Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keeping an Eye on Ike

This thing just looks B-A-D. Of course I could be falling victim to the news media's melodrama. Geraldo just gets better and better. He fell in the ocean while he was reporting today. Check it out on Micah and Laura's blog. They're riding out Ike in Houston along with millions of other brave souls. Keep them in your prayers tonight.

Oooh. My lights just flickered again. Please, power, don't go out! It went out for the second time last night, but luckily after I got off work, it was back on again. From what I've heard talking to people, it seems the vast majority of Baton Rouge has power back now. I can't speak for other parishes or the outer parts of EBR. I'm almost positive there's no way my friends in Bayou Pigeon have power yet. I won't claim normalcy around here until all the traffic lights are working again. The traffic does seem to be getting better slowly but surely.

We cancelled PNO tonight because of the tropical storm wind advisory and tornado watch, so I got a good bit of homework done. I finished my encyclopedia question set for reference which probably sounds a lot more boring than it actually was. I had to answer 9 random questions from 9 different sources and then write 2 more questions with the answers to them. It was very detective/treasure hunter-like. Loved it! Fun random fact I learned:
Martin Luther was going to be a lawyer before he decided to become a monk. What changed his mind? He was struck by a bolt of lightning on summer vacation, lived, and decided to devote his life to God's service.

I know I can be pretty blind and stubborn when it comes to hearing God's voice, but I'm glad to say it's never taken a bolt of lightning (It has taken emotionally painful equivalents to lightning though!). Then again, I'm no Martin Luther either. Is it humbling, though, to think that in God's eyes, ole Martin and I have the same potential to serve Him. I have to say that library school is really making me excited about how I can be a little librarian for Jesus. I can't wait. Every bit of the job itself and the opportunities I'll get to show love to clients just makes me giddy. Is it December 2009 yet? :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I was blessed to get my power back yesterday!!! I cannot tell you how great it felt to sleep in my bed last night. I owe Nichole big time for letting me crash on her couch for the past week, but I loved snuggling up in my fluffy mattress last night.

Nichole and I cleaned out my fridge the other day, and it wasn't that bad. Some nasty-smelling spinach and melted purple raspberry popsicles were about the worst I had to deal with, so that was nice. It also solved the mystery of the unidentified purpleish liquid I found when I got home on Thursday. Take that, Nancy Drew!

I have to say that I am so ready for life to be back to normal around here though. Those traffic lights are driving me insane along with the rest of my fellow Baton Rouge residents. Stay safe on the roads out there, people. It's a madhouse. I can't figure out why it's so difficult for drivers in this city to understand the concept of a four way stop. If you get there first, you go. If you don't, you yield to the person on the right. What's so difficult about that? Grrr.... Things will return to normal soon, I'm sure. I hope that power comes back sooner than they say it will in Broadmoor, Sherwood Forest, North Baton Rouge, and all those other neighborhoods badly hit by Gustav.

Speaking of North Baton Rouge...I took a little trip out there yesterday evening with a chainsaw crew from Istrouma. Of course, I didn't yield a high-powered cutting device (I'm too girly and pansy for that. Haha.). I did drag some limbs and got to have a lovely conversation with the owner of the house. I was amazed and convicted by her joy despite her circumstances. Here was this woman who had a 2 ft. diameter tree on top of her house, and all she could do was praise God for keeping her family safe. She was smiling almost the whole time we were there. We went there to minister to her, and she ended up ministering more to me. Talk about praising Him in the storm. She took that pretty literally. It was quite a blessing.

I'm slowing beginning to feel life falling back into place and getting back into the groove. Let's just pray that isn't interrupted by another hurricane. You hear that, Ike?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scrambling for Normalcy

Sitting here in Nichole's cozy apartment, I'm currently working on some library science reading and watching college football, and things feel almost normal for a Saturday night in the fall. As soon as I drive down the street though, there are giant trees down on either side of Highland Road, and I'm reminded of just how not-normal things are around here.

Earlier Nichole and I went out to grab some dinner and ran by my apartment to see if I had power yet. No luck. However, it was quite ironic and funny that we ran into Red Cross passing out meals in my apartment complex. I guess that means I'm officially a disaster victim. Haha.

What's ironic is that just yesterday I was out on a trip on a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (fondly called an "ERV") helping pass out meals the middle of the swamp. I left Istrouma with two ladies from Bloomington, IL and attempted to navigate them across the River and into Iberville Parish. (Like a Mississippi girl knows how to find her way through the bayou! Riiight.) After an hour and a half, we traveled over and under power lines and downed trees and reached our destination - Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana. To give you an idea of just how remote this place is, check out the Google map. Let me just say...that place is bad off. They probably won't get power for another three or four weeks, and they're at least 30 miles of curvy, tree-filled roads away from a Walmart or Shell. It made me feel really grateful for what I have right now.

