August 31, 2005 @ 23:15
Katrina

It’s amazing to me that disasters like Katrina happen, disasters like September 11th, the London subway bombings and the Asian tsunami happen, and still the world keeps on turning. Still people go about living their daily lives, worrying about things like what to eat for dinner and whether or not they took the trash out.

Like Bonnie and I. We flew to Boston Friday evening, after depositing Pandora at guinea pig camp, and have spent the last few days sightseeing with Jo and George.

While we enjoyed ourselves in Boston, Katrina tore the Gulf Coast to pieces.

A few weeks ago I was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I set off 4th July fireworks on the beach. It’s funny, but this is the only visit to the Little House that I’ve been absolutely confident I would see it again. Usually I leave it with a huge lump in my throat, because I don’t know when I’ll next get back there. This time, I thought: “well, I’ll be back next year.”

It didn’t occur to me that next year there might be no house to come back to. 4th July weekend is probably the last time I will ever see the Little House. And we’ll probably never again visit our familiar haunts along the beach: the Sea Wall Restaurant, the Beach House, the little shops in Bay Saint Louis.

We don’t even know that Bonnie’s cousin Norma Jean and her family are still alive. They only evacuated four miles inland, and we’re afraid it wasn’t enough.

Some people rode out the hurricane because they had no choice: they were too poor or too infirm to evacuate. Some rode it out because they had what CNN dubbed as “Camille Survivor Syndrome,” meaning that they/their property survived hurricane Camille in 1969, and they figured that if they survived that they could survive anything. But Katrina destroyed buildings that survived Camille. Where Camille “merely” stripped bark off of trees and twisted pine trees together in knots, Katrina wiped out a whole forest.

Only one person in the whole of Hancock County has been heard from. Just one.

I may be in Boston (and flying back to the UK tomorrow), but my thoughts are very much with the Gulf Coast right now.

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