Monday, November 28, 2005

We arrived in NC yesterday afternoon. The endless drive was enjoyable as the hurricane scene faded behind me and I began to see the rolling hills of Northern Alabama. We drove until I could drive no more then spent the night. LD was spririted, napped several times and a pleasure.

Actual Conversation at Hotel:

Clerk: You are a preacher? I didn't know they had female ministers!
St.C: We've been around for years. Presbyterians began ordaining women in 1956 and 1964.
Clerk: I've never seen one.
St. C: ...dripping irony....they all look like me.
Clerk: Oh, my pastor says it's fine as long as the female is under a man.
St.C: .....silence....

I love being with the Aunts. LD wandered off to school happy. Assumpta and Dibley look healthy and have grown into big teen-aged kitties.

My LLS is taking today off from her work to play.

More later,


Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Be hospitable to one another without complaining"

My text for today is I Peter 1 Peter 4:9 "Be hospitable to one another without complaining."

I'm driving to NC today to return LD to the Lovely Aunts. LD will finish out the school year in NC in a great school, a loving environment and away from the misery of life behind the razor wire of the Gulf Coast.

LD's return to the Coast and home for Thanksgiving gave her a chance to see the destruction of Katrina and to be home with us for a few days. I've enjoyed having her home. Being able to call her name in the house and have her answer made me teary. Seeing her pretty self at our dinner table consoles all of us. She's had a pleasant time with her father and brother but, with me, she's been crabby, sour, hostile and impatient.

I believe my best response is understanding my parenting as a measure of the real meaning of hospitality.

When a child is being rebellious in speech and attitude, when a mom cannot please or ease a child in daily conversation, hospitality in the welcoming sense may be of help.

Not that I enjoy being the object of her crabbiness. I don't like being looked at as if I were the creepiest grossest mom in the world. I don't like having sarcastic comments thrown my way. I don't like it.

I like LD, though. She has great potential and underneath her 13 year old exterior is a loving heart. She has better skills with people than most adults. She's able to help people make connections with others, intuit where people are emotionally and be an effective listener.
She has the physicality of an athlete combined with really pretty American healthy good looks.
LD's sense of humor and playfulness is engaging as is her perspective on the world.

I see all these admirable traits, I just don't have any of them directed at me.

I know adolescence is a difficult time where children begin the separation from their parents and begin to make their own way. I did youth ministry for over 10 years. I worked in a psych hospital with adolescents. I've read the books. All this isn't helping my feelings about being treated as drek.

So, I return to hospitality. The concept of welcome, loving engagement with the other and a "nurse" of the Spirit to the ailing one. I can do this.

I can't do it easily without recalling how much I love who LD is and will be. Right now, I wouldn't take this crap from anyone but her.

As we move into Advent, the season of preparation, I aspire to hospitality for LD because she is preparing for adulthood and I am preparing for loving an adolescent who doesn't love me much.

I will be hospitable without complaining. Not a push-over or return crabbiness for crabbiness but hospitable.

God give me strength for the days ahead. Keep me aware of your greater purpose for LD. Thank you for the gift of this child in my care. Give me brains, courage and humor to be her Mom.
Your Son gave his Mama trouble, too, according to scripture, so help me out here. Amen.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Whatever Grace does, I do. I am of the "Monkey See Monkey Do" School of Life, and Quotidian Grace is a favorite of mine.
Quotidian Grace: Gospel Birthday Meme

Here's the meme: take your birthday and look up the passages which correspond with that date in each of the four Gospels.

Here's mine for May 19:

Matthew 5:19 Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will be least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 5:19 But Jesus would not let him. He said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you."

Luke 5:19 But becaue there were so many people there, they could not find a way in. So they wentup on the roof and lowered the man on his mat through the ceiling into the middle of the crowd right before Jesus.

John 5:19 But Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing alone. The son does only what he sees the Father doing because the Son does whatever the Father does.

The first and last of the four passages have to do with authority; the second and third have to do with healing.
Can you identify the story of Mark 5:19? Points for identifying the translation I use here.

Thankful for each of you,
St. Casserole Who Has Time On Her Hands Since She Doesn't Cook The Turkey

Design Plans for Rebuilding Mississippi Homes

To Restore or Reinvent? - New York Times

Allison Rouse, of the above article, is correct that Coastians "pinch pennies" when building but, oh-my-goodness it would be great to see historic design built into our re-building.

When one doesn't cook the turkey, one has time to search the 'net...

