Friday, September 16, 2005

Homecomings.

I got this fantastic email from an old friend of mine yesterday -- and I have to share it. Hopefully he won't get pissed at me for this, but I think it really sheds some light on how even people who were only moderately affected property wise are feeling and thinking...

________________________

Dear Friends and Family:

Well, we finally got to see the house yesterday. It is in great shape. We live in a golf community near Abita Springs, La. It was deep in the piney woods forest which covers most of the Florida parishes of Louisiana. The first order of business at the next homeowners meeting will be to change the name of the community to "Broken Tree."

Katrina affects people in different ways. Some big and some little. I spoke with the owner of the land our neighborhood is built on, David Goodyear yesterday, his great grandfather bought all the land from Abita to Bogalusa in the 19th century. He was involved in, in addition to Goodyear Tire, the paper plant in Bogalusa, and used the trees to fuel that plant. David, 80+, had seen each section of trees planted in his lifetime. Now, 4 of every 5 trees for 20,000 acres are snapped about 30 feet from the ground. I have learned in the last few years that you can really fall in love with a piece of land, it's hills, trees, birds and lakes. Seeing it damaged is heart-breaking.

So, after 16 days in Dallas, we saw the house was in good shape. My wife was worried about the fridge. I said don't open it, we'll buy another one. No, she couldn't stand it. I left the room. She opened the freezer, then the main compartment, ran into the garden and threw up. I don't care who you are, that's funny. Anytime an "I told you not to" results in throwing up, especially if it's your wife, who rarely listens to me anyway, that's funny. She spent the rest of the time in the house with a sheet of Bounce stuck to her face, trying to get the smell from her nose. So, I promptly did what any self-respecting, non-handy, southern man with a weak stomach would do, I grabbed the duct tape, wrapped the doors up and rolled it outside and called my insurance agent.

Since there was no power, we arranged for a condo in Sand Destin, Florida and left abruptly. Our children are excited to go swimming. It seems I just spend my days figuring how to keep them as unaffected as possible, seeking generous cousins to play with, things to do and see, like waterslides, movies and museums with dinosaur bones, Uncle Jimbo, even a sandy white beach to bury 'dada' in. Can't figure out if I'm doing enough, too little or exactly what I should be? Watching my self implode on CNN is not good for me any longer. Priorities. Children...Wife....Mankind...Self...tough decisions. Am I the one running from New Orleans out of fear, where I should be in waders? Well, the kids seem like a good excuse not to. I just want to watch them and my wife sleep safely unaffected by the storm every night. Then I realize that the thousands of people who want to do the same, but don't have that same luxury right this second and I feel wrought with guilt and terribly lucky. Luck and guilt are strange bed-fellows to me. Who am I kidding, guilt is strange emotion for me period. I never minded luck much.

I can work remotely. We hope to return in another week.

Please take care and love one another. Let me know how you are doing. If there is anything I can do for anyone, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for listening.


Jeff

3 Comments:

Blogger cookie jill said...

That is a wonderful letter. Thanks for sharing...

12:09 PM, September 17, 2005  
Blogger Antonio Gramsci said...

Would that I were rich. No offense.

9:30 PM, September 17, 2005  
Blogger jenny said...

funniest thing ive read in a while!

12:38 PM, September 19, 2005  

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