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Chapter 7 Katrina living in a nightmare

Katrina caused major flooding and had taken a lot of lives in parts of New Orleans La.I have not been to New Orleans in years but it was beautiful the last time I was there.The food was very good and the people nice to us. They are our neighbors we visit them and they visit us also.I guess we are in this together.

Each time went to Biloxi it took longer to get back to the house. The bridge that had connected Ocean Springs and Biloxi was one of the things Katrina had decided she just had to take with her. I mean you would think she had did enough taking homes, peoples live, business they had worked for the list goes on and on. BUT NO SHE JUST HAD TO HER THING! Take the bridge that connected the two cities! She had also taken Bay Saint Louis Bridge, We didn't know at the time.

The National Guard or Police were everywhere you looked. They were controlling looters, they had check points set up at each area you entered. Plus there were no working traffic lights anywhere on the Coast.

Only once for about two weeks were we allowed to go down high way 90 ( the beach road). This was because we were trying to get to Hoxie and Howard Ave. was filled with crews working on search and rescue, looking for people trapped under what was left of their home or business. Howard Ave. was the the Ave. most people took to get to East Biloxi.

We were allowed to go to Porter make a left onto High Way 90 to Oak Street. (Oak was one block over from Hoxie) At the end of Porter I could see the Light House still standing tall and proud, ready to send out her light bright and strong to guide our shrimp boats home safely. Ready to guide ships of any kind to a safe haven to pull in dock and tie down. A tear rolled down my face as I thought " did the Light House know? Did she know it would be a very long time until she would guide a ship of any kind to a safe port? I've been told that everything has a spirit of some kind. Did she have to stand alone, watching as Katrina ripped apart all the things she had watched for all the years? Or it could be she still watches over the water looking for ships to guide home. One day she will guide more and more ships home, more than she ever has before.

Behind the Light House was a pier, it was beautiful, visitors, and local could be seen daily way a out the end fishing from the pier. At the same site was a small building where people could buy a ticket to ride the Tour Train through our wonderful Mississippi Gulf Coast. A snow ball stand had been there also. People could park their vehicles there and not worry it was safe. Now all of this was gone, taken by Katrina in just a few short hours.

As hard as she could not take the memories. They will live forever in the hearts of all who went there or even passed there. My heart soared, the light house was there!

As we turned onto 90 I became sick to my stomach. NOTHING WAS THERE IT WAS GONE, As far as you could see inland and up ahead. The only place I recognized that day was where the Waffle House had been, and where Mac Donalds had been.

The Waffle house where I would try and meet my niece Dee and her son Dominick once a week. Well, that would never happen again, not at "our" Waffle House!! The Mac-Donalds where Buster and I had gone so many times when we where out for a ride, He had gone there almost everyday to " grab lunch". It was just down the road from where he had worked for over thirty years.

It was very hard on him to see the dealership gone, I would sit and watch as he pulled up to the shambles and dig through them looking for awards of over thirty years. I can't say how it tore him apart, I can tell you of the pain on his handsome face.

Anyway, as we drove down 90 I yelled " A BUILDING LOOK BUSTER A HUGE BUILDING!!" We slowed down and Buster said " It is a barge from one of the Casinos."

As we turned onto Hoxie St. I had promised Buster I would not go into the house "this time." Yesterday when I had gone in the mud was dried into a thick grey powder, everywhere you stepped dust would become airborne.

We had gotten our dinning set out a week or so before it was sitting safely in our daughters home. I had been in there twenty times at least yet I didn't my Angle. She was white with little tiny silk wings and sparkles sprinkled over her long flowing dress. I had put her high onto the refigiator so she would be safe, no water could reach over 12 feet, well it did. The Angel that was sitting by my dear Mom's bed when she passed away.

As I climbing over the trash in my home I made into the living room. The coffee table was flipped over onto its back , the legs setting up in the air. Then I saw her sitting on the leg, she was not touched, still as beautiful as the day I brought her home. I took her to the cottage and put her high upon the kitchen cabinet.

The next day we returned to the house, I made the promise once again. However I made my way to the gate I had to enter to go inside. There where I had to step lay a HUGE dead opossum. Buster stood beside me gazing down at the dead thing. I was trying to figure out how to step over it to get into the house, the odor made me gag. I wasn't sure I could get over it to get back into the house. Buster casually point out the fang marks on the dead opossums neck. " hon, that is a snake bite, looks like that is what killed it." Okay, I kept My promise this time I mean the opossum was bad enough but a SNAKE! No thank you snakes scare me, and they BITE! I would never enter my home again.

It could be if I had gone back I would have fell and gotten hurt really bad. A dead opossum had put and end to my searching. I have chosen a poem to honor the memory of my Mom and her Angel.

THE ANGEL

I am an Angel sent from God to touch your heart today,

Hear as I whisper softly in your ear God is never far away.

You see My Child, there is not a wall that you cannot climb,

Take the first step and then you will see I will not be far behind.

You will face some valleys, this is sad but true,

I just had to tell you child, I am here to comfort you.

You feel the soft gentle breeze blowing through you hair?

It is me, dear Child, reminding you that I am still here and I care.

I will never leave you nor forsake you; My words from long ago,

I will be here, never go away, for I love you so.

ęcopyright ~ Johnnie Oakes ~

7/22/02