What an Anniversary

Once upon a time.


ere it comes. Hurricane Ida blowing through the gulf. She is expected to make landfall in Louisiana around 2pm on Sunday, August 29.

Something just walked up my back as I wrote that. A kind of chilling thing. A kind of dread.


August 29th is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall at Buras, Louisiana.

I had a bad feeling then, and I have a bad feeling now.

According to the NOAA map and cone, at this time it should actually hit about 75 miles north on a line with Baton Rouge. That can change hourly. The barometric pressure is about 1002. By the time IDA arrives the BP will be in the mid to upper 800s.

There will be a very high storm surge since that time of day will host a high tide.

That should not affect us. That’s because we bought this house in a place that has never flooded in NOLA history. It’s located on very high ground; 6 feet above sea level he wrote with a large dose of snark.

We are getting ready, but we are always mostly ready. The last thing we’ll do on Sunday is close the storm shutters.

We aren’t evacuating because of CoVid-19. What good will it do to leave a place that might get damaged to end up on a place that could kill me?

I’ll post again on Sunday. It’ll be short and mostly discuss current storm conditions.


elieve it or not, this is a Hurricane Katrina picture. I made it the next summer after the storm.

I came back to sell our New Orleans house which has been flooded by four inches of water that came through a door in the service area.

floor If the people who did the add-on would have built it to the rest of the house’s height, our home would have stayed dry.

But, they didn’t.

I wanted to have a look around. I made my way to The Lower 9th Ward, a place that was flooded by 14 feet of water and is sacred ground because so many people died there.

I was looking for a landmark house. Seeing it would tell me where to to turn.

I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t there. A stand of bamboo took its place.

Nature always seeks stasis.


want to talk about one more thing. Mental health. After the storm and the heavy destruction about 85% of the returnees were on some kind of mood stabilizer. Every one and anyone.

Most of us stopped using those meds because we had, in the words of many psychological practitioners, “Situational Depression.”

Nobody thought about our next phase of mental upset. PTSD. Anybody who has been through an extreme trauma can suffer from it. It doesn’t just affect former military personnel.

It manifests itself in different ways. A photographer I know tried to commit suicide by cop. Thankfully, he’s known about town. The NOPD knew him and talked him down. Drinking reached an all time high in a city that is perpetually drunk. There was a very high divorce rate in the first couple of years after the storm.

On the other hand, when we ran into each other for the first time after the storm we’d greet each other with hugs, kisses and dancing in the streets. And, that was just the men.

Me? Only a kind of PSTD plagues me every year about this time. I start getting hyper vigilant. I start checking our storm plans. And, I start getting clumsy. For a big guy I’m pretty light on my toes. In the house, we all are.


Let’s talk about today. I started to make espresso. We have big plumbed thing that is a PIA to use so we bought a little Nespresso machine. I noticed the water tank was almost empty. I filled a measuring cup and started to pour it into the tank. I missed it by that much and the water ended up on the counter and floor. I dropped two full cups of espresso on the floor. I went upstairs and walked into a wall. That wall has been there since we lived into the house. And, so it went.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.



14 responses to “What an Anniversary”

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Do our best. Thank you.


  1. rothpoetry Avatar

    Not the kind of anniversary one wants to celebrate!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      No. It’s not, especially with a storm that’s bigger than Katrina.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        Katrina made landfall as a Cat 3 storm. Ida will make landfall as a Cat 4. The only hope is the cyclonic storms spin counter clockwise in this hemisphere. Ida will spin away from us while Katrina spun right into us. Katrina made us, in New Orleans, little experts.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. zorymar Avatar

    Stay save, hope everything it’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you. I think we’ll be okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Judi Castille Avatar

    Be careful. It’s a lot to deal with sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      You’re telling me. Right now i have no choice.


  4. Debra Avatar

    I’ve been reading “The Body Keeps the Score,” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. It’s an illuminating study of trauma and PTSD and it’s leading me to think about worldwide trauma, perhaps in various degrees, but we’ve all been affected by the pandemic. Add in natural disasters and personal crises, and it’s no wonder people are struggling with mental health. It’s a very sobering thought. I think your description of the emotional effect of Katrina and the aftermath is utterly believable, but hard to even imagine for those of us who didn’t live it! I have sure been thinking of you as the news reports keep mentioning August 29. Sending warm thoughts your way, Ray.


  5. C.S. Young Jr. Avatar

    Thinking about you and you’re friends Ray. Be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you. We are hunkered down and ready as we can be.


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