Oh to have the discipline of Monk. (Or even SAG). I have tried on numerous occasions to blog and simply couldn't/wouldn't, I'm not sure which to be perfectly honest. Katrina did a number on me. Spiritually, physically, emotionally. I rode out the storm 100 miles inland with family and friends at my sister's home. It was not my first hurricane, but I pray my last. We watched trees uproot and snap as debris flew. We slept in sweltering heat and grilled what food we could salvage from our quickly thawing freezers. I was fortunate to go to "the land of electricity and water where all seemed so normal" soon after the storm, though my spirit was chaotic and low. I couldn't reach family or friends after I left since cell service was extinct in the hard hit areas. I devoured pictures online of my hometown like a heroin addict.
I was born on the beach in a lovely old hospital in Biloxi, MS and also married on that same beach at Tullos-Toledano Manor (an old governor's summer home). Both buildings are gone (as is the marriage). I grapple with the fact that Biloxi will be rebuilt, but I fear a very plastic city, all neon lights and none of the former quaintness. What I've heard my Daddy say numerous times finally came to fruition. "One good hurricane and the Coast will be wiped out again!" he'd say every couple years. I have a vivid memory of returning home after Camille and though I was only 7 at the time I'll never forget my Mother crying the entire trip. We followed a state highway truck that was clearing the roads with a chainsaw. My Daddy would toss the sawed logs to the side of the road as they were cut. There was so much destruction my Mother was sure her home was gone. What was usually an hour drive home from Mamaw's took almost 4 hours. We arrived home to multiple trees down and missing shingles, but otherwise unscathed. The names Katrina and Camille are forever imprinted on my memory. I think were I named either of the two, I'd march right up to City Hall and sign up for a new one!