Life is very simple now. We wake when it’s light out and sleep when it gets dark. I’m a night owl who works until very late most nights so it’s quite an adjustment to get so little regular work accomplished and go to bed when early risers do.
We eat. Breakfast today was scrambled eggs with softening cheese and defrosting shrimp. We tested the eggs in a cup of water but neither of us could remember if it was a bad thing that they were sinking and there was no internet to consult. We chanced it. Lunch was pasta again but this time with shrimp. Supper was pasta with olives again.
We charge mobile devices. The neighbor’s porch has become a hangout where people sit and visit for hours while waiting for phones to recharge. Because they have a generator and are very generous, not only do our neighbors supply us all with power, they also leave a cooler of chilled beverages. Cookies sit in a tray on top.
We seek things. Today people needed gas. Some wanted options for leaving town but most needed fuel for generators. There’s not much around and lines are literally over a mile long. We’d heard a rumor there was power in the French Quarter so we drove over (in the air conditioned car – ahhhh) to check it out. Power had returned to a couple neighborhoods butt the French Quarter was only a rumor as it turns out. We made the best of it, enjoying the AC while surveying damage throughout the city and marveling at the optimistic artist who set up shop on Jackson Square next to the ages-old live oak that had cracked in half.
We decide stuff. Mostly what food to throw out and what to seek that day. Today, we decided to stay in the city and be optimistic about power coming back to parts of the city soon.
We pitch in. Today we picked up tree debris that cluttered the lawn of a nonprofit. The neighborhood bar continues to collect and distribute food as well as serving hot meals.
We share stuff. My in-laws just celebrated their 50th a few weeks ago. There was a lovely cake with buttercream icing. They’d saved the top layer to eat a year from now. It had been too large to bother trying to ice and was defrosted to the perfect temperature by the end of supper. We each ate a piece then offered the rest to neighbors before donating cold beers to the bar.
We cling to habits. My husband and I usually walk for an hour or so a few days a week, so we did that. The sidewalks were covered in downed branches and “tree trash.” St. Charles looked like something out of Jurassic Park or Logan’s Run – like the earth was reclaiming our land and returning it to nature. Several buildings took major hits including a school and St. Elizabeth’s (of Ann Rice fame).
We complain. My rant today was about solar power. The only functioning light we’d seen from Esplanade to Napoleon was a solar-powered school zone light. We’d heard rumors about a few local solar-powered houses with running refrigerators, AC and TV. If we’re going to have to repair so much of the city’s power structure anyway, shouldn’t we be using any relief money to build back better? And if the only functioning light in town was solar powered, shouldn’t all street lights and traffic signals be solar?
We invent stuff. Much of this is food-related but today’s winner was a seriously-bright lamp fashioned from a milk jug and an inverted head lamp (PHOTO BELOW).
We shower. Jefferson Parrish continues to suffer without water so we’re all very grateful to be able to wash off the day’s sweat and get into our sheets fresh.
I had SO much to do this week. I can accomplish none of it without power and internet. I eat, sleep, hang out, and shower. Since the problem is so insurmountable, I’m forced to take time off and enjoy my husband, my neighbors, and renewed gratitude for little things. Life has become very simple and that’s not all bad.
The photos below include a shot from Monday when we manually opened a garage door. There’s also a rare-for-us fiery sunset that ended our Tuesday with flare.
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