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Chapter 8 Katrina Living in a nightmare

Jackie and Jacee came home about a week after we moved to the places in Ocean Springs. I was happy they were home, it seemed more normal with all three of them next door. Jackie, Jacee and I went to a few centers to get supplies. They were so good to us, giving us so many nice things.

I called the phone company almost everyday when we first moved in, then finally gave up on it. We would not have a phone until January. My daughter had brought a phone and plugged it in when we had first moved in. I had stopped picking it up to check for a dial tone. One day Buster and I where sitting in the living room, the phone rang! I almost jumped out of my skin! Hello? " Yes I'm trying to find your nephew Ron". I started laughing at this guy, he seemed puzzled.

When I composed myself he explained that Ron had rented a TV from his rental company and he was late on the rental. In my most sassy Southern tone I asked. " You are aware we got smacked by Hurricane Katrina?" He assured he was aware he knew about Katrina. I told him I had not a clue where my nephew was, however I thought he had left town. Then told him I thought I knew where his TV was. " You do know where you had the TV delivered right? He got a little upset with me, well oaky maybe more than a little. I told him the apartment Ron and Dee had lived in on front beach had the three floors gutted, they had lived on the fourth. If he wished to climbed the fire escape and drag a 32 inch TV back down then be their guest.

He calmed down then ask me why I was laughing at his plight of loosing his business. I told him " We have not had a phone in almost two months, the first time it rang was someone looking for a TV. How in the world could my nephew not think to take the rental TV down three flights of stairs instead of food and clothes for his wife and son."

Somewhere around the first of November We had seen on the news where a home owner must sign a right of entry. The Army Core Of Engineers would go on your property bull doze your home and haul it away at no cost to the homeowner. We could not afford to have this done on our own. It was getting close to the dead line. So we went and signed their right of entry form. We went by Gruich Pharmacy and got a red marker. I thought I had cried a lot before this day, as I wrote in bold letters "BULL DOZE" I could barely see how to print those letters through my tears. We had passed other neighbors houses with "BULL DOZE" written on them.

They were beyond repair but it was sad to read those words.

I had wondered about my neighbor Ms. Norma, how she was, where she was. Just as I had written " Bull Doze" I looked and there she was. It was so good to see her, we talked a few minutes. She told me most people were not building here again. It was so wonderful to see Ms. Norma, she had been there for me through good times and bad. We had never had a cross word. She gave me a hug, I gave her my new phone number.

When I looked up above my sad and lonley home, the sky was breathtaking, the clouds looked like cotton candy. The sky was the prettiest blue, with streaks of golden sun peeking from between the clouds.I thought "Wow I'm looking at God's Coloring book."

For just a moment it was nineteen ninety five. I was talking to my Sister Frances ( Peggy). Each hurricane season she and I would track each one that formed. She loved to track them with other sisters too. Peggy had been on O2 for a lot of years, had a really bad lung conduction she rarely left her home any more. She did love going places when she felt okay with my other sisters.

A conversation we had in nineteen ninety six made a chill dash up my spine. " One day you will come home after fleeging your home from a hurricane. Your house will be standing, but you will never live in it again. Other business and home will look like huge splinters. I'm not sure when, I just see it that it will happen. Water will cover most of the area even in places it never has before. Back Bay will meet front Bay."

For a few years at the start of hurricane season I would think about those words. I guess it had slipped my mind. Yet we didn't have flood insurance when Katrina hit.

I had told my husband, family and friends this story so many times. She told me to never let my house be with out flood insurance. She had been right, boy had she ever to put it midly!

She had worked all her life for everything she had.

I stood there thinking about Peggy she was alone the last few years of her life.She had one son named Mark he was still living at home.Mark had cancer when she had passed away.

Mark was away at the time of her death having his leg removed.I went by as often as I could before Peggy passed away. I was working and trying to help my Mom and Brother.

Everytime I went my sister and her husband were there. Mark passed away in February the next year. It is an honor to share France's poem is at the end of this chapter. It is also for my other sisters Jessie,Nora and Willa Dean.

The neighborhood was starting to be torn down. Over thirty years of knowing all these people would soon be a memory. My son would sign his right of entry a few weeks later. He just could not let go of the place he and Jackie had first brought Jacee to.

On the way back to the cottage we drove by where Peggy had lived in D'Iberville. One of her sons and his family lived there after Peggy and Mark had died. She had flood insurance until she had died. There was no flood insurance on the house now. It looked like a huge hand had rippped out the end of the house. Water had came into the house up to the roof, it was horrible to see. Who would ever thought D'Iberville could flood? Well it did BIG time!

Just up the road was a place we loved to eat at every Saturday night. It had flooded also, people inside the place had to swim for hours to live through Katria.

Did Back Bay met Front Bay? I have not a clue, but I wish I had remembered what she said about flood insurance. Would I have gotten it? I'm not sure, however I will never be without flood insurance again! Even if we moved to a Sky Scaper!!

The cable people had promised we would have our service back in a few weeks when we got home they where in the area. we now had cable TV! Buster went to Wal-mart and got us a color TV. It was basic cable but we had TV.

SISTERS ARE FOREVER

Sisters come to us in many forms some are given to you at birth,

Others are sent from God above, this is the sweetest gift on Earth.

They come to you in many shapes and sizes some are very tall,

Some have different things to give to you none of these are small.

A kind word to help you face those times of sorrow,

A gentle hug lets you know that you face tomorrow.

A Sister can be like a Mom,a Mentor or a friend,

Sisters are forever and forever never ends.

I must tell you something and I promise it is true,

If Sisters were flowers, I promise I would pick you.

Copyright 11/02/02

~ Johnnie Oakes~

For Frances Whyte, My Sister. Called home to be with her loved ones and the Lord.

  1/21/96

To all my sisters,thanks for being in my life.

These are a few of my sisters that came into my life when I really needed them.

Victoria, Cindy, Ann, Bev, Micky, Debbie, Terrie, Gail, Debbie, Alisha, Sherry, Tracy, Linda And the other Terry.