There's an advertising campaign from Blue Cross Blue Shield that started a few months after Katrina. I found the commercials to be very touching and I'd get that lump in my throat everytime the commercials came on. I thought I was an emotional fool and everyone else thought they were just another annoying commercial, but they've been talking about those commercials recently on the radio and how they're expected to win some advertising award and how a lot of people really loved the commercials. Anyway, it's basically just beautiful scenes from Louisiana and the voice over is someone sings "This is our life, this is our love, this is our home, Louisiana" in the longer commercials there's a second verse of "This is our day, this is our way, come what may, Louisiana". They also have a radio campaign of their various employees talking about who they are and they always end the commercials with I am so and so and I am Louisiana. I love those commercials too.
I've been thinking a lot about how much I love living here. This is my home. I love this time of year. The azaleas are blooming, the trees are flowering, everything is turning green again. There's a fragrance on the air that I've always associated with South Louisiana. I think it's the oak trees leafing out. I particularly enjoy where our house is. I love seeing all the cows and horses everyday on my way to and from work. It's quiet and peaceful, and at night the only noise keeping me up are frogs and cows.
However, there's a downside to everything. For some reason yesterday I was reminded of it twice. I spent some time with our new neighbors. They were from St. Bernard Parish and their house was completely destroyed. They just recently moved in and are having to restart their lives. So far, they only have the basics in household supplies and furniture. Even though you have an insurance settlement, it takes time to acquire all the stuff that you used to have.
Last night,at my stitching group, there was a new lady. She was from New Orleans. She also moved to Prairieville following Katrina. Her house got 8 1/2 feet of water in it for 16 days. Her house was also completely destroyed. She showed us a pair of scissors that were on the second floor of her house, in a scissor case, and they had rusted, it was that damp in her house where the water didn't even reach. She recently bought another house in New Orleans. It only got 30 inches of water, but the owners didn't want to go back. So they're going to have it renovated. She thinks it's going to take at least a year. They aren't issuing building permits very fast and there's labor issues too, as in not enough. She said she'd give New Orleans one more chance.
I can't even put into workds how concerned I am about the upcoming Hurricane season. We are not ready. Not me personally, but this area in general. There are still so many blue roofs around here. There are areas of New Orleans where not a single thing has been done in terms of clean up since the hurricane. Huge areas of the city STILL don't have power. We have a customer that's a couple of blocks from the Superdome and he still doesn't have telephone service. He has to conduct all of his business from his cellphone which has spotty service.
Anyway, I guess even in light of all that, this is home.