Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rita Go Away!

We only get one channel on our little portable black and white, and that’s a station out of Biloxi, Mississippi that we barely pick up. (New Orleans stations were our local channels here and they aren’t there any more. Even most of the radio stations we always listened too are gone.)

That one Mississippi television channel is enough for us to get news and to know that Rita is out there and will be in the Gulf soon. They have her path heading to Texas right now, but are saying that Louisiana isn’t in the clear and we won’t have a better idea for sure of what her path will be for a couple of days. I’m not wishing her on anyone, but the thought of another hurricane, another really bad one, hitting us right now is enough to make me want to curl up into a ball and stay there.

The last bad hurricane we took a direct hit from before Katrina came about twenty years ago, and even then it wasn’t as strong as her. They are saying that Rita won’t be as strong as Katrina either, but she’ll be close. With houses already damaged and trees and tin and wood every where still, if a hurricane hit here right now, even one a good bit weaker than Katrina, it would be a horror. All of that loose stuff would become deadly missiles in hurricane force winds. Trees and structures already weakened by the first strike would give way with ease. It’s just too awful to think of, so I’m trying really hard to just not think about it.

I mentioned yesterday that we started getting our local newspaper again at last, but then I found out later that they are only publishing it on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. At least that does give us some local news and lets us know what’s going on here around us. We are getting mail daily, but it is a piece here and there. My sister mailed me something almost a week ago and I haven’t gotten it yet. It used to take about three days to get mail from her. Bills are coming in that were mailed just before the hurricane. Guess I should have known those would get through sooner or later no matter what. (Smile)

We went into our house yesterday with a pump sprayer like you would use on bugs or fruit trees, but we filled ours with bleach. We sprayed every where we dared and a few places we probably shouldn’t have. That mold is no doubt dying a painful death even as I type this…or maybe as I slept last night. We need to get it under control before we start ripping out sheetrock and insulation and flooring.

Sadly going through to spray meant looking close enough to find some things I had lost to the water that I hadn’t been in the house enough to notice or just hadn’t spotted or thought of until yesterday. Like some of my iron pots, things I had in the bottom of my hope chest, and even my huge collection of stamps that I kept in a big thick plastic box under my bed. The lid was floating on top of it and the inside was filled with water. I bought a lot of the stamps new, in what they called mint condition, but more than half of them were used stamps. I liked collected used ones, different pictures, different kinds, from different places. Thanks to a couple of dear friends, who are both gone now, I had used stamps in my collection from all over the world. I had sections that were made up of butterfly stamps, horse stamps, different shape stamps, you name it. I’m not sure what hurts worse, losing the stamps or the connection to those two dear lost friends I felt when I looked through the stamps they helped me find.

I hope we have found all of the ruined stuff now.

Before I post this I want to take a moment and say thanks to everyone who has called, posted a comment, or sent me an e-mail checking in, checking up, or just sending good wishes and thoughts or prayers. I know I haven’t had the chance to really respond to more than a couple or so, but every single call or message or comment has meant so very much to me and to my family.

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts! You’ve all made me feel so very special and cared for!


midnightcandle1 said...

Hi Charlotte,

My husband is a general contractor. If you have any questions about rebuilding and/or repairs, and you’d like another opinion, please feel free to contact me.

You are much stronger than you think and all of our thoughts and prayers are with you. One year from now you’ll be surprised at how much you were able to draw out of this unspeakable event as a writer.


Mary E. Gray said...

God, Charlotte, I've been stressed out just watching Katrina coverage on the TV (mostly of New Orleans). After reading your eyewitness account, I'm amazed you only have "special moments." I'd be having days and days.

I'm so glad you and your family came through, even though you've got so much ahead to do. And, yes, I hope Rita stays well away from you.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry for the loss and damge your house suffered. I'm glad you and your family and pets made it safe through the storm.

Take care,

Jude Wood

JC said...

Please stay tuned on Rita. They are now saying she is a five. I am so sorry that you are going to have to deal with this again so soon. Good luck and be safe.

JC said...

She is down to a four, but has turned right and they think will now hit La. PLease be safe.

Joan said...


You have written a moving account of your experience.

Know you have had and still do, many thoughts and prayers sent your way.


Charlotte Dillon said...

Thanks for the thoughts, suggestions, and kindness!