Thanksgiving in New Orleans 2005

Turkey With a Dash of Bitters - New York Times

Add to my list in the post below, this:

We are thankful for all those who came to help us and will come to help us.

Thank you, thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

LH (the Grand Mr. C.)and I are up early for this U.S. holiday where stores and banks are closed for the day.
Tradition says we are to give thanks for American life recalling the first meal of the Native Americans and Pilgrims.

We will eat with a family in the neighborhood who we've known for years. I will bring the ubiquitous green bean casserole a la canned fried onions and an appetizer which I pulled from the freezer section of Sam's Warehouse Club yesterday.

Before we meet for the afternoon meal, LH and I will talk about what we give thanks for this year. The list will include:

-each other, many years of companionable moments, affection, respect and smooches

-our children, who in their teen-age years, are lucky to not be set out street for the gypsies to

- our work, whether rebuilding a law practice or pastoring a small congregation both involve healing the rifts of relationships, contributing to Community and lots of words.

-our families, the Aunts, snug in their NC home filled with cats, some of them ours

-small pleasures of daily life: coffee together in the mornings, good newspapers, books, books, books, gardening, talking, talking, talking, laughing and laughing, surprises like good behavior of
authorities, memories, dreams and so on.

- for the gift of faith, for the knowledge we are not in control ultimately but that we've been given the tasks before us to do the best we can, the constancy of God's love and presence, the whimsey of the Christian calling and the humility to know we are not worthy supplicants.

-for pets, great ideas, bright people, kindness in every form, welcome and hospitality, loyalty, honor and microwave popcorn

And, for you, I give thanks today,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Recalling November 21st

When I was in sixth grade, in Mrs. Young's class, everything changed. After looking at the hole-in-her-head forehead scar for three months, everyone in the class morphed into adults. It wasn't her unfortunate deformity that caused the change in us nor was it our adolescent urgings. The door to our classroom blew open with the words, "The President has been shot!".

A small black and white television appeared in the room, perched on a wooden chair. We sat transfixed at the little screen partly because tv in the room was a first but also because the adults were scared. I don't recall seeing scared adults before then. Sure, we all screamed when LLS took a flying dive off the sliding board in our backyard but this was different.

We sat stunned as adults blew in and out of the room. We'd never seen expressions on teacher's faces like these. Is this what big folks fear looked like?

The school closed early on November 21st. My mom walked to school to get me and we walked home in silence. I was aping the solemnity of the school teachers. I suppose my mom was considering the new world of murdered authority figures. She was 41. I was eleven.

At dinner that night, we talked about the assassination. My father, whose politics I don't understand after all these years, spoke about how horrible the Kennedy's were. He didn't seem upset or scared or even perturbed that the Leader of the Free World was murdered in a Southern city.

I couldn't process what my response to President Kennedy's death was supposed to be. The teacher's behavior made sense. My mother's quiet response made sense. I couldn't understand why my Dad seemed non-plussed and rather pleased.

In I Corinthians 13, Paul says that we aren't to rejoice in the suffering of others. As a Sunday Schooled child, I knew this. My Dad was a Deacon, my mother on her way toward becoming a Presbyterian after years of belonging to the Episcopal Church. After dinner each night, we read from the Good News Bible (see American Bible Society for version). How did Dad's response match what we were taught?

Jaye Ramsey Sutter at her blog, A Winding Road in An Urban Area on Typepad, writes about dissonance. She won't think there is any similarity in her post which spawned this post of mine but I think like a stone in a pond. One plop in the water and my mind begins the circling motions outward. Thinking about the death of the President while watching my parents respond is an outgrowth of her blog post.

President Kennedy's death is a marker event for those of us in Mrs. Young's Sixth Grade Class. We've marker events since then but this one stands out today.

What are your marker events?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm Baccckkk!

You wouldn't believe the New Orleans Airport. We flew in from Newark to Houston to New Orleans late yesterday afternoon. The day was darkening. The airport's big spath lilies were slumped over from lack of water. The terminal was mostly empty as was the parking garage. I've never seen the airport like this. Many of the shops were closed and, I was told, hadn't been open since the hurricane. Eerie. Spooky. Not-quite-right.

I saw the City as we flew in from the west. Blue roofs. Trees down in paths through the forest. The wetlands looked brown but this may be a Fall thing.

Actual Conversation Had in NYC:

Taxi Driver: What country are you from?
St. Casserole: The country of Mississippi

We saw the 25 Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Charming
And, John Lithgow in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Delightful.

