Katrina memories: Four years ago today . . . Monday, Aug 31 2009 

I’d rather forget.  Here’s what I posted on this date four years ago:

August 31

I wish I had the email I sent to family a while ago. But without wireless access in the household, and separated from the e Mac by circumstances owing to Katrina, I’ll just have to carry on. Good news. Grandma is found in north Louisiana’ No less than 30 minutes from Uncle Fred and Aunt Marion!  Tell me God isn’t at work in this. Hmph!  The beat goes on here. Uncle Nathan has the debas with his VA supplied pain med. He went to Alex today but they wouldn’t help him. So tomorrow he strikes out for Houston with Mama.  Since the VA facility in N.0 is being evacuated, who knows what hind of zoo is going on there. I hate to see Mama go with him . . She still babies him some. It could turn into a stressful ordeal.

Zach continues to work with the refugees at church. No prospect for most of them getting home for maybe months. They’re starting to enroll their kids in local schools.  We don’t know when those folks will be moved to a more permanent facility.  Meanwhile, they’re the blessed ones, esp. compared to the horrifying circumstances going on in the City.

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The cast iron chemenia: Will it cook? Saturday, Aug 29 2009 

A little over a year ago, I blogged “cookin on the chemenia.” Unfortunately, that clay chemenia in the former post gave up the ghost when the roofers came earlier this monthCast iron chemenia and threw something from the roof to the ground that struck the old chemenia and exacerbated a crack that had begun to grow since earlier in the year.  I had to discard it.

Always game for something new, and hoping for  a  more durable product, I searched online and found this cast iron chemenia on sale at Lowe’s.  We picked one up this afternoon in Lafayette.  We got home too late to cook supper, but at least it’s assembled and ready for action.  I’m curious to see if it will work as well as its clay cousin.

I do like the open fire box.  The glowing embers will be pretty, I’m sure.  But the jury’s still out on whether it will charbroil as well as the old one.

A year ago today, recalling the jitters . . . Thursday, Aug 27 2009 

I knew the Gustav saga took place about a year ago when my daughter-in-law reminded us this evening that she and baby Payton spent the weekend a year ago with a friend’s family in Arkansas to keep the baby from having to endure those days of likely privation after the storm with no electricity, etc etc.  (And those days indeed materialized.)hurricane-evac

Reading my blog entries from that period last year are interesting.  The entry from this date one year ago features this photo of a hurricane evacuation marker I shot with my phone camera in Ville Platte, Louisiana, on the thru-route Highway 167.  I was in Ville Platte on that date last year tending to administrative matters at the local high school and stopped for gas on the way home.  We pretty much saw the writing on the wall then that Gustav was setting his sites on our part of the world.  I recall how tense and keyed up I felt pumping gas that day as I struggled to concentrate on work  with the distraction of the storm weighing so heavily.

This weekend, I’ll enjoy reading those day-to-day remembrances from last year, knowing the forecast for the next few days this year calls for a frontal passage over the weekend.  Glory, glory!  (Hurricanes run opposite directions from fronts.).

Escape to the classroom . . . Tuesday, Aug 25 2009 

The first week of the semester in administration is no fun.  Everybody’s got a problem, nobody’s happy, and somebody’s always got it out for you.  I cringe when the phone rings, I close my eyes when I click to open the email, I shrink when I hear someone in the outer office asking to see me, explaining this or that kind of problem with their class or teacher.

So where is safe haven?

A few minutes before 9:30, I returned the last emergency call and replied to the latest crisis email, gathered the printout of my English 1002 Section 09 roster with copies of the syllabus, and headed to Manuel Hall 206 to meet my 29 or 30 students.  For the next hour-plus, I forgot about the lost transcript, the student begging to get into the closed class, the parent calling to right the wrong done to his daughter, the guidance counselor asking to change this student’s schedule, the faculty member complaining about the number of students in her class . . .

I taught, simply taught.

Yes, if I could only make a living so!

But alas, no, life’s not fashioned so.  So administrate I will, as duty demands, but at 9:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, escape I will . . .

as English 1002 Section 9 convenes with me, the teacher, doing what I love best.

Eunice High Alumni Tourney ’09: Watchin’ the kids play Sunday, Aug 23 2009 

How many years did we go to watch our kids play ball games?  Baseball, football, softball, track . . . For  20 or more years, watching the kids play sports was a  family routine.

Ann waits on the next pitch in her last game Sunday afternoon

Ann Class of '07 waits on the next pitch in her last game Sunday afternoon.

So one of the pleasures of the “empty nest” is the annual Eunice High alumni co-ed softball tournament–a school fundraiser where the respective graduating classes going all the way back to the ’60’s organize alumni teams and come home for a weekend-long tournament that’s become a significant event, both in terms of participation and fundraising.  Both of our kids came back this year, like last year, and played the games.  We enjoyed watching them as much now than we did back in the day of their childhoods.

