Sunday, January 15, 2006

We Had a Blue-Roof Christmas, That's Certain ....

Christmas has come and gone, and things are starting to look just a little bit hopeful in some parts of New Orleans. Somebody finally picked up the coffin lid wedged amongst a pile of debris on the narrow slice of grassy median in the section of the New Orleans Expressway, which cuts through the vast cemetery district of the city. Uptown, a number of residents have moved back home, many of the traffic signals are operating, and people are able to buy gas, groceries, prescriptions and other essentials. Coffee shops, bistros, neighborhood sandwich shops and gift stores are reopening.

Some of the toxic refrigerators still yearning for pick-up have begun to break out in a rash of holiday messages...

























And many optimistic residents have decorated the edges of their blue-tarp roofs with holiday lighting. Inflatable Santas and snowmen stand cheerfully in the yards of damaged homes with FEMA trailers parked in the front yard. One jokester has arranged a small herd of white-light wire reindeer frolicking among the branches of a downed pecan tree.

Many FEMA trailers sport a string of mini-lights deployed around the door and windows, but most trailer occupants report there's not enough room iside for even the tiniest tabletop tree. But there's enough room outside for an inflatable Abominable Snowman...


















I also saw, but couldn't stop to photograph, a Star of David shining brightly from a window of a FEMA trailer standing bravely alone in a devastated part of Broadmoor.

And likewise that unsinkable spirit prevailed at my aunt and uncle's house on Christmas Day, where family gathered for Christmas dinner. Christmas lights and bright wreaths decorated their home beneath a new-roof-in-progress. Only one remaining section of their roof sported a blue tarp flapping in the breeze.

Living in the suburbs snuggling up to the Mississippi River levees west of New Orleans, they are among the very lucky people of the New Orleans area. Their home suffered no flooding and they were finally able to get an affordable roof contractor. I'm still trying to get a roofer for my Mom's house who doesn't think I am stupid enough to pay $20,000 for new 10-year shingles all over, and new roof decking over the kitchen and utility room.

So I took a photo of Aunt Miki with the shawl I knitted her for Christmas. This Christmas is special for her because 2005 was the year she turned eighty and finally retired.

I can't belive it either.
























She likes shades of teal, but isn't fond of fringe, so I bordered this mohair shawl with a simple crocheted edge of teal chenille several shades darker than the shawl itself. It also gives this very light shawl just enough weight to drape upon, and not cling, to her shoulders.

Don't be too impressed, though (assuming that you are mpressed at all). I pulled a major knitterly boner.

I was so preoccupied fiddling around with the available light and exposure settings on the digital camera, which are so vastly different from the old faithful Canon AE-1 manual, that I entirely failed to notice that my aunt had been holding up the shawl in such a manner that she could admire the right side of the work ...

....and I photographed the wrong side. Perhaps I had just a wee bit too much Christmas cheer and should have relied upon the automatic flash instead. But nooooooo ......

Anyway......

One of my cousins, Pam, and her husband, Scott, hosted Christmas at their own home for Scott's relatives, all of whom lost their homes to Katrina. Scott figured that if he was the only one with an actual house, they should host Christmas dinner there for Scott's family, under an actual roof.

So Christmas was enjoyed by all in our own family, and 2006 was greeted warmly. It feels good to put 2005 behind us and look forward to the coming year as the beginning of hope, rebuilding and renewal for our area. Besides, 2005 was a difficult year for me and my family personally, even without Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

The last four months of 2005 remain a blur of fur and paws, mud and heat, sweat and aches, flood stink, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and despair. But also whirling about in that same blur are the little flickers of hope in the crisis, many rescues, some joyous reunions, and the constant reminder of the fact that, in the midst of crisis, those who rose to the occasion did so heroically, relentlessly and with good hearts.

The animals made it all worthwhile.


































Wishing you all happy year with exceedingly boring weather ....

make that no weather at all ... not one tiny bit ...

Mambocat

2 Comments:

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous naomi said...

Dez, great to see a new post here. And congratulations on that wonderful news about the trip you'll be making to Stitches West. (Knitters definitely are quite something, quite often.)

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger Tim said...

New Orleans is getting better every day. All we need now is levees!
Peace,
Tim

 

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