Sunday, February 05, 2006

King of the Road ...

We just moved into our ninth address since evacuating New Orleans on August 27, just ahead of Katrina. This does not even count one-night hotel stays. Qualify it by stays of a week or more and it is our fourth place, with plans to move to the fifth in the next month or so.

We expect that our next address, on Scofield St. in Metairie, will be longer-term but there are no guarantees. We left Columbus Ohio just before Christmas expecting that Scofield would be ready in a week or two. Well, a week or two became a month or two. Thanks to the craziness of the New Orleans housing situation, we had a one-month lease at our first stop back, a pool house just off Panola St. in N.O.

So now we have a two-month lease on Cherokee St. in N.O., hoping that our builder's ability to project completion dates is improving with time. Cherokee is a nice apartment, and our son is back staying with us for the first time since the storm. We might get comfortable here if we could afford the rent.

Katrina has immeasurably changed our direction and perception. Before the storm we lived in our dream house, but now we yearn for a simpler life. We have liquidated (liquified?) our real-estate portfolio, and may never own another house. Susan is beginning to consider retiring soon. I am beginning to treat my "between assignments" status as a longer-term semi-retirement.

Every day the logistical difficulties of living in N.O. rear their ugly head, from traffic jams to crowded stores to other drags on productivity coming at us from every direction. Every day we find ourselves nudging ahead a little bit in the insurance wars; trying to simply get a fair settlement feels like a half-time job.

And we are among the luckiest. Our loved ones are fine, and we were adequately insured. We just suffered a massive inconvenience.

Tell us your story.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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