Among the Ruins

What’s behind.

These pictures make my old urbex roaming look pretty good. I always felt safe. It was like playing soldier, always remembering two things.

Slow is smooth and smooth fast. And, if you can see the enemy, the enemy can see you.

I hate to think of the citizens of New Orleans as the enemy, but these days you never know. Murderous crime isn’t just limited to funky neighborhoods. It’s everywhere. Yesterday the police chief called a press conference. He said that murders were down to five during the last two weeks compared to the same two weeks a year ago when there were twelve.

Oh great. Five dead in two weeks.

Since he posted this on Facebook, I commented, “Yeah, tell that to the victim’s families.” I think I received the most likes I ever had. I didn’t do it for the likes, I did it because what I wrote was the truth.

That’s one reason we left New Orleans. I don’t like the idea of getting shot driving down the street doing nothing but driving. At least let me antagonize my attacker.

Of course, there are other issues. A corrupt, arrogant, vile mayor. A police department that is under consent decree and is built to have 1,600 officers. The NOPD currently is staffed by under 900. Officers quit in mid-shift because they don’t want to die because they have no backup, not even a partner. Typical response time is around 45 minutes. The NOPD stopped responding to rape calls because, “Well , what are we gonna do anyway?”

Some city.

There’s more.

Potholes that have their own potholes. Road construction that lasts for years. An aging infrastructure that blows holes in the water pipes every chance it gets. A water pumping system that has never fully functioned and always shuts down during heavy storms. A power system that fails whenever two squirrels cross a line at the same time.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, we’ve solved most of those problems ourselves.

There are sheriff’s deputies and state troopers who roll down our two lane road six times a day. They know everybody and everybody knows them. If we are out on the road traveling, the sheriff stops and checks to see that everything is secure.

The road is in good repair.

The farmhouse has solar panels and ten day storage batteries. We use propane gas. We drink well water. We have a septic tank. Of course, we have cellphones but we have one hard line. It costs ten dollars a month. We’ll use it during heavy snowstorms when cell towers fail.

And, the best thing.

The dogs run free.



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