Sunday, August 26, 2007

We Are Homeless ...

The latest installment in a series begun on August 12:

Soon after the storm we were pretty certain that we had lost everything in our New Orleans East home. We also lost a car, and a rental house we owned in NOE. A mid-October visit to our house was a salvage operation, and between flooding damage and mold there was little that we could save. The most painful loss for Susan was that of our picture albums. Everything else was just “stuff.”

Before the storm we had started building a house in Lakeview, another neighborhood that was hit particularly hard by Katrina. Pilings had been driven, and the forms built for a slab. After the storm we jointly agreed with the builder to cancel the contract; we had no place to stay to participate in the process and he did not feel he could build the house for the price to which we had previously agreed. We are still trying to get our deposit back.

So, I the fall of 2005 we were renting an apartment in Columbus Ohio with hand-me-down furniture, about as near to homeless as one could be while living indoors. It did not seem to bother us much, probably because we were still rather traumatized by the whole process. We were sure that this was not a long-term arrangement but not so sure what to do next.

The pressure was on, with Susan having to return to work in early January. We had applied for a FEMA trailer, which we thought would be ready by then, but it wound up not being available until April.

Meanwhile, my mother’s house in Metairie was being repaired, with a projected completion date of mid-December. Her car drowned and she was not going to replace it. She also had some concerns about living in such a big house by herself.

How fortuitous! We suggested that we live with her, and she liked the idea. We told her that we expected to move in a year, though we had no idea where.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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