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Let’s face it Louisiana, it’s been a tough week.  Scratch that. It’s been a tough month. From police shootings to protests and now watching the floodwaters rise and fall while waiting to see which neighborhood the river will consume next has...
My family has lived in New Orleans for generations. I remember them talking about Betsy all the time, “I didn’t evacuate for Betsy” and “I survived Betsy” blah blah blah. But this storm coming, this storm was different. It...
In August 2005 I was an 18-year-old college sophomore who had just decided to move back to New Orleans. A few days before the storm I evacuated with friends and family, as we had done so many times before....
The first time I came to New Orleans, I was a high school senior considering Tulane University. After spending an afternoon in the French Quarter, before I had even set foot on Tulane’s campus, I knew I was going...
As Director of Operation Playground for KaBOOM!, I saw a lot in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw ‘Play World’ in New Orleans. It was a...
I’d never lived anywhere with spirit. Growing up an Air Force brat, most of the places I’d called “home” consisted of people whose actual homes were in different states or even different countries. We were all transplants; our housing was temporary....
It's been 9 years. The memories are fuzzy, fading slightly. But some things will never be forgotten. How I evacuated with my boyfriend of a few months, wearing only a bathing suit and cover-up. Literally, no underwear. I was...

Song of Songs: Katrina

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I've written about my connection to music before. Though I was graced with zero musical talent, it makes me whole. Grounds me when I'm anxious, makes me happy when I'm sad, and during those times when I just need...
It’s August 28, 2005.  We watch helplessly as long lines of New Orleanians make their way into the Superdome, clutching pillowcases, suitcases, and small children.  We watch this scene on a small TV screen in New York’s JFK airport, squeezed into...
We never evacuated in the 22 years I had been alive. Not once. So when I got a phone call at 5:30 AM while I was unlocking the doors to the Starkville, MS coffee shop where I was a...
Thirteen years ago, I watched in horror and sadness as the waters rose around us and did not stop. It was by far the most devastating and traumatic experience I had ever been through, and I had never felt...
I wandered around the streets looking for an internet café. It was 2005, well before smart phones gave us the ability to walk around with information at our fingertips. And, of course, this was the week my laptop had...
To My Little Ones, This weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of a storm that you know nothing about. You know nothing about it because you are too little, and it happened before mommy and daddy even got married. It...
“Oh, I’m sure we will just evacuate for a few days for nothing.” This was the gist of what family and friends were saying the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. See, before Katrina, hurricane evacuations were sometimes dubbed...