I bought a sterling silver bangle at the Green Flea Market at Columbus and 77th. The bracelet reads, " You are never too old to do goofy stuff.---Ward Cleaver". I felt it was MADE for me.

We ate pastries from Fluffy's Bakery every night to keep our strength up.

We did the Bloomies thing, too. Did you know that they have an Eileen Fisher Petite department? I had to buy a few things to encourage the Economy of our Great U.S.A.

We slept as though we were exhausted. Our room was like a cave of quiet dark. Other travelers with us are slab owners (nothing left but the slab) or displaced to other states. We had a great time together when we ran into our fellow Mississippi travelers around the city. I'm so glad we all got together this year. We needed it.

We did the Chinatown run but didn't find much of interest. I'd promised my people that I wouldn't go down dark alley's for fake purses this year and, true to my word, I stayed out on the street.

We walked by the Church of Scientology building and paused to look at a sign in the window. A very young man popped out of nowhere and chirped, " Come on in, Girls, here is a free ticket to a movie. Let's go in!!!" We didn't. Services on Sunday are at 11am. Just so you know. A more interesting church to me is "St. Benedict of the Moors" which I will research on the 'net because I don't know anything about the "Moor" part. Looked like a beautiful old church.

All that talk about cleaning up for me was just that. Talk. I have mountains of laundry to do. Floors are festooned with chewed up dog toys and the kittens are high fiving each other as they thunder through the hallways. Another toy mouse landed in the water bowl.

A good time was had by all.

St. Casserole

Monday, November 21, 2005


Dear Lord, the Master of my Masters,

Please forgive me for anything bad I have done.
I am a bad dog. Please help people forgive us poor sinners.
We are flawed; we are imperfect; we often
chew on things we shouldn't; we are all bad dogs.
Forgive us trespassers and debtors and chewers.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dawg. Ain't he Great

Why Dawg is great.
  1. Want to yell. Go ahead. I'll bark with you.
  2. Sing loud. Great. Sing bad. Same thing.
  3. Got dirty in the yard. Great. I'll help.
  4. Smelly. Wonderful, give me some of that.
  5. Mess up, have troubles, people mad at you, dirty, smelly, bad voice, bad dancer, bad cook... no trouble, I still think you're great.
  6. Need cuddling. I am your man.
  7. Want to take a walk and think. Thank you, I'd love to.
  8. Drop food on the floor. No problem, call the Vacu-dawger.
  9. People lied to you and hurt your feelings. Well, I never lie. I lay alot, but never lie.
  10. I always have good intentions. Sure, I poop and bark and chew things, but its my nature, not anything personal.

Love ya,


P.S. If someone has the time, please remind the Woman of my good points. I started chewing a large stick and suddenly realized it was a Birkenstock. My bad.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pork Loin, Yeehaw

Mr. C, the Man and may I say, my favorite human, is currently working on a pork loin grilling and is unable to blog. So, as his best friend, I will humbly submit this little missive.

My rules of life:

If it hurts, lick it.
If it hurts bad, lick it alot.
If it seems needful, tasty, curiously unusual, or just familiar, lick it.

If it itches, stratch.
If it doesn't itch, it will eventually.

Eat it before it eats you.

God loves the dog and not just because of that backward spelling thing.

Cats are God's way of testing you, like a plague of locusts, being swallowed by a big fish, or endless tramping in the desert.

Barking is prayer ( I pray you feed me; I pray you let me in...)

When something is broken or chewed on, look at the cat. If they still look at you, give them the big ole sad and wet eye thing.

When the Man or his litter come into the house, make a big deal about it like you have never seen anyone come through the door that good. " Wow. Amazing. Cool. "They like this.

No matter what they say, always sleep on the couch.

Every once in a while, chew a shoe up. Man will respect the fact that you are keeping your teeth sharp just in case a burglar comes around. Careful, Woman won't understand the higher purpose of this act of love.

The little'r the cat, the sharper the claw.

Chase the cat. Well, not really a rule, more a pastime.

Nap time on the couch,


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

St. Casserole has left the House

Well, as you know, Mrs. C has left for NYC. Left the house, left the blues signing cats, left the Dawg, left the church and Sunday service, left the LS, left me, left a bacon quiche in the frig, and left some Beck's dark in the wine cooler for her LH. She will be gone nearly a week.

