Mardi Gras had two sides to it this year. On one hand, it showed the rest of the world that we are still here and that we will survive, and the city will persist despite tragedy. On the other hand, it might give people the misconception that everything is now A-OK in New Orleans again, which it's not. In fact, they are still finding bodies of Katrina victims as they start to bulldoze homes.
Now that our brief bout of fun and much needed break from dreariness is over, folks are settling back into reality again. Back to wrestling with insurance companies, searching for contractors, back to praying for reinforced levees, and back to picking up the pieces.
In times like these, small pleasures are greatly appreciated.... like Girl Scout cookies. The cookies came in this past weekend. My troop took some to a local grocery store. They sold faster than I've ever seen -- almost twice as many as we sold any other year during the same time period. In fact, we sold out of our cookie booth inventory in only one weekend.
I went to bring some cookies to some of my church members who live outside our neighborhood and got a reminder of Katrina reality. Things seem like they are moving along here until you realize how BAD so many people still have it.
I went into one friend's gutted out home that is under construction with everything they own out in the driveway in a POD, and they are living in one room with their FOUR small children age 7 and under while the rest of the house is being renovated. Next, I knocked on the door of a FEMA trailer in the front yard of another house to deliver their treats. Then I visited a flooded out house whose next door neighbor's house burned to the ground the day after the storm and caught their home on fire on one side too!
It could just as easily have been me living in chaos 6 months after the storm while trying to have my home rebuilt from the inside out. On the plus side, these families were SO happy to get their GS Cookies!