Riding the Storm Out 11:28 a.m. 2005-09-04

I know, long time, no hear. Part of my excuse is school-related. I can no longer access my diary from school, as the firewall Nazis have blocked it. To tell the truth, I can still access Diaryland, and the "add an entry" button, but I was too annoyed to see if I could post from school. AFter all, I would not be able to read the post after I made it!!!!

What else has been blocked? E-Bay, of course. What do they think we teachers do all day?

Okay, it is obvious that they know what we do some of the day... Curse them!!!

The other element has been the opening of school - I have been going full tilt since the start, and things are going to get a lot busier - I will explain later.

Foremost on my mind is, of course, Hurricane Katrina. I am apparently still in denial about my beloved New Orleans, although my husband, ever a ray of light and hope, keeps me up to date with all of the grisly details. I will admit to you that I am not a fan of the news, and watching scenes of horror and destruction that I can do nothing about has never appealed to me.

I am NOT saying that I don't care about the evacuees. I am personally acquainted with some of them:

My sister and her kids have had to evacuate to Baton Rouge, where they are staying in the house of a niece. This niece is expecting a baby, and now had a rotating number of 18 people and up to 7 dogs occupying her space.

My sister lived on the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain, in Covington, Louisiana, and, although her house has been spared, trees are down everywhere and her husband is camped out down there with his brother, with only a generator. He seems to find that more peaceful than living with 18 other people. Fancy that.

My brother-in-law had been laid off from his job, as have all Sysco employees in the New Orleans area. Now, my sister said that the company would find jobs for them in other locations, but I also heard that they are not guaranteeing anything or bridging salary or benefits. I think this is a callous move on their part. I know that employer loyalty would do a lot to bolster the despair that many of their loyal employees are feeling at this moment. I cannot believe that a multi-BILLION dollar corporation could not move some things around and offer aid, as many people in the United States are doing. I hope that they will seriously reconsider your stand on this national problem.

The last part of that paragraph is from an e-mail I sent to the Sysco website. Can you believe it?

By contrast, my sister's company, which operates out of Virginia, I think, has been great. The CEO himself called her and offered a loan and any help he could muster. Granted, they are a smaller company, but their example is a great one to follow.

My sister has made arrangements to register her children in the private school where her niece teaches. She said that Covington would probably require mandatory evacuation so that they could dedicate themselves to cleaning up. So, I don't know how long she will be displaced.

A story that is not mine to share is one of my best friend and her family. I hope that she will post it on her blog. Her sister is a nurse, and was required to stay in her hospital in New Orleans until last Wednesday, I believe. Her sister and brother have both lost their homes.

My friend is an extremely talented writer. Her e-mails to keep her friends posted on her sister's vigil were inspiring, and so well written. I forwarded them to family and friends, and have been told that her accounts were very moving. If I could find a way, I would get them on Oprah. Or at least on Ellen.

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