Generally, I only post during natural disasters when all communication to the outside world is difficult. But, I am thinking of the possibilities here. We could have a week of non-St.C manly discussion:

Thursday: How to gut a Red Snapper.
Friday: Grilling Pork Loin: A Religious Experience?
Saturday: the Dawg, Ain't he Great
Sunday: Where would Jesus Play: New Orlean's Saints or New England Patriots?
Monday: Why Can't Women be More like Men?
Tuesday: Open day. ( I will be too busy trying to clean up the mess around the house with LS)
Wednesday: Rant day. ( Frankly, I will still be cleaning the house)
Thursday: Open discussion about the great topics while LW in NYC!

Well, just in case I don't get to it, that's the plan. LS and I are currently keeping ourselves quite occupied. We have a bet on how many pieces of popcorn the dawg can eat.

Can't wait,
Mr. C

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is my last post before I fly away to NYC.
I'm sorry everyone can't take a break from the Hurricane Travails as I plan to do.
Mr. Casserole may guest blog. If the puppy guest blogs, I cannot be responsible.
Bluesman Fish (see below) is building a web page for PPB but can't seem to understand that a web page does not involve trapping spiders and gathering bits of paper. We'll see...

Love to all of you and all you love.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Dawg Troubles, the Play

The Scene: Smoke-filled blues club, The Kit Kat Club, a wild and meowy place in the
Alley for blues, catnip and kittys

Enter, stage left: Bluesman "Cat-erwaul" Fish, a Kit Kat regular
beat-up fedora which has seen too many nights in lock-up at the
Animal shelter, pulled low over brown eyes. This Bluesman has seen
it all and knows his way around the litterbox.

"Cat-erwaul" brings his old Fender up to his chest before the
microphone and begins a Delta riff. He sings:

I'm troubled and I'm crying
that durn ole dawg done stole from me
I'm troubled and I'm crying
that durn ole dawg done stole from me.

I doan like that dang ole dawg
He stinks and he's loud
Wanna get rid of that dawg...
But I doan know how

He et up my toy mouse
The one I love so well
If I had the power
I'd send that dawg to hell

I doan like that dang ole dawg
He stinks and he's loud
Wanna get rid of that dawg...
But I doan know how

Dawg walked into Mama's study
He saw that mouse on the flo
Dawg took my mouse away
I doan have it no mo

I doan like that dang ole dawg
He stinks and he's loud
Wanna get rid of that dawg...
But I doan know how.

He takes a drink from the water bowl, turns off the mike and saunters off stage. Crowd erupts in cheers and applause.

Katrina Ditz

As a serious, no-nonsense woman, I value discipline. Mental discipline means focus, selection of what goes in the brain area and respect for study. However, I must note here that I am going through a time of Post Katrina Ditz. "Ditz" meaning "ditzy" meaning scattered, unfocused and forgetful.

While showering yesterday, I forgot if I'd washed my hair so I washed it again.
I walk into a room with purpose then can't remember what purpose drew me in.
I want to tell the LH something then don't recall what the something was.

It's worse than this. My brain is overloaded with details, feelings, extra work, visual misery and more. I have KATRINA DITZ.

I'm not alone. Among my friends, we can hardly focus enough to multi-task. Rotten situation for women, you see. We women can do ten things at once. With KD, we begin one thing then can't recall why.

I suppose men have KD. How would we know? Most evidence points to male insurance adjusters and contractors who can't remember to call clients back or remember to show up for appointments.

How my hair turned from natural red to nutmeg brown was a KD from the hairdresser.
When the lady in front of me at the grocery paid for her basket of bags then walked out to her car empty-handed, this was KD.

I imagine we all have a tad of post traumatic stress down here. KD is a more charming name for being addle-brained.

Solution? Make lists. Carry lists with you. Pin list on t-shirt with safety pin, if necessary. Follow list. Make notes of anything of importance. Don't change purses. Write down who you are calling on the phone so you can focus on their name. Laugh when you call your husband the wrong name! HA HA HA! It was just a joke, Sweetie. I know your name! Can't call it right now, but I know it!

Write your own name somewhere easy to find. Refer to own name from time to time to keep it fresh in your mind.



Friday, November 11, 2005

Guest Blogger Andy the Cat

It appears that your Pat Robertson has forgotten the Thumper Rule of Public Journalism: "if you can't say anything rational to the press, say nothing at all."
I believe Mr. Robertson's handlers were eating moon pies and RC colas while Pat was yakking about disasters if you don't agree with him about "intelligent design."
I suggest that Mr. Robertson's handlers get with Tom Cruise's people to enroll in Public Relations 101 at their local under-funded Community College.
Both Robertson and Cruise are religious nuts despite their passion for their beliefs. They do more harm than good when witnessing for their causes.

