It's been a while since you've heard the latest from my family in New Orleans, and boy is there news.
My sister Jane has been living in a trailer since October, while her furniture and possessions were pulled out of the house and into storage. It wasn't a FEMA trailer (they couldn't get her one until January), but there is a FEMA angle to the story. Anyway, the trailer had numerous problems, and the repairman, one of those who had come in from Michigan knowing that there were jobs to be had, had to keep coming back. Well, Jane thought it would be a nice gesture to invite him to a Mardi Gras parade. Besides, he was kind of cute. (So I'm told. "Cute" is not a word you generally associate with a white-haired laborer--but then, I haven't met him yet.) Well, you get the drift. Something clicked. Jane has been praying for 31 years to meet someone to share her life with. She kind of thought it would happen sooner. And "Jim" doesn't meet any of the criteria she had courteously listed for God to take note of. Never mind. He's Catholic, never been married, and crazy about Jane. The big day is November 11, and the place is the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. The FEMA angle? Jim changed jobs: from the trailer dealership to FEMA's trailer repair department. Jane wants the groom's cake to be decorated like a trailer. Jim says, "I'm tired of trailers!" Jane says, "But we met because of a trailer!"
Please pray for the happy couple. They will be coming up here for the fourth of July: I'll get to meet Jane's Jim, and then they'll go to his home in Michigan to see what will be useful for their new life...in New Orleans.
Other less spectacular news: Father's Day will be the first family gathering at Mom and Dad's house since Katrina. They now have a fully operational kitchen and family room. And the other rooms have walls and flooring, so I guess that's pretty operational. (Jane is getting Sheet rock this week, and Nell is hoping her kitchen cabinets will be installed this week--which didn't stop her from preparing all manner of vegetarian goodies for tomorrow's occasion.)
And next week--this isn't a Katrina update, but it does have a Katrina angle (everything back home does): My newest niece, Adeline Grace, will be baptized. The Katrina angle had something to do with the Church air conditioning still not running--a serious enough consideration. I guess they're hoping that fans and an earlier time frame will do the trick.