10 August 2007

"Life is a box of chocolates"

Today began early. My eyes popped open at 6:00am even though we had been up with Abby and Natalie until midnight. I laid in bed until seven looking out the skylight then snuck down stairs quietly take a shower, and make coffee. Everyone started filtering in by 8:00. I made a great breakfast of Shannon Springs Chicken, bacon, sausage, eggs, and toast with home grown raspberry jam. I then shot off to my second job as treasurer.
A quick hour later we headed out to the coast to see my mother and father in law. We took the Porsche since it was such a nice day and we haven't been out in him in a while. Nat did a great job keeping up with Art, who has about the heaviest foot you can imagine! My m-i-l had gotten out of the rehab center the day before after being in there for a month, other than one incident which put her in the hospital with pneumonia for a week. Abby and Natalie had seen them the day before and said that Oma was looking much better. Unfortunately, she was not having a great day and was very tired, but I think she liked having us around.

In the afternoon my m-i-l's sister Joanne came down. She told us her story of Katrina. She lived in Florida for many years, but after three hurricanes she moved over to Mississippi. She lived right on the beach. Even though two previous hurricanes hadn't amounted to much, she packed up her "hurricane box" of essentials and three days clothes and headed up to Biloxi to stay with friends. She told us her story and of the unimaginable devastation. Her complex had been all but washed away. The landscape physically had changed so much over such a large area that she had trouble even finding her old home. Cement buildings, beaches, hotels, houses, stores, roads- gone. She said she was surprised how little rubble was left. Most was washed away she speculated. The only thing left of her building was the metal fire escape stairs that now lead to nowhere. She talked about the weeks that ensued waiting in line for hours to get water, ice, and food. About 40 people had grouped together at the house she found shelter in. Luckily her town was one of the first (still weeks later though!) that FEMA got temporary housing trailers for. One day looking around her old home for any shred of her belongings she found a dress shoe of hers (her bling bling shoes she called them :) It was only one shoe and it was twisted, but Joanne took it with her anyway. Many weeks later when she was showing her visiting daughter the aftermath, her daughter found a shoe. A dress shoe. She commented that it looked just like one of her mother's shoes. Joanne just started laughing! She had found the second bling bling shoe! Joanne is a tough gal and she will do fine. Her family is encouraging her to stay at her home in NH after all the hurricanes she has survived.

After we left we followed our neices over to Karyn and Ralphs for dinner. We had a great time, and enjoyed Karyn's fabulous ribs, and black bean salad. It had the perfect amount of spice! Ralph made margaritas. We have spent a lot of time with our family this summer and it has been great! Even Abby, who lives in NYC and works crazy hours, has made it to most of our get togethers. To top the evening off we stopped at DQ for a donation Blizzard. DQ did a fund raiser for the Children's Miracle Network. Buy a blizzard yesterday and the money went to CMN. We had to do our part!

Great day, great family, and lots prayers for Mom...

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