Andy "Don't bring Dawgs on My Property" Cat

Mama Ears

When our LS arrived, a bundle of sweet tiny boy with only the hint of the bright red hair to come, I received the gift of "Mama Ears."

This gift has rescued my children from nightmares, sleep walking and crying alone. I heard them then and I hear them now.

I can hear the tick of our oven four miles away. I go turn it off.
A door opens, anywhere in our home, I can hear it.
The magical mama ear phenom allows me to know who, what, where and speed over with comfort, correction or cahoots. I hear you.

Tonight, I heard a nightmare in the house. I touched the sleeper back into another chapter of his dream and he returned to sleep.

But, I am awake.
It's not yet 3 a.m. I meant to sleep through this night because tomorrow is another day. Lots to do on Friday.

I went outside to stare at the clear night sky. I've decided that being able to see the constellations of stars grants good compensation for no trees. I saw Orion's Belt.

I'm so awake. Fish and Whistle, the ginger kittens find me charming company at this hour. I'd rather be asleep. Holding their warm little bodies and looking into their sleepy kitten eyes is a comfort, though. My "mama ears" work with cats, as well.

You all sleep well tonight. The Big Mama Ears are listening out for you. From your city to Orion's Belt, even beyond, those Loving Ears hear and will come.

St. C

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Guest Blogger Fish the Kitten

Ten questions for Fish

1. What is your favorite toy?
a toy fur mouse

2. What is your favorite book?
the catechism

3. What do you like to do?
beat up Whistle

4. Favorite place to sleep at night
in the hollow space behind lawyers bookcases in the study

5. Favorite food
IAMS kitten chow

6. Biggest worry
that stupid puppy

7. What do you want to be when you grow up?
a big cat like Andy

8. Who is your hero?
Andy the Cat who is big

9. What is your favorite color?
orange or ginger

10. Where is your litter box?
in my human's study


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Early Sunday Morning

In eleven days I will go to New Orleans, board a plane and go to Manhattan. This will be my eighth trip to NYC for the weekend-before-Thanksgiving. In the past, I've gone to shop, see shows and eat. This year, I'm going to get the heck-fire* out of Life Behind the Razor Wire**.

It is hard work living on the Coast***. Life returns to normal, if at all, very slowly these days. We have debris piles in front of our home. The LH has a hideous temporary office since his beautiful office blew away down to the brick pilings. Everywhere I drive, I see evidence of the misery of post-Katrina life. I teeter between hope and despair every day. I don't mean my peace of heart, I mean I swing timidly between hope for the Coast and our lives here and despair that we will ever re-build this community in ways that allow a good future.

I hear heart wrenching stories everyday. I watch people throw their shoulders back insisting that they are "fine". I see the exhaustion on my friend's faces as they wait for insurance adjusters, wait for construction teams, wait to see if they have enough money to rebuild.

I suppose Advent will have a new edge this year. A season of waiting for the birth of Jesus the season means a great deal to me. For years, I related Advent to the waiting of Mary for the birth of Jesus and my own waiting for a child. Then I related Advent to the waiting for a "new creation" in the world to be born in the birth of Jesus. Preaching Advent is my favorite liturgical season. I know something about waiting. I know about living between promise and fulfillment; living between now and not yet.

But heck fire rats!****, I didn't anticipate this kind of waiting or this kind of fighting it out with the Hope within me. They say it isn't what happens to us but what we do with what happens to us. I'd like to say I'm doing this well.

I may have to put aside my desire for successful living and instead hold onto God's hand through these kind of days. I've done this before and found God a good companion when life stinks. Hold on to me as I hold on to you, God, until you bless me.

I feel like bursting into tears at least once each day. I'm weary of this feeling.

Patty and I are going to NYC. This is my annual girl trip, no boys allowed, although Mr. C would enjoy the City. Patty and I travel well together and have been on several trips over the years. We are on the same emotional roller coaster so I suppose we will comfort each other over chopped liver at a deli; while we stroll around Barney's and at the theater. I will tell her, as I do every year, that I'm not sure I can sit long enough to watch a Broadway play. She'll say that if I want to leave, it's ok with her. Then I'll settle down and watch the stage.

I won't shop as wildly as I have in the past. Not that I was blowing money around in the big stores. The flea markets and second-hand shops are my favorites anyway. This year I will consider how my finances have changed and be circumspect about spending. I have enough money to have a delightful time anyway. I'll just not be loading up as I have on past trips.

