9.20.2008

Well, From All Reports.

It just feels as though the Gulf Coast has been 'spanked' lately. There's just a kind of somber mood of late, and with good reason. Because communications haven't been up to speed, so to speak, we haven't been able to find out how others have fared in the aftermath of the two hurricanes. People who live south of us, along the coastline are still having a terrible time. First they got a direct hit from Gustav and before they could get back to their devastated homes, they were hit by Ike, although 'he' passed a couple of hundred miles to the south of them, on it's way to our friends and family over in the Houston area. When I went through Houma the day before yesterday, I saw 'villages' of motor homes and shelters for folks who just have nowhere else to live right now. Even in the 'ritzy' sections of town there was so much damage and it appears as though they still have no electricity. I don't even think the schools are open, although I heard the other day on the news that a couple of high schools are open and are encouraging the students to attend with the promise of a hot meal and some air conditioning. Sad. About the family. Initially, we had heard that Cappy's sister Maria's home had a big tree fall down through their roof and destroyed the girls' bedrooms. It turns out not to be true, which, now, is wonderful news. The tree fell, but didn't, despite appearances, even touch the roof of their house. They did also have to take down the big, huge pecan tree which shaded the patio area out back of their house by the swimming pool. (the big tree in the background)

Cousin Mark and Susan, and their family, who live in Houston, replaced me and the dawgs, up in Alexandria, LA @ their Mom and Dad's (Aunt Marguerite and Uncle Eugene). They had just moved into a new home over in Houston. Cappy talked with them and said that, their home seems to have survived, although there are fallen trees everywhere around their yard. I think they said they'd never ride out another storm. It must have been terrifying not knowing at any moment whether or not a tree was going to come barreling down through the roof on top of them. In the news there had been plenty of people reportedly killed by falling trees. Thank God cousin Mark and his family made it through safely.




Our good friends, David and Ginger, who also live in Houston are fine. This morning Cappy called and learned that they, too, had no damage to their home, but presently are outside working hard cleaning up many huge old trees which fell in their yard.





Uncle Maurice and Aunt Margaret went East to stay with family while the storms were blasting away. Sadly, too, they lost several trees, had roof damage, and their fence was destroyed. Repairs are about to get underway, perhaps tomorrow, or Monday, so they plan on extending their getaway, by driving up the coast, headed north, visiting and enjoying the Fall scenery. Now that sounds like a Plan. If the storm hadn't hit, Cappy and I would've just completed our visit up thataway. Now we plan on going in November, barring any other major catastrophe.
Speaking of catastrophe, tho, last week Cappy inadvertantly scared the wits outa me. He took both my hands and told me he had to tell me some very bad news. "You know our cousin, who you got to bond with...get to know this last month at the Jambalaya...Bill? He was shot." Oh Lord, No! Well, what would you think?
Everything all at the same time went through my mind. We pray he's going to be fine eventually. He was out bird hunting with a batch of his high-falootin' friends from his work, when one of them went 'vice-presidential' on him and "Cheney'd" him in the head with bird shot. I guess his face got it pretty badly and I think he still has to have some surgery. His beautiful wife, Kim, Cappy's cousin, who has a great sense of humor, said, (I was told) that as long as he is now sporting three new holes in his ear, why not fill them with jewelry. I guess, Bill, being a rough, tough cowboy sort, did not find that a viable option. I'm wondering now, if instead of anesthesia, if he will just bite down hard on a rolled up bandana and fortify hisself with a shot of ol' "Redeye", instead. Cappy's right; I did get to visit, at length with Bill at the Jamabalya and found him to be every bit as great as Cappy said he is. I'd send him a get-well card, but I'm not sure if mail service is up and running in Houston just now. Most everything, from what we hear, is not up and running. Cousin Kim told Aunt Gussie, who told Cappy, who told me...and I'm tellin' you, that they didn't have any damage to their home and that their electricity is on. At least they don't have to suffer any more than they already have this past month. I think Cappy told me that Bill's accident happened between hurricanes. What a month, what a month.
Last night our friend, Melissa and her precious grandson, Little David, came over to visit. Little David, is the son of Melissa's son, David, who passed away last year in a car accident. Little David is three years old now, and seems to be shy until he warms up. At first I had a hard time understanding what he was saying, but once he got started, I was thrilled. A couple of times as I was talking to Melissa, he was trying to get by me, while he was playing with SparkyBear, and I heard his sweet little voice say, "Excuse me". Awwww; he's already polite. He spent the hurricane up in Alabama with family, while Melissa, as usual rode the storms out, as she says, "Layin' on the floor, prayin' ". This last year has been very hard for Melissa. She's also had health issues on top of the loss of her son. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of storm she goes through; most likely layin' on the floor, prayin', she always rises to the top, and leads the Gospel group singing with such Joy, through her tears. One of the songs I love to hear her sing is "We Fall Down, But We Get Up". I think she epitomizes the Cajun spirit. I don't know how else the people of the Gulf coast could survive the many beatings they've taken over the years. They may be down right now, they may have lost family, they may have lost everything, but despite everything; and I don't know how they do it except by Faith and sheer tenacity, they do Get Back Up.
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