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picture of frozen water in bathroomI know that I haven’t posted an update in a while. I attempted to do so several times but it is difficult to talk about your hardships when others are suffering from earthquakes, floods, fires, oil, etc. However, I feel an update is due because yesterday was the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and today is the anniversary of learning about the devastation and destruction she brought us…huge casino barges on the wrong side of the street, major bridges washed away, communities wiped off the map, people swept out to sea…

We did not have heat or insulation this past winter and it was EXTREMELY cold. The picture to the right was taken the morning after one of the coldest nights. We attempted to drip the water so the pipes wouldn’t freeze but you can see what happened (we later realized that PEX doesn’t freeze). But we now have working HVAC upstairs and installation of the downstairs units should be finished in about a week.

Thanks to volunteers organized by Heritage United Methodist Church in D’Iberville, most of the drywall is hung, several rooms are painted, the siding is installed, the decking is built, and the tile is finished in the boys’ bathroom. We cannot express enough gratitude to the people who have helped us along the way. It is you who have made this ordeal worth all the suffering. We feel that this is your home too and our door will always be open.

picture of temporary kitchen sinkToday is the first day that we’ve had water in the kitchen. The plumbing has been there but we haven’t installed a sink because we don’t have cabinets or flooring. However, we finally realized that we may not have those things for a while so we may as well build something temporary to be a little more comfortable. Up to this point, we’ve been washing dishes upstairs in the laundry room utility sink and hauling water downstairs to cook.

Next on the to-do list is to move all of the tools and scaffolding out of the dining area and move a table in so we can all eat together. One of the hardest things about the current living situation is not being able to eat dinner as a family or sit together in the living room to watch a movie. For me, it is the simple things in life that are the most enjoyable.

We didn’t get as much done over the summer as planned because Jason mangled his finger on the router saw. We still need to caulk and paint the siding. We need to purchase and install interior doors, tile for the downstairs bathroom, and kitchen cabinets and counter tops. But the biggest issue is flooring because it is so expensive. We are out of construction funds and credit cards are reaching limits.

There has been no relief in the homeowner’s insurance situation so our mortgage is still more than double what it was in 2005. Although a new local company is offering windstorm insurance, they won’t insure us because we’re elevated. Also, the prices are much higher for people north of I-10 which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

It is hard to believe that five years have gone by. To put this in perspective, my youngest niece, who was a just newborn during the storm, started kindergarten this month. The new class of college freshmen were in middle school five years ago. And if you’re a local, you know that we’ve all come to remember past events by if they happened before the storm or after. It feels like we’ve been frozen in time. Hopefully the next five years will bring about relief for those of us that slipped through the cracks.