1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Loss

My parents' house near Biloxi was destroyed. There's nothing left but a concrete slab, wiped clean, and some random debris nearby - bricks, silverware, a stack of plates somehow removed from the missing cabinets and set unharmed on the ground. Someone else's family photographs scattered on the mud. Three upturned riding lawnmowers (one of them my parents'), a bathtub from the neighbors' house, the neighbors' roof in the backyard and his Airstream trailer in the front. Clothes and debris hung in the remaining trees at a height Darwin guesses at 22 feet, the height of the surge that came through.

Dad and Darwin went down there Sunday and brought back photographs of the destruction. Dad couldn't take the wondering, and they didn't have as much trouble getting in or finding gas as they'd anticipated. Cops rode by twice while they were looking but only gave them a solemn salute.

They found Dad's folding camp chair, saw, shovel and toolbox. The metal futon frame twisted and thrown against the fence. The whole family - Dad, Mom, Darwin, my sister and I - plan to go down on Sunday to search for more, as the surge apparently swept everything to the northwest, and most of my parents' stuff - if there is anymore left - should be in the neighbors' yards.

The loss is almost total, yet we manage to feel grateful looking at the houses of their neighbors, who lived there full-time and are now homeless. We are not even certain whether the neighbors evacuated.

Here in West Alabama, the acts of kindness outweigh the selfishness by far. Hundreds of families have relocated here (25,000 to 30,000 evacuees across Alabama), and there are so many volunteers you have to fill out an application and sign up for a time slot. People provide hot meals, clothes, toys, a roof over their heads.

But what can you really do to fix a life that's totally changed? What can you do to take away a total loss?

11 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for all that you and your family have lost! Our thoughts and best wishes are there in the South.

Heidi
http://statelyenglishmanor.typepad.com

11:21 AM  
jm@houseinprogress said...

Oh NO! That is terrible. Please tell your parents that our best wishes are with them.

12:07 PM  
Jordana said...

I'm so sorry.

12:24 PM  
Beth said...

That is too bad...our thoughts are with them and others affected.

1:47 PM  
halloweenlover said...

I'm so sorry Kristin. Please send along my wishes to your parents as well. I am so glad that you are still feeling fortunate for all you have, but I can understand the sadness. I hope you find more pictures and other stuff next week. Good luck.

3:08 PM  
Scout said...

My thoughts are with you and your family. Most sincerely, Jane

4:08 PM  
Greg said...

What a huge loss. There is just really not much else to say. I am really sorry.

4:55 PM  
Neighmond said...

Dominus vobiscum.

Chaz

6:36 PM  
mindy said...

Oh - how sad. Send your parents our kindest wishes. At least they have you and Darwin nearby to help them through things.

I hope you find something treasured in the neighbors lawn.

~Mindy

6:39 PM  
Trissa said...

Unbelievable. I am so glad that everyone is safe, but so sad about the house.

10:53 PM  
heather said...

Kristin I am so terribly sorry to hear of your family's loss. Know that you are in our prayers!

6:32 AM  

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