Well, I’ve been away a while… did some soul searching, still experiencing butterflies, and (oh yeah) I moved to New Orleans. Big change, but a good one, although if you move somewhere and then get a hurricane warning on day two, you might think otherwise.
I have to admit, I’m used to earthquakes. Though there’s no warning, they happen so frequently that it has to be a huge one to make any real difference at all. If it’s not above a 4.0, I may not feel it at all. If it’s not above a 6.0, I won’t be concerned about aftershocks or any major damage. But hurricanes, that’s different. You may know days ahead of time, and some people may think a category 1 is nothing, but I’ve never experience one, nor have I been educated on them. A category 1 and Katrina could be the same thing to me.
Obviously, I’ve been doing my research, since one is looming ahead before I’ve even been here a weekend. I’m nervous, to say the least. I’ve already been warned about my job’s hurricane procedures and policies, and I’ve been told there could be a mandatory evacuation by the city. That may be the norm to locals, but it’s pretty unsettling to someone who’s never lived outside of California. I’ll deal though.
Before I left Los Angeles, I joked with co-workers that if a hurricane was coming, they could find me in Memphis. I figure it’s far enough north that the hurricane will have dissipated, and there’s some damn good barbecue. Plus, there’s always the possible Elvis sighting, right? Ironically, the first hurricane I might experience comes before my car has even arrived. So much for Memphis. Maybe I’ll just harness a gator and ride to Memphis. Can beignets be used as water wings? Crazy talk, I know, but it’s easier to make light of things you don’t completely understand (and are admittedly afraid of). Mother Nature can be a beast.
I will say, in the short amount of time that I’ve lived in New Orleans, I’ve rekindled my writing motivation. Something set a spark in me today to get out to a local coffee shop and write. I got down a whole chapter in no time, and it felt so good to be back to getting words on a page. Something about this city just breeds creativity; there’s an openness about the people here, and so much history. It’s a beautiful thing (though if I could, I’d nix the bugs and this whole hurricane business). I’m very excited to see what else is in store for me here.