Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I saw Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans yesterday in Metairie. This excited me so much that I had to call LsiL to tell her. Since she hadn't heard from me by phone for months, I am sure she thinks I'm nuts.

We drove over to N.O. for a building expo thing to see what is offered for re-building after Katrina. With so much commercial, civic and private property destroyed, now is a good time to use new tech building materials.

Nagin was standing on the curb of the exhibit hall waiting to be picked up by a big black vehicle. We passed so quickly I couldn't identify his ride and thought it might be a mighty Hummer. We saw several Hummers decked out with satellite equiptment and other big stuff.

In the exhibit, I spoke with an interesting German engineer to explained that the Hamburg area floods, gets hurricane-like storms and that his firm designs barriers, etc. to protect the ports and river areas. Every time I speak with a European, I get angry because I'm limited by my English. It doesn't matter that over my life I've studied French, Spanish and German. I'm still a Southern English speaker with no bi-lingual skills.

Many exhibitors displayed wood built home proto-types. Who wants to build stick construction in an area with monstrous wind? Who wants to cope with mold, mildew and the Formosan termite when newer materials can solve all of these problems? I don't want wood anything except as decorative material . I looked at crown molding done in some form of plastic so I don't even want wood crown molding anymore. We have the wood molding in our home now but if I build a home, I'll be gluing plastic molding up.

Seeing the big exhibit hall filled with bright displays reminded me that re-building is Big Bidness and that everyone from everywhere wants a piece of the action.

The Australian Government had a display area in hopes of attracting bidness.

Everyone comes to the Disaster Area wanting to sell or do something. We'll see.

I filled my exhibit bag with free pens, compasses, candy, note pads and a flashlight. My children taught me how to grab freebies at conventions.

One of my favorite conversations happened with an exhibitor from San Diego who launched into a speech about how fabulous Mississippians are with our resilience, hard work and great attitudes. We inspired those who came to help us. The entire country thinks we are the greatest. I thanked him profusely and tried to move him away from comparisons with New Orleans people. Our situations are different, no need to be stinky about it.

Eventually, I dragged LH away from the excitement and we had dinner with charming people from Vermont and Alabama at a very good restaurant. I ate dessert to keep my strength up for the Anniversary.

The Anniversary is today.


cheesehead said...

Thinking about you, about all of you, today.

Pray for you all the time.

Linda (FM) said...

I'm praying too, a bit more the past few days and today.

annie said...

Yes, there is a heaviness in the air. I woke up thinking of you and all the others, especially all the ones whose stories do not get told on the anniversary news stories.

Kathryn said...

Just home from Greenbelt, remembering how I had no idea what had happened for you till I logged on this time last year...Much love and many prayers as you and your community live with last year, today and the days in between and beyond.

Quotidian Grace said...

You can't escape the anniversary in Houston, either. The papers and local TV news are running long features on the subject, focusing on the evacuation to Houston (of course).

It appears that Houston has 100,000 new permanent residents who won't go back to NO and surrounding area.

Another reminder that in this world, we are all connected.

Thinking of you today.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Praying heavily for you and yours around this time.

And FREEBIES are the best!!!

Psalmist said...

I'm praying for y'all today -- as I do often at other times, too.

(((((St. C.))))

Marie said...

Praying more for you today (and the past few weeks) as well. Much love coming your way.

zorra said...

Praying more for y'all today.

revabi said...

Prayers for you today. What a neat trip you had. I lik grabbing all the freebies too.

mibi52 said...

We lifted y'all up in prayer this morning at Big Old Seminary. Many folks from the Gulf up here in DC as well, and their hearts were heavy - as I know yours is - that things are still moving so slowly.

Our church is sending another mission team down, this time to N.O. I wish I could go, but I think I can't get a week off from seminary to do it. Ah, well, I may just send PH down this time.

Love and hugs and peace and hope coming your way.

mid-life rookie said...

Thoughts and prayers for you today and in the coming days. Praying for signs of hope.

Aola said...

I've thought about you often with all the news about "the anniversary"

I wanted to slap G.W. when I saw him on CNN talking about how great the recovery was coming... who does he think he is kidding???