Seventeen months after Hurricane Katrina wrecked her home, Mary Perkins is all moved into her new house in Bay St. Louis. Photo courtesy of Mary Perkins
I am now totally in my house!! Yay!! The photo shows you the finished product with the grass, the fence, etc. Getting into the house and being able to sleep in a real bed, shower in a real tub, cook on a real stove does change your attitude immensely. I've found that I am more into my work and just all around in a better frame of mind.
It is definitely a wonderful feeling to no longer have to live in a 30-by-8-foot FEMA trailer. I now wonder how I made it 14 months in that tin can and did not go stark raving mad. It was a great day when the trailer was hauled off.
The puppy dog, cat and I are getting settled in. I have gone through a great many boxes, found places for those items and situated things. I still find myself moving things from one cabinet to the next or from one side of the room to the next until I feel at home with it.
On Dec. 30, the Lagniappe Presbyterian Church group came by and dedicated the house. About 15 or 20 people came in, had a prayer, read some Scripture, talked about the work and then prayed. I was grateful for that because I would not be in this house without their hard work and kindness to me. I am truly blessed, folks!!
And now for what is going on here 17 months since Katrina. Buildings are being demolished, such as the county tax office on Main Street in Bay St. Louis and the Baptist Church in Bay St. Louis that was built in the 1940s. These are all historic buildings and it is very sad and disheartening to see them go. I grew up with these buildings always there. To say that our lives have changed forever is an understatement. Life is not the same as it was and it never will be again.
Someone said it this way: It is almost as though life here is like one of those movies you see where everything stopped and nothing moves forward. That is sort of the way it is. Yes, things have been cleaned up, things have been torn down and some people are rebuilding, but it is almost as though time stands still for us. I ate lunch at a restaurant today on Coleman Avenue in Waveland. This restaurant is located in the second block from the beach, but there are no buildings around it and when you look out the window, it is like an atomic bomb went off. The ground is flat, there are no structures toward the beach, the trees are almost all gone, and it seems surreal.
So, my friends in Rising from Ruin land, it's good to be in a house, but it's still very sad. I have ridden the ferry across the bay several times. It is really rather a nice little trip, only about 25 minutes, compared to 45 or more going around. At night you hear the pounding of the pilings being driven into the water for the new bridge. It is looking like they may have it ready in May.
But we still do not have a grocery store here in this area -- just the Wal-Mart. Sunday I drove 30 miles just to go into a real grocery store. It was nice.
Please do not forget us. We still need a lot of help and a lot of support. We have a long way to go to make it back.
Until next time.
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