Lead Balloon

New Orleans
July 5, 2006, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I said I’d make a post…I haven’t had time…but wanted to share some highlights.

First, Todd sent me flowers today, because he is The Best Husband in the World.

New Orleans…We spent most of our days gutting houses, picking up trash, or handing out supplies (water, toilet paper, paper towels, crackers, and other donations) to families in the Ninth Ward. There’s just so much to tell. Mostly, it’s important to mention that the people of New Orleans feel forgotten. Since the media is gone, and since the entire town isn’t under 10 feet of water, no one cares anymore. That’s how they feel. And they feel helpless. Let this be my one campaign statement to you – if you can help and you are able, please try to do so. There are several organizations who take volunteers and will put you to work – for a weekend, a week, whatever you can spare.

Below are some pictures…I’m still figuring out how to post the pics.

A house where a car used to be:

  House on Car

This is what I called “cinder-block tombstones”. You’d drive down a block and see all these cinder-blocks in an open field – no trash, no debris. Then drive a block further and see the houses that used to sit on them, piled on top of other houses. Cinderblock Tombstones

All over New Orleans, most homes have this “graffiti” on the side of the houses – an “X” where each of the 4 quadrants of the X were marked with some sort of description for when the National Guard was there, how many bodies were found, etc. (See the X in orange.)  Next to the X was always a note from the SPCA indicating the number of animals found in the house – alive or dead.


Below is a shot of where a house used to be, only the front steps left in place. Front Steps

One day, we walked up on a Vacation Bible School that was held outside the projects near the Ninth Ward – apparently this group of five people from the Chicago area thought they wouldn’t have much of a turn out, turns out there were 40+ kids there. Here’s a picture of Todd that day – this little boy wouldn’t say one word, but was sweet, sweet, sweet. And he certainly liked Todd.

  Todd VBS

We gutted two houses. “Gutting Houses” is what you do in New Orleans these days. There are signs all over for people wanting work or needing work – needing their houses gutted. Gutting the house simply means removing everything down to the frame. Below are some pictures of us gutting the houses. You’ll notice one house has a substantial amount of black mold – very typical.

  Todd Gutting   Mold  House Gutting 

We had some fun while we were there.  Some days after work, we played dominoes. Below is a serious game going on – you can see that Todd and I aren’t at all competitive.


And after the last work day, we took a Swamp Tour (helping out that economy!) just outside of New Orleans. Here, Todd fed the alligators and I almost wet myself:

Todd Alligator

Then our priest fed the alligator a marshmallow from his mouth, and I’m almost certain that I did pee in my pants.

H+ Alligator Feeding

This is a lovely picture of me, getting real coffee at a real coffee shop with real adults, no kids around. I’m very stressed here, in case you can’t tell. But about to be in heaven – it was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my life. Fo sho.

Coffee Break

That’s it for now. I have a journal full of reflections…and many of them will just have to stay there, I think.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

what a beautiful thing you and todd did. thanks for sharing.

Comment by amber

i like the last sentence best…”reflections”…some things are just not meant to be shared on a blog…thank you daughter

Comment by Mutha Deah

i hope people don’t ever look at that last picture and still say “you and your brother look alike” – for my self esteem’s sake ; )

Comment by Sam

It’s an awful picture, I know. I don’t think you understand what it took to get myself looking that way.

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