08/29/05

We’re in Baton Rouge. We’re safe.

Will have an update tomorrow.

08/31/05

Whoops, thought I’d be able to update on Monday. Apparently not.

Well, if you’ve been watching CNN etc, you probably know as much as we do. Who knows when we’ll be able to get back home. Fortunately, we have a home to get back to. Holly, one of the multitudes and masses staying with us, has a mother-in-law who stayed behind in our neighborhood and she drove around the neighborhood yesterday, checking on our houses. Seems we fared okay.

But whether or not our house is okay doesn’t really matter when there’s no city to go back to. Sure, the West Bank is okay, but without city services (or, you know, power), how do you go on with day-to-day activities? You can’t. So looks like Baton Rouge is home for now. I really really wish I’d brought my running shoes and exercise clothes. I can feel myself turning into a big blob. Must go out today and purchase some things.

What else is there to say? Everything is so much up in the air.

The big one

The support and kind words are just overwhelming. Thank you everyone for everything. But I feel bad – there are people who are so much worse off. Our home is okay, or so we hear (though I have to say – I am not looking forward to cleaning out the fridge when we do get to go back!) and our friends and family all made it out safely. (Well, there are a few we haven’t heard from yet. But I am very hopeful.)

It’s impossible to comprehend what’s happening. People have always talked about the Big One hitting New Orleans directly. But we didn’t really think it’d happen in our lifetime. And it’s playing out exactly like they said it would. Of course, I wouldn’t have predicted the lawlessness that would take over the city. I can’t believe there are people taking shots at helicoptors.

Polly finally heard from Colin. (Polly is a friend from our neighborhood who came to my mom’s house. Her husband works for the sheriff and had to stay behind.) I am so happy for her – he called this morning at about 6:30, and she hadn’t heard from him since Monday.

Two of our friends are leaving to go to Tucson today. I’m going to miss having them around. George’s parents and uncle and grandfather are moving into an apartment nearby on Saturday. And when Colin is finally able to get out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge, he and Polly will be leaving.

I want to leave. I want to go somewhere far away. Not forever. We’re going to come back to New Orleans, but that could be months away.

And of course the wedding…well, there’s no telling what’s going to happen. It’ll happen, just not the way we imagined. My wedding dress should be safe at the dress shop in Covington. If not, well, I’ll just have to get another one. I’m just amazingly unconcerned, for someone who has spent the last ten months obsessed with wedding planning. I’m actually kind of proud of myself.

I’m just glad we have our plane tickets to London and they’re nonrefundable. (I don’t want to know if they become refundable. We’re going on our honeymoon!)

09/02/05

I was going to post this in the comments, but decided to just make a new post.

Well, since we live in Orleans Parish, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to get in for a while, even though we’re on the west bank. George is itching to get back in, but I refuse to go back until the east bank is secure and dry and safe. Unfortunately, George seems to be more concerned about our stuff than his safety. Let’s hope I can convince him not to go.

Mike – nice try on the Morrissey thing.

Paula – I think Metairie is relatively safe, but I still would strongly discourage him if you can. I just don’t think anything is worth the risk. I think they’re saying Thursday now instead of Monday.

I am most scared of cleaning out our fridge. Har har. And George said he bagged up the trash but didn’t take it out before he left on Saturday. Bleeeggggh. Maggots! Grody. But hey, at least we have maggots to go back to, right?

Our friend Colin made it to Baton Rouge yesterday. He’s a Sheriff’s deputy. The horror he witnessed will make your hair stand on end. I am so so so happy he is here safe and reunited with Polly.

George and I are seriously considering coming up to the DC area for a few weeks. It’s getting really claustrophobic at my mom’s house and just in Baton Rouge in general. Our jobs are secure, and I really want to get George as far from New Orleans as possible. I just don’t want him trying to get in. Sigh.

09/04/05

It’s so weird. All of it. Almost a week has passed. Heck, it has been a week since we came to my mom’s house, just for a few days, we thought. Yeah, right. I’d have brought more clothes had I known. Har har.

I was at Target this evening and behind me in line was an elderly man with his son or grandson. The grand/son went to get him some razors and while we were waiting in line, the man asked me where I was from. I said Algiers and he said he was from Chalmette. Chalmette, in case you don’t know, is gone. I read that 96% of all of the homes are under water. Under a lot of water.

I haven’t cried that much over this stupid hurricane. Only when Polly and Colin left this morning and after I left Target. The man was so sad, so broken. Everything he had was gone. It was just so sad to talk to someone who really has lost everything. I wish George had been in line with me. I wish he could understand that we are so incredibly lucky. We only have to wait and we’ll get to go home again. Mostly likely, our home is okay, and our “stuff” is still there, waiting for us.

Just babbling about the sadness of it all.

My friends are everywhere. Regan has moved to Austin, probably forever. Who knows when we’ll see our friends again? I hope they’ll be able to make it to the wedding. Which, in case anyone is wondering, is most likely still going to take place on November 12 as planned, but probably in Baton Rouge at my Uncle Greg and Aunt Caroline’s new massive house. Thank goodness they just bought it! Ha ha.

