Monday, September 12, 2005

Journey's End....

I met my brother at his house and we drove to meet his boss and a few coworkers at the airport.  I had taken a valium earlier and was still apprehensive about boarding.  But I did.   

It wasn't the worst plane trip I've taken.  That would be the single engine flight.  But small jets are still rougher than the big suckers.  At least it didn't sound and feel like it was coming apart midair.  It actually was very smooth and quiet.  So, I made it through.  Roundtrip.  

Coming back on the jet was not part of this woman's plan.  Nope, not at all.  I believe once is enough, usually.  But it seems in my haste to collect and dash, I forgot one small detail.   My bestest biker buddy, JC, was tying the knot on Saturday at 2:30 pm.  A big oops, huh?!!  

I had to be there for him.  We have been through a lot together in his previous relationship with a selfish controlling psycho chick.  No, really!  I give people the benefit of the doubt, but she wore through any glimmer of hope on that tip.   So, anyway, I did make it back and I'll write about his wedding later.  It'll give you a good laugh ;)  

We were originally going to go to Houston first as I was told to go to one of the sites there to help.  But Mr. Moore (bro's boss) had made other arrangements.  Man's got clout, apparently.  I ended up staying with them in Baton Rouge.  I called here to find out who to contact there and started getting flack for not going to Texas.  Boss man took the phone, asked Mr. so-and-so and told him-TOLD HIM- I was going and who I should check in with.  Dang!  

To Baton Rouge I went.  We got a few hours sleep before I headed to one of the 'hospitals'.  I spent all the time I was there taking vital signs, checking people in,  trying to comfort people.  Because they took so many women and children most families had been separated.    The biggest struggle was trying to locate relatives. 

Members of so many organizations, including the Salvation Army, were taking names and pictures to send around to every other evacuation site.  It is going to take a long time, but that is what most of the victims were doing, besides worrying.  

I got to see plenty even though I never left the place.  I never want to see any of it again.  Not anywhere.  I feel like two days wasn't enough of my time.  I did see the flood waters receding a bit in places it was being pumped out.  It's leaving a sticky, slimy layer of filth wherever the water was.   

I also met people who wanted to get medical help (like prescriptions) then go back home.  I don't think anyone was allowed to leave, but I don't know for sure.  There were a lot of people compared to the number of volunteers and security, so I don't know how anyone would know if they left or not.  

So, I pretty much ventured out between River Rd and France St.  I did everything else by phone while at one of those places (the hospital and the hotel).  Our U-Hauls got through on Friday night and my friend driving the semi got in Saturday morning.   

Apparently there were many, many semis waiting in line to drop off shipments.  I heard the city only expected 60 trucks?!  There were hundreds!  My friend told me the drivers were pulled off the highway for miles waiting to unload.  I just hoped there were no perishable goods in that line.  It took days to clear them out.  

Anyway, I wish I could've stayed longer.  Anyone reading here who has any free time should contact your local charity of choice and ask about volunteering.  They're going to need them for a long time to come.  (I did overhear it may be close to livable in 2 months, which is surprising if that is true)  

I didn't take any pictures.  I really don't want the pictures I have in my head.  But I personally do not feel right taking pictures of people downtrodden.  I never have.  Maybe why I dropped Journalism as my major... I dunno....  

But if you really want to or need to, there are some great sites for seeing the damage.  NOLA, for one.  There is a journal (not Scalzi's though) here in J~Land that has user photos submitted.  I, unfortunately do not have the link at the moment, but I'll hook ya up when I get it.   

Gracie had a cold while I was gone and I guess she cried every night that I wasn't home.  Usually she wouldn't care if I was home or not, but being sick... I'm sure she wanted her Momma.  She wanted to have a sleepover (I sleep in her room) with me on Saturday night.  So that made up for it.  And the fact that now I have a cold....  She is satisfied that I'll not leave her behind again :)  

I can't breathe from my nose.  That sucks.  I'm much less whiny with a chestcold.  What can I say, I'm not a good mouth breather....  But I am all over 'Cold-Eeze' and hope it's gone by Wednesday.  Working with a bunch of tots with a cold is not fun.  I sound like 'Chuckie' from Rugrats.   

