Out of the “Sliver by the river.” Away from this oasis on the largely undamaged part of New Orleans.
The travel trailer is ready: we’ve got water, sewer and electricity. We recently got keys.
I told the landlord we would be out by the end of the month. He looked at me in disbelief. “Are you sure?” he asked. “Maybe you should keep the apartment for another month just to give the trailer a try.”
No, we’re quite sure. We have to go back to Vista Park. We want to be there while the new house is being built.
Today I got word that the apartment has been rented for $150 more per month than what we’ve been paying. What we’ve been paying is more than our house note was prior to Hurricane Katrina. We can’t afford to stay long term.
We’re moving this week. Nothing can stop us now.
Am I worried? Of course I’m worried. How will two adults and a little girl fit all their clothes, belongings and their lives into a trailer about the size of a hotel room? How will the cats react to yet another move? Will we be safe living on a street where only about one of six houses is occupied?
The most basic needs and services are in question. Mail? I think so. Trash? I’ve heard once a week. I don’t know if we can even get pizza delivery out here.
On Wednesday, the old house will finally be demolished. We made the decision to tear down many months ago, but we were delayed by the fire investigation. The matter has not been fully resolved between us and the insurance compnay, but they’ve said they don’t object to our proceeding with the demolition.
Wednesday, the 50-year-old house that gave us shelter and joy for some six years will become just more debris from Hurricane Katrina. And when that old house finally comes down, we’ll be less than 30 feet away, living in a three-room cracker box.
Some parts of this city are showing little or no progress. There are whole neighborhoods where hardly a soul lives among the residential carcasses and the silence is damning.
But on at least one lot in one part of town, there are people who are not sitting still.