Sunday, September 04, 2005

Damn...That's About All I Can Say...

Work on Friday was rough. Interspersed with phone calls from people wanting to make reservations at our ski lodge, were distressed folks from New Orleans. See, I work in Colorado, but our home office is in New Orleans. They don't have vacation rentals down there. No. They own and rent upwards of 3,000 apartments. Apartments that are empty now. Hopefully. Well, one of them at least has a fish in it. It's owner told me she managed to pile her two cats into her car, and now she and her feline friends are in Arkansas, with nowhere to go, and no idea if they'll have somewhere to go in the coming months.

And she was worried about paying her rent. I almost cried. I told her that she was not the only one concerned about paying her rent. That our office had been receiving phone calls from many people who'd been displaced, but that we aren't really sure of the condition of the apartment buildings, as no one is allowed back into the area.

I also spoke with a father who is, was, is, I don't know, an employee of our company in New Orleans. He is in Texas now. He was supposed to get paid on Friday. He didn't. He's running out of money.

Our paychecks also migrate from the New Orleans office, but we've got a petty cash account that should hold to pay our employees for at least a month. Though, I hope my bank will honor it because the paycheck will be written from a New Orleans bank which is, so far as I know, not functioning. But I've got a roof over my head, and enough macaroni and cheese stockpiled in the cupboards to survive. And a Mom and Dad to call if things ever went horribly wrong. Which I'd be remiss to do because I'm a big girl now, but I've got that option, you know?

It's just SO awful. All of those people with nowhere to go. I want to hop in my car and drive to Houston and volunteer, but the thing is I need to keep working to pay my mortgage and I don't even think I'd be able to AFFORD to pay $3 a gallon for the gas it would take to make the trek.

I've heard that Colorado will be housing some people in unused army dormitories. I'm resolved to volunteer and clean out my closet because most of the folks I've seen have only the clothes on their backs.

I have been watching the news in horror, but it really hits home when you're on the phone with someone and you hear their cats meowing in the background, and they're tearfully worrying, in fact HOPING, that they need to pay their rent. And you want them to pay their rent, too. But you just don't know if there is anything for them to rent anymore.

I'm not really one to pray, but I do believe in the power of benevolent thoughts, and I'm thinking a lot of those these days. I hope they help, along with what I can donate to the Red Cross.

7 Leg Humps:

Wenchy said...

Unbelievably sad.

Bonanza Jellybean said...

In my marathon cleaning, I have about 9 boxes of stuff for hurricane victims. We're hunting around now for a place to send it- so many of theplaces only want money, but I'm sure people could use some clothes and kids could use a stuffed baby to cuddle at night.

It just breaks my heart all over again every time I think about it.

I hope your people can pay their rent. I hope there issomething left to rent too.

junebee said...

Wow, how sad. There is a blog I read, she is in South New Orleans. I wonder how she fared. I think this touches all of us, either directly or indirectly.

I wanted to give baby clothes, Branch and Blossom have alot of nice things they've outgrown plus blankets. I mean, it's FL. How many blankets do we really need? But like Bonanza Jellybean said, most places want money. Which sort of makes sense. Then they can buy in quantity what they need.

LaLa Lisa said...

It's so hard to imagine such devastation right here in our own country. The images are so hard to watch, but I know it's important to see that because hopefully it can serve as a reminder as to how blessed we are. What a brave lady you are, I probably woud have started crying on the phone and just got the people on the other end more distraught. :)

BathTime Gal said...

Katrina has hit close to home for us. My best friend's brother lived in Mississippi, and I say "lived" because Katrina leveled their home and they lost everything, just the clothes on their back and car. He showed up on her doorstep thursday morning with tears, saying, "Sis, it took everything" I got on the band wagon and contacted our local paper, they now have a place to live, clothes, food, furniture, more stuff than they can truly amazes me what mother nature can do, and more so what a town can do to help one of it's former residents when they come back in need.

AnthonyLemons said...

great blog you have...keep it up.

Zube Girl said...

Christel- It is.

Bonanza- See, I just don't get it. I mean, it would seem as though they *need* clothes. I can give hundreds of dollars worth of those, but not so much as far as money.

Junebee- There's got to be somewhere to send them. I think that's the tough part. Getting the clothes where they need to go.

Lala Lisa- I know. Just seeing so many people with nowhere to go.

TXSM- I hope there are all kinds of stories like the one you just told. People taking care of people.

Anthony- Thanks.


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