Sunday, September 7, 2008

Post-Gustav Concerns & Ruminations

Let's just say that Bob Dylan was wrong: you DO need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Seriously, however, I want to begin this post by saying that if any of LSU's Selectives need assistance after the hurricane, please let me know as soon as possible. I will be back at the Library tomorrow to survey whatever damage we have sustained (so far, I'm told that windows on the 4th floor were blown out--but no word yet on how our basement fared; I may need a boat to navigate to my office), so call or email me then to let me know how you are all doing.

On the homefront: my house was temporarily barricaded by a small forest of downed trees; but, thank heaven, none of them actually crashed into the structure itself. Others in my neighborhood were not so lucky.

Comparing the bad to the good about this (or any other) hurricane (my first, ever), one can go on for days about the bad--destruction, mess, no utilities (heat, darkness, no way to cook a meal, food spoiled, etc.); but the good is perhaps a bit more subtle and more individual. The good things include the awareness that folks are eager to help one another out in ways above and beyond the call of duty; the knowledge that you can exist without electricity (not comfortably, of course, but exist you will), this includes the realization that low-tech things like candles and kerosene lamps are still vital (I was grateful for my early hippie back-to-the-land days when I learned to appreciate these simple resources); and the opportunity to rid oneself of things like "phantom food"--the stuff that has collected in the back of the fridge, not really edible still but not quite yet garbage--it all gets thrown away with a sense of relief. That refrigerator has not been this clean since the day it was delivered; even the floor in front of it is spotless--lots of leaking water made that possible.

I could go on, but I'm feeling the urge to get out in the yard and continue the clean-up there. Once again, if you have any needs that can be addressed by us here at LSU, please contact me. If I can get things worked out, I may plan a tour of local Selectives as soon as possible.


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