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New Orleans: Hurricane Isaac the Aftermath Part Deux

Here is a further entry from my journal on Friday, third day of what I call “operation Hurricane Isaac” meaning, how we are dealing with surviving with no power from the electrical grid.

In Uptown New Orleans: Dealing with the Aftermath of Hurricane Isaac Part Deux

hurricane isaac tree on car new orleans

Hurricane Isaac completely uprooted this tree somewhere in what looks like uptown New Orleans.

It’s the third day without power and me and my mom are sitting here in front of a box fan turned up on high. Back here in the den all the windows are open as well as a door to the side garden. All are covered by screens to keep out any invading and opportunistic insects. It’s actually quite comfortable.

I sit in a tank top and shorts and my skin is glowing. When I look in the mirror my facial skin looks smooth and glowing, a result of just a bit of just before perspiration. One of the reasons why southern skin does not seem to age as fast as those in dryer climes. We just look younger. My mom skin is a product of southern of the southern skin effect, many remarking at how young she looks with few wrinkles.

At times like these your relationship to time is different. You are out of routine and there are certain things that need attending to like washing clothes in the kitchen sink and hanging them in the backyeard hoping that perhaps they’ll dry before the next rain storm comes along.

You fix your meals but avoid having to cook because you just don’t want to stand in front of a hot stove so we chose ham sandwiches for lunch. For refreshments there is ice tea, lots of it. And then now I say what the hell, I’ll have a beer at 4 in the afternoon while I type this.

One of the biggest inconveniences is not being able to dry clothes once you wash them. I can do with the washing by hand but the drying of them, well, in this kind of weather nothing dries very fast if at all. That’s kind of a pain.

We still don’t have cable so not only can we not watch TV, although we do have a couple videos to watch, I can’t get on the Internet to get to my blog or do any kind of research. How spoiled we have all become.

I think of folks in other parts of the world who not only don’t have TV but have no electricity, maybe not even any running water. Heck, mankind throughout history had none of these and we as a species and culture survived. In fact, even now without power we live better than kings and queens did a couple centuries ago.

I tried getting on the Internet today through my AOL dialup but for some reason my computer would not configure. But I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this. Not upset, not even bothered, I’m just thinking about it.

I went around and tried to open as many windows as I could this morning. This is an old house with windows that all originally opened. Some have swollen shut, others have so much paint on them that I’d need a special tool to get them open.

When I was growing up we did not have a lot of air conditioning, at first none at all. There was a massive attic fan that pulled a nice breeze from the window up into the attic. I don’t really remember being miserable from the heat.

My mom says that when she grew up they didn’t really have fans, but all the windows in the homes could be opened and it created a nice breeze that helped to keep things cool. Well, cool? Hm, that’s relative. Cooler would be a better word.

I ask my mom how she is feeling, are you hot? She says no, I’m quite comfortable. She’s even turned down the opportunity to go sit in her granddaughter’s home that got power yesterday. She’s comfortable and would rather be home. People just get used to things and things aren’t really as bad as it seems.

So no electricity, well, you just make due. Our little generator is giving us the essentials like fans and lights and a running refrigerator. We got gas stove and gas hot water. And with the windows and doors open we are more connected to the elements, can hear the cicadas in the trees, can smell the greenness and lushness of our New Orleans home.

This time provides time for reflection and considering what’s really essential in life and what we have become accustomed to, all of our technology and gadgets. Hurricane Isaac as with other hurricanes helps to get your priorities straight.

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