our home and the serene surrounding that could be lost, suddenly appreciated more. These things I've taken for granted.
And good health.

I ran into a friend, I'll call her Bobbie, at Wal-mart yesterday when I ran in to buy more totes for packing. She asked if I was preparing for the flood. I asked if she was and she shrugged. Then I really looked at her. Beneath her ball cap, she was bald, and I knew. I saw the sadness and fear in her eyes. She mouthed, "I have cancer." I felt so humbled, so guilty for my selfishness, that I didn't see it right off. So pray for Bobbie, for her needs and her health.

Our officials and community are coming together more to stay informed. Facebook pages have sprung up for everything. The picture is of our parish surrounded by the levees, with the Mississippi on the right in blue.

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