I felt it coming on Saturday, but I was bound and determined to make it to JC's wedding!  (Kitty fact:  This is the first wedding I've been to in my adult life~most friends ran off or JP'd it)  He and his bride, Kathy, just bought a new house.  They held the ceremony and the reception there.  It is such a beautiful place, too.  Everything got off without a hitch, with the exception of the groom's parents being late!  

They cooked everything themselves and hired a baker for the cake.  It was all so fab!  I told him if I ever get married, I want it at his house :)   My parents attented and took the girl home when she started getting a bit out of hand.  I stayed behind to party a little more. 

I had plans on meeting up with Johnny and some other friends at another bar, but that didn't work out.  As I got in my car to leave, I sat down and my pants ripped out in the rear.  My martini glass laden panties were highly visible now.  Good thing it was dark outside.  Better thing that I even had panties on!  Best thing that it didn't happen in the middle of all those people :)  

So, there is your laugh for the evening (or morning).  I am laughing with you...  

On the bright side~football has started!!  My Colts and Steelers are off to a magnificent looking start!  Wish my Pack better luck for next week.  Gotta root for Favre ;)  

Also, Nascar is down to the count for Nextel Cup Championship and Mr RyanNewman made it in.  Barely, but still :)  As Grace says The Crybaby (Jeff Gordon) didn't make it in.  First time in 12 years.  Neither did Junior.  Then again, the two up and coming retirees, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, both made it in.  Good for them!  

Work today was typical.  I walked in, #2 went home.  We only had 10 kids so it was quiet.  We have new biters in the newcomers.  One bites others.  One bites herself.  Great.  The last of the older kids are getting very bored.  I think they move this month.  Not sure if we have any more coming over anytime soon.  None of the young toddlers are walking yet.  Can we say Oh Darn?!   

That about wraps things up from me.  Tomorrow we have dance class in the morning and that is all!  Love days I don't have to run around everywhere  :)  

Have a good night.....  



redbaranjj said...

I can only imagine the things you saw...But what a huge heart you have to go down there and help.  I am sure you were so needed there.  I am so proud of you Cat for doing what you did.  

LOL...martini panties!!  What a party girl!!  :)

Hope you and Gracie feel better soon.  Both Josh and I have some kind of bug too...stuffy and sneezy...but it could be that instant summer we are having once again...this 90 degree crap has to leave!!!  

Have a good day and feel better soon!!  :)


sarajanesmiles said...

((((()))))'s to you my dear, and a little giggle at the panties ;o)
Sara   x

perkysgrl said...

Wow, Sounds like some adventure...

You are one tough woman to experince
all that...

Hope you feel better soon!


quartrlyfecrysis said...

Cat, you're an incredible woman for what you did.  I can't imagine what it was really like.  I'm glad you're back safe and sound, hopefully the cold will head out no likey when Kitty is sick :(

Glad you made it to the wedding...sorry about the drawers tho!  that sucks, but glad noone was wise to it :)

Chris is PISSED that philly lost!  
Mark Martin...woooooooooo-oooooooh!

have a great week kitty~

thelovetrain said...

Plaudits, for helping out. That was very special of you, Cat.

I'm glad that J.C.s wedding went well, and you had a good time. That's two great things, that life's about... A third, is stretch pants. [:P]

~Hugs, Brian @---->---

onecrazymomto5 said...

According to the trucker radio on XM there are over 600 trucks still waiting to be unloaded and being paid $600 a day to sit there while they wait.  That is just water and ice!!  I personally don't want to see the damage that Katrina left behind.  The news reports were plenty!  Congrats on the plane!!  And I will have the imagine of your martini butt to laugh at for the rest of the evening!!!  At least they weren't funky old granny bloomers.  See it can always be worse!!!

pixiedustnme said...

Wow - i'm exhausted just reading about it.

missboogerhead said...

Cat, you are awesome!  Glad you are back safe!  The wedding sounds great even if it did end up a little less than you had planned!  :-)  Hope you are feeling better soon!
~miss O