Update: There was a trackback here to Brian Williams’s blog, but unfortunately, due to the 100s of comment spam attacks each night, it got lost. 

So 2 years ago this day, I called my mom to tell her I made it to the Visual Studio homepage for my Visual Studio tips and tricks, just to share my excitement.  Then she says, equally excitedly, “the big one is coming.”  (it’s a New Orleans thing to be excited about hurricanes).  I turned on the TV to see “Katrina” for the first time.  My life would never be the same again.

2 days later, my blog became an accidental Katrina Information portal for all things related to the western section of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I followed suit 6 weeks later as an accidental relief worker. 

And now, 2 years later…  Brian Williams will re-interview my family.  It will air Tuesday, August 28 on King5 at 6pm PST for those in Seattle.

Waveland vs Katrina Cliff Notes:

  • USA Today described my hometown of Waveland, Miss (7,000 people) as The Town that Vanished.  If you’ve ever been to Ocean Shores.. that’s Waveland (although Waveland is a lot warmer)
  • A single cell phone tower survived, allowing my mom to give me daily updates from the beach, which in turn I posted on my blog…  the story starts here
  • NBC Nightly News Brian Williams interviewed my mom and dad 2 months after the storm.  Video and Transcript from Oct 4, 2005.
  • There’s just no way to describe the devastation unless you were there.  My diary post Blogging from Katrina Ground Zero:  Waveland, MS – Day 1 is my best attempt.

Expanding on "speed" as described in David Whyte’s book Crossing the Unknown Sea… it’s been 2 years since Katrina, but it might as well as happened yesterday, and I’ve been in Seattle for the past 6 years. It’s like we’ve all been a race car in the red, flooring it for 2 years, trying to go as fast as we can, to get back to what we had as fast as we can, or just try to stay in constant motion, because speed blurs everything around us, not having to accept where we are at.

But we can’t maintain this speed, and things start to break down. Our 120% becomes 100%, then our 100% becomes 80%, and the next thing we know, we’re flooring it, but barely going over 30mph. Our speed disappears and we’re forced to finally take a hard look around us. a very hard look.

And now that I’m literally barely moving (I’ve been injured, unable to walk for the past 4 months), I’m forced to realize just how homesick I truly am.  Some things will never change – Mardi Gras, Saints, etc., and some things will never be the same – 411 Water Street, Waveland, Miss.

But if there’s anything to be learned from this, it is that life always goes on.  always.  Eating at a soup kitchen, looking around at the various families sitting beside you, watching as parents entertain and educate their little kids, you realize that life will always go on, it just depends how you chose to go along with it.

I am so proud to be from the New Orleans area.  I am so proud to be from a small town that never gave up hope and survived.  I am so proud of my family for rebuilding. 

Renew Rebuild ReNew Orleans.  (and geaux saints!)