Today we are going home! I have some pictures of the damage we have inside our house (see below). In one picture you can see sunlight coming from the roof. I do not know when I will have Internet access again so updates may not occur for some time (but I hope to have access when I go home). I’ve enjoyed living in St. Louis these past few weeks but it is time to go home and rebuild.
Today we went to the St Louis Science Center. It was fun. We spent most of our time there in the Planetarium. After one of the shows I went and talked to the man running the show about a question I had. Later on as we were walking around he found us and gave us passes to eat lunch for free. (During our conversation I mentioned I was from New Orleans). Pictures from the Science Center can be seen at: http://gallery.bienvenu.us/
We found out that in addition to our car having water in it still; we also have damage in our house. There is a hole in the ceiling and rain water got in through it. Which means that every time it rains we will get more water in our house. We may have more leaks to the roof because the red lining on our roof is no longer there.
It still looks like we will be leaving St. Louis on Saturday. And we will arrive home on Sunday because there is a curfew from 8PM to 5AM. I really do not like the idea of the curfew…it feels like martial law to me.
Today I went to see the St. Louis Blues practice. It was nice to feel the coldness of an ice rink again. I took over 100 pictures most of which can be seen at http://gallery.bienvenu.us/
We were supposed to be going home on Wensday but Tropical Storm Rita is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans is in the cone of error. So now we plan to stay at least until Saturday. My parents were to be leaving today but decided to stay also.
Breaking News: I am going to petition congress to change my birthday to a date outside of hurricane season. My new birthday will be determined at a later date.
It is hard to believe that it has been a week since my last update!
Well a few days ago we moved out of Jamie’s friends apartment and got two rooms at the Residence Inn (Marriott). It is a studio apartment type dwelling and it also has a kitchen. The Red Cross is picking up the tab for two weeks.
Since I was board out of my mind Jamie let me get a Nintendo Gamecube and I have been going crazy buying clearance games for it. It is nice to be able to play Madden 06 and NHL 06.
Today is my birthday. And for the second year in a row I am out of town because of a hurricane. In case you are wondering I am 30 years old. And I will have a birthday cake–we went and ordered it yesterday.
We will most likely be going home in the next few days because Jefferson Parish is letting people back in. And that means that I will be home for the start of the NHL season.
The people of St. Louis have been so good to us. I thank the Lord for guiding us here. God is good!
Tensions are kind of high now. My parents, the wife, and I are starting to butt heads. Even had a few fights in the past few days but as of now cooler heads are prevailing. We keep on getting conflicting reports on when we will be allowed to go home. I’ve heard next week, two weeks, and at least a month. I do know one thing for sure and that it is our car got water in it and the water is still in it now.
It is amazing how in the midsts of all this how many people are helping us. FEMA has come through for us. My wife’s employer is taking care of their workers for one month. Family is also helping us out as well as two very good hearted friends who have opened their home to the four of us. And I am very thankful to the couple who took me shopping for shoes and clothes. I pray that God will bless everyone who helps anyone displaced by the hurricane.
Again…God is good!
My life is in ruins but God has a way of taking a pile of rubble and building something unimaginable.
Today we started out by going to Grant’s Farm which is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. We got to see some of the Clydesdales and then took a tram tour of the farm. They have a small zoo there and as you walk in you can buy small bottles of milk and feed the goats. When they see you coming with milk they attack. While I was feeding one goat two others decided to try to eat my shorts!
The best part of was the booth where that give away Anheuser-Busch products. I had some kind of watermelon drink. I was very thirsty so I drank it fast. In hindsite that was not a good idea…not having eaten yet made it worse.
We went to The Mills of St. Louis to eat and shop and while I was there I noticed that the training camp for the St. Louis Blues (NHL) was located there. (That was the first place I went.) If I am still here training camp starts on the 15th and I will be there!
Today we all went to The Arch In St. Louis. I learned something today: You can go to the top of the Arch in what they call the tram. The tram is an egg shaped car that seats five. On the way up I had to go alone because we could not get seats together. I think they made these cars for midgets because it is a tight squeeze fitting five adults in the car. Also there is no air conditioning…so it was hot! When we were at the top the whole time I was lightheaded. In order to look out of the windows you have to step up on a ledge and lean over. The first time I looked out I was actually looking strait down. I guess that is why I was lightheaded! I had a lot of fun today. It got my mind off all that is going on in New Orleans…that is a good thing.
Today we met with one of my wife’s mothers friends here in St. Louis, they wanted to buy me shoes and clothes. I really did not want to let them spend money on me but they insisted. And I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They also picked up the tab for my parents shoes after they were having problems using their Red Cross Debit Card. After we were finished and walking out the door the man and his wife who had just bought us so much asked if we could pray together. And so we did in front of the store. I still can not thank them enough for all they bought me. They even made me get a “Family Guy” t-shirt because when I saw it I smiled for the first time in a while.
Also in the past few days Jamie has gotten money from her uncle and grandparents. And we are very thankful for all their help.
All I can say so far is that the American people are a giving people. From the time we left Louisiana it seems as if everyone is going out of there way to be kind to us. In Memphis we walked to the Burger King by the Motel we were staying at. Jamie, my mom, and I were talking about all that was going on. And not knowing if we have anything left in Louisiana. A black woman overheard our conversation and asked if we were from New Orleans and when we told here yes she put $20 on out table and told us to use it to get lunch. My mom just started crying. The next day we went to the Peabody (which is a mall) to eat. The manager at the restaurant took care of the whole bill and even wanted us to get dessert. Truly we are being blessed.
A few days ago we were invited to stay with a friend and her boyfriend outside of St. Louis and so here we are. That same friend contacted the American red cross and we went to the office today. I was expecting not much at all but to my surprise they gave us money to get food, money for clothes, and money for linens. And they are also helping us to find a place to stay until we can go home.
I was back at school for the first time in five years to get a degree from Delgado in computer repair and I had fun in my first week. But on Friday night all that changed. The hurricane that hit the tip of Florida and was supposed to go hit north Florida all of the sudden turned into a threat to the New Orleans area. I stayed up late that night so I could get the late night hurricane advisory and when I saw it I just got a bad feeling about this storm. I left a note instructing Jamie to gas up the car before heading to school because I thought we could be ordered to get out in the afternoon. As time went on the picture looked worse and worse for us. Around noon I want down to my fathers house and made reservations in Memphis, TN at a Motel 6 (because they take pets). At that time plans were to leave Sunday morning but it became clear that leaving sooner would be the wiser thing to do and so at about 9PM we left. We made it to Memphis after 4AM.
It is late and we are going to the St. Louis Red Cross later today.