I got a kick this afternoon during Ann’s game when, after a successful at bat in which she swatted a solid liner to center field for a hit, a guy behind me said something like, “Hey, that girl can hit!” as if he were surprised.  I turned to him beaming and exclaimed, “Yeah, she was all-district for two years!”    Payton ballpark queen

“Oh, she’s yours?” he asked, happy I suppose that he had said something positive rather than negative.  Anyway, I happily claimed my daughter, and he politely asked questions about her and her softball career from time to time throughout the rest of the game.

Of course, in addition to watching Zach play with the ’00 team, we also got to visit with his little Payton and Payton’s mom.  I like this photo of Payton from Saturday afternoon because her sunglasses reflect the images of the tournment on the field.

I’m sure we’ll do this again next year, Lord willing, as the parents’ generation hangs on for  dear life to all the memories they can, even making new memories.

As long as we can make new memories, perhaps we can avoid old age!

Shut up and listen! Friday, Aug 21 2009 

Jewish wisdom:

180px-EcclesiastesEcclesiastes 5:2   Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth,  so let your words be few.

That verse provides a cogent reminder about who I am and where I stand in relation to greater matters than my own trivial preoccupations.

How

much

better

to listen

than

to speak!

Concerning naught . . . Thursday, Aug 20 2009 

When one hast naught to write, should one write naught?

But then, how does one write “naught?”  For anything written is greater than naught.

If Jethro Bodine from Beverly Hillbillies were here, I’d ask him, for he was one to cipher eloquently, using naught.220px-Max_Baer_Jr,_Nancy_Kulp_and_Sharon_Tate_in_The_Beverly_Hillbillies,_The_Giant_Jackrabbit_episode

I feel guilty that I have posted naught since the weekend (owing to a busy week and long days at work), so now I feel compelled to write something, but the only thing that comes to mind is naught.

So here’s to the subject of naught.  We’ll call this discourse a piece on “metanaught.”

So with that, I bid thee all “A good naught!”

Is something brewing in the Gulf, Joe Bastardi? Saturday, Aug 15 2009 

“You should enjoy the weather.  It’s the only weather you’ve got.” 150px-JoeBastardiSmallSmall

–Joe Bastardi, meteorologist, Accuweather.com

I couldn’t believe  Joe Bastardi.  He offered those comments at the end of an Accuweather tropical commentary this afternoon.

I’ll to my best to remember that admonition next time a tropical gale blows the patio cover off my house.

Meanwhile, Joe’s piece is interesting for those of us who dwell along the central Gulf Coast, his odd sense of humor notwithstanding.

Among the topics: tropics Thursday, Aug 13 2009 

Oh, boy!  It’s mid-August along the Gulf Coast, and we’re excited about hurricane season!

Accuweather graphic showing tropical flow for the next week or so

Accuweather graphic showing tropical flow for the next week or so

Well, not really excited.  Perhaps interested.

The El Nino-inspired tropical weather pattern this year has been pretty calm so far, but the latest predictions indicate a livelier pattern is taking shape.

But I’m ready.

  • The generator I bought for Gustav last year is sitting in the garage, ready for action.
  • We have  brand new shingles on the roof.
  • The butane burner and bottle we bought for Gustav last season was only used once, so how about cooking a sauce piquante on the patio?  We’re ready!

Not that we want a hurricane, mind you.  But to say “We’re ready,” as “ready” as one can be for a hurricane, I guess we are.  But we’ll be more than pleased if we don’t have to use our preparations.

The “Fire Truck” Goes Pro: Salute to Former Bengal Brennan Flick Tuesday, Aug 11 2009 

Brennan Pitching standing1Sarah and I were tickled as toast to recieve email from our good friends from Morgan City, Lynette and David Flick, updating us on their son and former LSUE Bengal pitcher Brennan’s pro debut this summer as a free agent signee with the San Fransisco Giants organization.

We hadn’t heard from Brennan since he hosed down the Scottsdale, Arizona team in the NJCAA World Series last May, so Lynette’s report was good news.

Irony of ironies?  Brennan’s last pitching assignment for LSUE in the World Series was against Scottsdale Community College.  Where’s his first pro assignment?  The Scottsdale Giants in the Rookie League!  Maybe the World Series was a premonition of things to come.

Lynette reported in her email that she and David were able to visit Scottsdale earlier this summer to attend a four-game series and were privileged to witness Brennan’s first pro win.  We can only imagine how proud they were.

Anyway, we’re excited for Brennan, and we pray success and happiness for him.  We’ll miss seeing the Flicks at Bengal games next year, but as in all matters pertaining to life, we move on–It’s an upward and onward course!

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