The whole experience was just such a blessing. Sondra and Jan and I pulled up to the fire department and saw no one around. We had tons of food and were worried that we'd have no one to feed since they didn't know we were coming. Never fear! All I had to do was go up to two houses, knock on their doors, and offer them chili, and the word began to spread. We ended up giving out about 250 meals in that itty bitty town, and I loved every second of it. Those people out there have some big hearts, some awesome Cajun accents, and some strong nerves. I definitely admire them for their courage and good attitudes.

I'm also very grateful to Sondra and Jan, the Red Cross ladies, for taking such good care of me. Maybe I should explain. See...I tend to get motion sickness sometimes, and riding home in the back of the ERV facing sideways and not being able to see the road sure did the trick. I never actually threw up, but I felt nauseous the whole way home almost and had to stop twice. Bless those ladies for being so patient with me. They just sat with me and rubbed my back and put a cold rag on my forehead. I felt like such a pansy! Haha. Even with the nausea, it was an incredibly rewarding and eye-opening day. I'm planning on going back tomorrow (Sunday) and pass out some more meals. Even the mention of Red Cross tends to get a few grimaces from Louisianians, but I have to say that I have a whole new appreciation for that organization now. It may not be perfect, but I'm not so sure any other organization would send relief to back-woods swampy Louisiana like that.

Guess I should get back to my reading. I'm learning how to do HTML, XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript! Aren't you jealous?! ;)

Good night from broken but beautiful Baton Rouge where we're all praying Ike away.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back from Hurrication

Well, I'm back from my "hurrication" as I heard it called in the coffee shop earlier this week by a fellow evacuee. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, that's hurricane+vacation. ;) I drove down I-55 with what seemed like the entire city of New Orleans today, but I got back to Baton Rouge about an hour before curfew tonight and immediately began seeing the damage. The street lights on my exit at Sherwood Forest were blown at 90 degree angles...all of them. One beacon of hope shone down the street though...Cane's was open! God bless Cane's!

Once I made it back to my apartment, I found out I had no power...but no damage either. I did have a lovely purplish, greenish, brownish liquid oozing out of my fridge. Joy. I took the time to Swiffer WetJet it up, and I'll just have to tackle the smelly fridge itself tomorrow. Double joy.

Don't let my sarcasm fool you though. I am SO glad to be back. How glad? So glad that I played "Calling Baton Rouge" in my car as I drove over the Amite River bridge (like I always do...a silly little tradition I have) and belted it out louder than I ever have before. Go ahead and laugh. ;) I know it's been less than a week, but something weird happens to you emotionally when your city is in shambles, and you're hundreds of miles away and helpless. Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but oh well...I'm home. I had a wonderful time with my family these past few days, and it was a much-needed time of rejuvenation, but now it's time to step up and help Baton Rouge back onto her feet. I can't wait.

One last random thought for the night because John McCain is about to speak...

Sarah Palin is my new heroine.

And so is Nichole Maher for letting me crash in her air conditioned apartment tonight. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lights Out in Baton Rouge

One more finding from WBRZ before I check out for the night...this is a chilly video of just how in the dark Baton Rouge is tonight.

I Suppose I'm an Evacuee

Earlier, I was trying to remember the last time I watched the news all day long, and it may have been as far back as September 11. I have been unable to tear myself away from the t.v. all day. I keep telling myself I need to read for class, but who knows when class will start back. I haven't gotten much information from Baton Rouge, but what I do hear is that there are LOTS of trees down and LOTS of wind damage. I'm not sure what neighborhood this is in, but check this out. Pay special attention to the huge tree that's uprooted. Insane. I just had no idea it would end up being this bad in Baton Rouge. We're supposed to be the place people evacuate TO right? :( I've been searching online like crazy trying to find damage footage, and the more I see, the more I keep telling myself I need to stop looking. This is just bad...I don't know what else to say.

One thing did lighten the mood slightly today. I love any time Geraldo Rivera humiliates himself, and boy did he today. While on the Industrial Canal bridge, Geraldo spotted a "victim" in the water. He proceeded to scream and curse at the policemen around him to rescue the man, who turned out to be a rescue worker himself. Way to go, Geraldo. Congrats on costing Fox News that censorship fine for your cursing. Good job! I'm really sorry if your power went out and you didn't get to see it. Read more of the ridiculousness here.

Props to Bobby Jindal for being the soothing voice of hope and clarity that he was today. The way he has handled things is twenty times better than that other governor-who-shall-not-be-named. I'm proud to call him my governor.

I hope all of you in Louisiana are safe and sound, and I hope the beginning of what could be a long clean-up process goes well tomorrow. Believe me...I wish I could be there to help, but it looks like I might be in Oxford a little bit longer. I'm trying not to let the stir-craziness set in, but it's just not safe for me to come back yet. Be safe, friends, and I'll be home before long. My prayers are constantly with you.