I'm ready to leave right now.

Have a Good Sunday, y'all,
St. Casserole

*Appropriate cussing from preacher, cf. Preacher's Guide to Bad Language, 1974. CrabApple Press.
**We live north of the tracks. South of the tracks is fenced off with coils of razor wire and check points are policed by National Guard personnel.
***Please pronounce the word "hard" as your President did during the second debate of 2004.
****Emphatic version of "heck fire". Use of "rats" as an expletive explained in the renowned Backyard OED of Kiln, Mississippi, Vol.4, 1991. Beezus Press. Kiln.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Winner Announced

Ernest and Earnest Accoutrements have handed the envelope to the 2005 Cone of Humor Awards to me. My fingers tremble as I open the Crane's Heavy weight 100% Rag Cotton stationery which will reveal the name of this year's winner.

I put the envelope down to answer my cell phone. Rachel is calling to ask me to do something for her. I rush off to help her. After several hours, I return and spot the unread Award Notification. I pick it up to see who E & E evaluated as the 2005 Cone of Humor Award winner.

I hear a noise at the kitchen door. I open it to see C and P who've come to get some of our furniture for their temporary apartment. We bustle through the house to collect chairs, small tables, lamps and Kliban cat bed sheets. P talks about how much she misses having her cats with her. The cats are living in a shed at a friend's house because C and P had no where for the cats to live after Katrina destroyed their home. We chat. We carry stuff to their car. P and I watch the men load the car with the stuff in the dumbest manner possible. We know how to load a car efficiently and safely. Better than the guys.

I return to the house and load/re-load the dishwasher, wash three loads of clothes, put away two loads of folded laundry from yesterday, ponder the lectionary passage for Joshua and it's possible relationship to the Matthew lectionary passage for tomorrow, clean out the litter box, talk to LH, read a few pages of the The Subtle Knife (second vol. of HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy), play with the kittens, chat with several pals, stare out the window thinking about Matthew for tomorrow and then, it hits me! I rush for the envelope.

Without further delay, the winner of the 2005 Cone of Humor Award goes to ReverendMother for her story of the Pastor's Mama and the Usher. Congrats to you, dear RM, and to all of you who participated in this year's 2005 Cone of Humor Award. Billy Crystal will host next year, according to my latest issue of the Christian Century.

Thank you, very much.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Announcing Friday Contest!

Here's your chance to tell a funny joke, make a happy comment or tell about an experience that made you laugh. Place your entry in the comments section.
The winner will receive a pinecone from the St. Casserole Family Pine Grove.
These rare pinecones survived the worst natural disaster in US History (according to dramatic exaggerators of TV and print).
The impartial judges, selected by Ernest and Ernest Famous Accoutrements will announce the winner (s) on Saturday.
Ready! Set! Go!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ignoring Halloween Because The World Looks Like A Haunted House

I called P and C last night after seeing their son trick or treating. Their home was washed out (what we call it when the structure sorta remains but water has taken out the interior). They both sound depressed. She went to Bay St. Louis to clean out her Dad's home. His house was filled with 14 feet of water during Katrina. He's moved to another state and says he won't come back to the Coast to live.

P and C moved to an apartment after the hurricane with their two high school students. This weekend, they move to their own apartment. I offered to give them household things and etc. to help them feel at home. From the garage/estate sale hoard, I can fluff up either a FEMA trailer or temporary apartment with accessories and stuff.

Not that people want stuff anymore. The current mood is "I don't want anything that can be lost" which is a good indicator of depressed mood. Everything and anything can be lost. We know this. What we aren't certain of, at this point in the aftermath, is how we tolerate more loss.

A cell phone gets damaged. It is the link to outside because Bell South hasn't finished phone repairs. Losing use of the cell phone upsets into hysterics. The proportion of loss is impaired down here.

"I don't want anything that can be lost." Having an aged parent move to another state is a loss. Having nowhere familiar to lay one's head is a loss. Sharing office space because your office blew away feels like loss. It's loss.

The changes of everyday life overwhelm the grieving spirit. I see this every day. I see people grieve over small frustrations, huge disappointments (the Insurance Industry), unfamiliar physical landscape, unavailable goods (grocery stores aren't stocked as they were before the hurricane) and not knowing where friends/acquaintances are living.

This is such a weird time to be living. I suppose all times are this way but the abrupt Before Katrina and A K overwhelms my people. And, me, too.