Ready to head to northern Virginia. Want to be around normalcy for a little while.

09/04/05

Haven’t really mentioned the wedding much, but I think we’ve agreed to just move it to Baton Rouge. I have come to realize that I just don’t care where it is. As long as it happens, who really cares where it is? My very generous Uncle Greg and Aunt Caroline have volunteered (oh okay, maybe I asked) their beautiful and huge home for the reception. We’re going to look for a church for the ceremony, so once we can get that set, we can start making all of the other arrangements.

At the moment, the date will still be November 12, so if you were planning on coming to New Orleans for the wedding, please plan on coming to Baton Rouge instead. It is more important for us than ever to see our friends and family, all in one place. We miss everyone so much.

And the best part is…no guest list stress! (Well, I’m not stressing about it, that’s for sure.)

PS We’re going to have a huge freakin’ party when we all get back to New Orleans, for those who can’t make the wedding.

A bit of hope

A little bit of hope from Paula…(copied from yesterday’s comments)

Pam (and everyone else),
PLEASE PLEASE don’t get caught up in what you’re seeing on tv. I went to Metairie with Dave today. Metairie and Kenner have ALREADY STARTED the rebuilding process. I know the ‘city’ and downtown is a completely different story, but I want people to know that there ARE other areas of New Orleans that are already preparing to bounce back. We went down I-10, got off at LaPlace and took Airline all the way in. There were civilians all over, cleaning up, serveying damage and packing up things. We even saw a few stoplights that were flashing. These are the things you DON’T see on tv.. that there are parts of the city that are dry, parts that are already getting down to business. The Huey P was WIDE OPEN with no roadblocks or anything. The outskirts of New Orleans and the city itself are filled with wonderful people, and it saddens me to see what is being portrayed to the rest of the world.
Please don’t give up hope.
Paula

Let’s just hope the rest of the city has this much hope. And remember, Kenner had 100% damage – every single building had water and/or wind damage. (Or so they said.)

09/07/05

You kids are too funny.

We signed a contract with a reception hall today. Anyone who went to Nicole Ross’s or Ann Tatum’s weddings have been there. Nice. Now we just have to find a church. I wish we could have an evening reception but unfortunately, the diocese of Baton Rouge doesn’t allow evening weddings on Saturdays. Hmmph.

Anyway, at least we have that taken care of. We’re very excited about it. I just wish it could be at night. Ah well.

Still waiting to hear from my boss regarding working remotely so our trip to Virginia is still up in the air. Cross your fingers.

09/08/05

Holy frijole!

So earlier I was a little bummed that we were going to have to have our wedding during the day. I don’t know why – I was fine with having a day wedding in New Orleans, but for some reason, I suddenly want a night wedding now. But then I heard that the Diocese of Baton Rouge doesn’t allow them – something about no weddings after the Saturday vigil mass.

Well, it seems that St. Joseph’s Cathedral – the big one downtown in Baton Rouge – doesn’t have a vigil on Saturday afternoon. Because we’re having our wedding there in the evening! Yay! It’s going to be so beautiful – I’m so excited! I know it’s no big deal, and it still feels wrong to be excited about this with everything going on…but what the heck.

Anyway, it’s amazing how smoothly everything came together – reception hall and cathedral, and only blocks from each other, so people can walk to the reception! Woo!

09/10/05

This is my first ever blog entry written on the road. Right now we’re somewhere in Alabama, between Birmingham and Chattanooga, Tennessee. We’re going to stop for the night in Chattanooga, mainly so we can go to Steak ‘n’ Shake at some point. For me, Steak ‘n’ Shake is a drive-to-northern-Virginia tradition, one that must be upheld. I hope it’s still there.

So yay, we’re on the road! Should be getting to Kristina’s sometime tomorrow evening. I can’t wait to get there.

First bit of very very good news: Polly just called; their animals are safe! They were very worried about them, because Colin had brought them with him to work, but he unfortunately had to leave them at his office while he was working, and then we he evacuated he had no chance to go back and get them. But his sister was able to get them out and to a shelter, where they’ll be safe until Colin comes back to Louisiana. Yay!

Second bit of good news (not nearly as good as the animal rescue; seems petty in comparison, but it’s still good news to me…) My afterparty dress came in today! It’s actually bittersweet news…the day we leave to go out of town for a week and a half or so, and my dress comes. Hmm. But now that I think about it, I may have to ask my mom to send it to Kristina’s house. I only have a week to decide if I want to keep it or not; after that, it’s unreturnable. Mom – if you’re reading this…can you send it?

Brought the payment for the wedding to the Cathedral today – I’m so excited about the wedding being there. George isn’t thrilled (and of course I’d be happier if it was in New Orleans) but it’s going to be so beautiful. I just hope a lot of people can make it.

Okay, now I’m getting motion sickness from typing in the car. I did literally mean “on the road”, see?