Saturday, December 03, 2005

For Pete's sake!

I am so rich. I was reminded of this once again at supper this evening.

Over the past few months, I received a lot of sympathy from people in Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, South Carolina--everywhere I've gone. People find out I'm from New Orleans, and the sad eyes and the, "Oh, you poor thing," follow.

But I am not poor. Since evacuating ahead of Hurricane Katrina, I have not missed a meal. I have slept in a comfortable bed every night. Thanks to my job, my insurance, my family, and yes, FEMA, I remain safely distant from bankruptcy and the poorhouse.

Tonight, for instance, we ate lasagna. Let me tell you how rich that made me feel.

You might think you would need to be eating caviar and sipping a 1910 vintage champagne to feel rich. You might think you would need to be using fine silverware at Commander's Palace with multiple waitstaff hovering nearby to feel rich.

Instead, we sat at our second-hand dining table in our two-bedroom apartment. We ate using very nice stainless that was a recent gift from my Mom and Dad.

Although we've done a partial tally of our personal property loss for our insurance claim, there's no telling how much we lost in the flood brought by Katrina. Our house, all our furniture, almost all our clothes, all our books, albums, photos, hundreds of cds and dvds--all lost.

But as I say, I am nevertheless rich, and I realized this again when my wife served the lasagna she had baked. Yes, you probably guessed what a great cook she is. My wife can enter a cold kitchen and serve you a gormet meal in just 45 minutes. But this is not why I feel so rich.

What did it was the lasgana server.

Yes, that's what I said. In case you've never heard of it, a lasgna server is a wide, flat serving untensil especially handy for, surprise, serving lasagna. This is one of the serving pieces that came with the new stainless set.

I said to my wife and daughter, "We have a untensil just for lasagna? We're rich!" And I meant it.

After all we've been through, after all we've lost, we still have so much. We have a nice place to live, clean clothes, food on the table, access to doctors, two good automobiles--too much to list. For Pete's sake, we've even go a lasagna server!

I know I get grumpy on occaision. I worry about the money lost and the sentimental treasures destroyed by the flood. I know I'll never have as much stuff or money as Bill Gates or the Saudi Royal family. But I know that ultimately, I'm so lucky, and so fortunate. I am rich.

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