Cara, I didn't realize housing was so expensive. The house we're in now is 2000 sq feet, 4bd 3bath, large kitchen and two dens and the rent is $500/mo. There's also a large fenced in backyard. Real estate prices in Vidalia have just now started getting outrageous for bought home, but I didn't think it went that way for rentals.
You should have seen the lines in Natchez today! The Red Cross has been at the new Convention Center handing out emergency checks to anyone who has been affected by the storm. I think you get $300 per person in your household. Since Monday the line has gone from the CC down Canal Street to the Corner bar, then halfway down that first block(just a little beyond Kelly's Kids). They have handed out more than 300 checks in the first 35 minutes. Today the line went to Kelly's Kids, then all the way up to the Catholic Church, and all the way back over to King's Tavern. It's a mess. There had to be more than a few thousand people standing in line. Before today they were through by lunchtime. When I got to work at 3, the line was still as long. People are staying overnight in the roads just to get through the line. The paper said one man went through the line 7 times before he was caught "double dipping" and was sent to jail.
Also, I found something today that I thought you might like. It was in the Times Picyaune.
We're South Louisiana
I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana.
We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We're not much on formalities like that.
And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know you didn't ask for this and neither did we, so we're just going to have to make the best of it.
First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food, your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has come to our rescue.
We're a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don't cotton much to outside interference, but we're not ashamed to accept help when we need it.
And right now, we need it.
Just don't get carried away. For instance, once we get around to fishing again, don't try to tell us what kind of lures work best in your waters. We're not going to listen. We're stubborn that way.
You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.
We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we're suspicious of others who don't. But we'll try not to judge you while we're in your town.
Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our dead in LSU sweatshirts.
Often we don't make sense. You may wonder why, for instance - if we could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to your state - why in God's name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots?
We can't really explain that. It is what it is.
You've probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is, many of us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that place we call Elsewhere.
The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that hooey, the best thing about where we come from is us.
We are what made this place a national treasure. We're good people. And
don't be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens all the time.
When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.
But don't pity us. We're gonna make it. We're resilient. After all, we've been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That's got to count for something.
OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times.
But what the *.
And one more thing: In our part of the country, we're used to having visitors. It's our way of life.
So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season of our despair.
That is our promise. That is our faith.