Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gustav, Ike and Prayers

Last week a fellow NOLA blogger sent out an email after the storm recounting his PTSD feelings. Many responded to him saying they felt the same way. This was my response:

Feeling all of the above if that was a multiple choice question. Motivation at zero. Still some junk in yard I could pick up but haven't. Neighbor's rubber tree I said I'd cut down still haven't. Have to feed the mule man they left alone with 25 mules, which is still making me so angry I want to blog about it but can't yet. Thinking about buying more boards since we did such a half assed job here for Gustav but. . . . .have decided to check on open ATM, pay our Buffa's Gustav tab, then come home and of all things play a video game that will keep me from watching Ike's track.

Someone wrote a while back that there was no PTSD here because there was no "post"--I'm tending to agree that it might just be a chronic condition with new ones marching up the Gulf and people glued to tracks.

I do have new definitions for things though:
Gulf Coast definitions

Cone: Something orange you put in traffic or pothole, OR something you put ice cream in
Gulf Coast: Something that throws you into a panic, gets burned into your brain, and forces you to drink something that has "proof" on the label.

Track: Something you watch horses race around, or watch trains pull in on.
Gulf Coast: Multiple lines, of varying colors that either aim for your backyard or someone else's but no one knows exactly where. They bear strange names like NOGAPS.

Boarding: Something you do on a plane, train or boat.
Gulf Coast: Something that causes you to stand in line at Home Depot, cuss a lot about why the drill battery wasn't charged last night, and keeps light out of your house until it's okay to take them down.

Five Day Forecast: Let's you make a decision about whether to have the five yr old's bday party indoors at Chucky Cheese or at the local park.
Gulf Coast: A reason to lay in a LARGE supply of tranquilizers.

Water: Something you drink or put on your lawn or swim in voluntarily.
Gulf Coast: Something that can come in your house or take your house away.

Sloshing: What the grandson does in a puddle after a rainstorm.
Gulf Coast: What water does over the tops of levees when they don't wanna say overtopping.

Others added really good ones. (Sorry for the lack of links to their respective blogs, trying to get this done in a hurry.)

LisaPal added:
Models- "beautiful" people employed to present apparel and other
products such that they will be perceived as appealing to consumers.
Local Definition- colorful linear harbingers of doom consulted
obsessively by Gulf Coast residents during the peak of hurricane season.

Someone please come up with an interesting acronym for GFDL. I don't
like any of mine.

Sophmom responded to that with:
GFDL - there is only one possibility: God Fucking Damn Line.

Gina added:
savings: something you put away for a special event in the future, like college tuition or a vacation.
savings in Gulf South: forget about that vacation since you'll wipe it all out on the prep/evacuation/return/rebuild/deductible

I'm sure we'll come up with more by this time next year.

As I breathe a sigh of relief that New Orleans will not feel the full brunt of Ike, the "freak storm" as Jeff Masters at calls it, we can already feel the outer wind bands and it just makes us shaky. Knowing that Houston is in Ike's crosshairs is a terrible combination of relief and horror for us here. Guilt at being relieved, but terrified for those in Ike's path. We know what it's like to be washed out by storm surge. We know what it's like three years later. To even consider that another city may have to experience that breaks my heart.

And our lower parishes here, which were devastated by Gustav 10 days ago will probably be hit again, and half of them never got their power back from the last one. The news media doesn't cover those parishes like they do New Orleans, hell they're just a bunch a bayou dwelling fishermen. Nevermind that in Plaquemines Parish they were working up until 6 hrs before Gustav came to build a makeshift levee to better protect them. They finished it too. Amazing. Heroic. (Remember them next time you're sitting in a Red Lobster. Ask if their seafood came from Thailand or Louisiana.) The people in these parishes were clobbered and are probably about to be clobbered again, which also means the wetlands will retreat even further.

We have left our boards up on our house just in case, so we've been living in a kind of bunker mode for two weeks now. The whole city has. Those coming back from evacuating (we didn't evacuate for Gustav and my next post will be about that) are exhausted and struggling to "get back to normal."

Pray for Texas today. If Ike does what he's looking like he might do, there will be others expressing the same shaky perseverence three years from now. But those folks will be from Texas.


Polimom said...

Gas lines: plastic tubing that serves a home or business with natural gas
Gulf Coast: The blocks-long row of vehicles one waits in when a hurricane threatens.

Mayor: The respected elected official in charge of decision-making for a municipal area.
Gulf Coast: The person who either gives the evacuation order far too late, or panics the populace.

Garden ornaments: Decorative items placed strategically about one's well-arranged horticultural showpiece.
Gulf Coast: Potentially lethal flying objects.

I'm sure I can think of more...


Sophmom said...

With a beloved sister and assorted neices & nephews sprinkled about Houston, I've been awaiting Ike with my breath held. Unfortunately that God Fucking Damn Line is pointed straight at them and the storm surge projections look just awful.

Polimom, I hope you're safe. Slate, great post. Proud to be a part of it.