I rented a car and drove west. All by myself. I drove and drove and drove until I got to Austin, Texas. And I thought to myself, how uncharacteristic. I felt like I hadn’t done anything like this before, at least not for a very long time. There was a reason for this pilgrimage, of [...]
Isaac is gone, but his odor lingers on. Seriously. There’s a smell in the air, a certain peculiar smell I can’t describe. I’m not sensitive to smells. I often think if I was more tuned in to my sense of smell, I’d have a radically different way of being in the world, more animalistic perhaps [...]
It wasn’t until after Labor Day that I passed by the bayou and saw what Isaac had done to my favorite tree. This is the tree where my daughter got her name back in 2008. Throughout the 2010-2011 school year I stopped at this tree almost daily for a moment of contemplation. This tree survived [...]
I’ve also been reflecting on our decision to stay in place for Isaac. Was it the right choice? There’s room for disagreement even in our house. Over the past week Xy has repeated “Never again!” whereas I’ve found myself saying I’m glad we stayed. So what were the pros and cons of that decision? It’s [...]
Persephone and I took a photo of Xy raking up the “street salad” left behind by Hurricane Isaac. Then we drew our own interpretation based on the photo. Persephone drew the gusts and leaves; I drew the branches and the figure with rake, but Persephone drew the face.
We lost electrical service to our house for 98 hours. That’s just over four days. And during these four days I discovered something odd. I sort of liked it. It feels wrong, saying that when over a hundred thousand of my fellow citizens are still without power. The constant question around the city these days [...]
After four days in the dark, our porch light’s back on in Mid-City.
So remember how I said we were heading out — buggin’ — evacuating? That didn’t happen. We were planning to go, but the hurricane parties here were just too good to resist. Actually the real reason is that our anticipated path was looking worse and worse for a return drive. Of course we could have [...]
We had a wonderful Lammas. It has emerged as probably my favorite holiday, which is kind of funny considering I never heard of it until two years ago. It’s taken a few weeks but I finally got some photos up. And as an unexpected bonus, we even have a short movie, which contains the very [...]
Dear Persephone, You are four and half years old today. We have continued our tradition, now well-established, of giving away stuff for your half-birthday. This year you didn’t need any explanation; you’ve absorbed the concept from years past. Over the last few weeks you’ve been selecting from amongst your possessions. You filled up a bag, [...]
When I got back to New Orleans, I noticed the “Save the Picayune” signs and tee-shirts around town. With all respect to the good intentions behind this campaign, I feel it’s the wrong approach. Let me explain why. This could take a minute.
It’s inevitable when visiting some other place to compare it to home, especially if that other place is your former home. I lived in Bloomington for thirteen years, and I’ve now lived in New Orleans for thirteen years, so I can’t resist a few elementary observations.
I was headed to Bloomington anyhow. I’d been planning an extended Indiana vacation to visit family this summer. I like having an 800-mile buffer zone, but even I have guilt feelings which must be assuaged at least once a year. Aside from family, the first person I planned to look up in Bloomington was my [...]
Probably the biggest surprise for me on this vacation was just how prosperous Bloomington seemed. (More on that later.) If I had any doubts on this front, they were laid to rest by my visit to The Rail. Contemporary craft cocktails and tapas — in Bloomington? I was impressed. And I was even more impressed [...]
Dear Persephone, You are fifty-three months old today. Yesterday, technically, but cut me some slack. After our long summer vacation, I finally understand what people mean when they talk about children being “spoiled rotten” by their grandparents. Actually that’s not fair to your grandparents. They are indulgent (I’m looking at you, Susie) but I can’t [...]
We took a break from Bloomington and made a side trip to visit my family. When we arrived at my parents’ house, I was alarmed to discover my father lying on the floor in the kitchen. My folks aren’t getting any younger. Was this a medical emergency?
Since I don’t get back to Bloomington often, I made a point of getting together with folks.
The first thing I did when I got to Bloomington was to ride the B-Line. Lucky me, I have generous friends who let me borrow a bicycle. The B-Line is the local greenway, a recently constructed urban rail-trail, 3.1 miles in length, running alongside an active rail line for its final stretch. Does this sound [...]
We went way up to the mountains of northern Alabama, to Monte Sano State Park. No elaborate rituals. No goat sacrifice. Just hanging out in the woods. Well, we did make those solstice stones earlier. But mostly we just hung out in the woods. I don’t think we’ve ever done that, as a family. It [...]
Dear Persephone, You are now fifty-two months old. Our family vacation hasn’t allowed much time to sit and write, so in addition to being late, this letter will be abbreviated. One highlight of the past month was your dance recital. Since we live in New Orleans, this was a major outdoor party with food and [...]