Well, it has been another one of those years. 2020 brought with it many surprises that could have never been imagined and then the next year kept right on rolling in.
For those who remember the crazy days of Indian Summer after Hurricane Katrina struck, what we just barreled through seemed very familiar in eerie measures. The extensive heat inviting hoards of love bugs and mosquitos. The constant hum of generators throughout the rolling hills. The clutter and debris to be cleared and piled high. Just another day in the life of hurricane aftermath.
People who do not live in the south often question our reasons for living in these coastal rejoins where storms spin like bowling balls. We flood in low lying areas and we lose trees and power for days on end. However, we do not dip down below zero in the winter. We do not battle with eventual earthquakes shattering our foundation. We do not have blizzards or volcanos or massive wildfires. We have hurricanes and occasionally very large ones.
Ida spun up quickly and continued to grow over our heads jogging west and then east. It gained intensity and held on to her momentum while casting her shadow over us on a long and loud night. My two sons who live in New Orleans were with us along with one of the wives. My two sons who live in Covington were hunkered down in their own homes. Unlike Katrina, I no longer had all of my chickens in one roost. Instead of four teenage sons, I had four grown men with families. This meant we had five dwellings to worry about.
The night roared on as limbs could be heard bouncing off the house and trees snapping like pencils. At certain moments the roar was so loud had it been a tornado we would not have known. I am not sure if it is more frightening to hear a Category 4 hurricane at night or to see one in the daytime. The storm built up so fast and varied in strike zones so most people who evacuated for Katrina, like us, stayed and hunkered down through the event.
As before, the following days were as frustrating as the storm. There is always that brief sigh of gratitude that all family members made it through ok and unharmed ---- and then the cleanup and rebuilding begins.
Out of five homes one did not make it down in the Irish Channel, and once again my four sons amazed me as they huddled together and began putting together plans to save what could be salvaged in the rubble, and to pool resources and make gas runs for generators and supplies. My nephew in Ocean Springs joined in on helping them and in the humid heat with no power at any of our homes the Foremans began to put things back together.
It reminded me of the time Gustavo hit and Clay and I were on our way home from Alaska. We pulled up just in time to grab the four teenagers to evacuate, and to our amazement they had bolted down everything, made all preparations, and packed us up for Hattiesburg. They had been through Katrina and knew the drill.
Aside from the lost house and destroyed yards, like most Louisiana families life has slowly returned to normal. The yards are cleaned up, houses repaired with future roof inspections on the horizon. The property took a huge hit in downed trees, but according to Clay Foreman, when life gives you lemons build a sawmill. Louisiana Strong!