Friday, September 02, 2005

An update from Mobile; the last hurricane Katrina post

Some of you may like to know that I spoke briefly to my daughters and to P. (their mother), who live in Mobile, last night. They got their electricity back night before last, but much of the city still has no power. Not many gas stations have power, which means long lines at those stations that do; mercifully for those leaving Mississippi and Louisiana, though, those selling it are keeping prices at around $2.50/gallon (ours here in Wichita topped $3/gallon for regular yesterday). The whole county is still under a mandatory dusk-to-dawn curfew and will be "until further notice." P. works at a university there, which will reopen the day after Labor Day; the public school system, though, is closed "until further notice" (that phrase again). Several schools, though not the girls' school, were severely damaged. P.'s boss lives on the water in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, just across a shallow inlet from Biloxi; the Hwy. 90 bridge that spans that inlet is, literally, no longer there, but their house is okay, apart from some minor damage. And, as usually happens with these things, P. and the girls, now that they had television, were seeing and hearing for the first time what we've all been seeing and hearing. They had no idea.

They are inconvenienced, in other words, but they are well. They have an intact house and an intact place of employment and all their posssessions and food and electricity and safe water to drink; they never lost gas service to the house. They are living like potentates compared to some of their fellow citizens in the city. And for that, they and I are thankful.

And I am weary of all this. Because I've tagged a few posts with "Katrina," I have seen an enormous increase in traffic here at good ol' Blog Meridian. Many will read this post as well, and you are welcome here and I hope you'll come back sometime, post- the Katrina posts.

But this will be the last Katrina post here, I think. I'm not at all inured to the death and violence and suffering and inadequate planning and haphazard delivery of aid and an administration that, through (choose one) prior neglect (and you're welcome to choose between "benign" and "malignant" as your adjective) or simply being overwhelmed with the scale of what has happened or simply not giving much more than a lukewarm damn. I have donated some money, in fact, and I urge all of you to do the same. But I'm exhausted from all this, meaning, from my own tendency to keep thinking about all this. It's just that I cannot convey at all adequately what I feel--and, since I only know what I've just shared with you here plus what everyone else knows, what I feel is all that I really have to say about all this. I'll probably lose much of the traffic I've seen here, but I'm okay with that. The goal here is not traffic so much as some readers who like reading what they find here

I begin to understand why many political bloggers join in the meme of Friday Cat Blogging: they've got to get away, mentally, from their usual preoccupations. Alas, I have no cat, only Scruffy. But you, you lucky people, will soon get to know him as never before.

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