“How’d y’all do?”
It’s a query I hear (and use) often. I ask my husband that when he calls from the boat landing after a day of fishing. He’ll ask a friend that about their hunting. Someone played football/softball whatever? Had a garage sale? Got through a hurricane, flood, tornado, storm?
How’d y’all do?
No one in Louisiana has had to ask what that question’s been about this past week Everyone around here knows about the insane amount of rainfall this past weekend.
A shrug, a slow head nod. “Did ok. Lotta water in the yard/garage/shop/street but the house is OK.”
A shrug, a sigh, a slow head shake. “Well, not so hot. Everything flooded. House, cars.”
Then, there are the stories about someone waking up in the night, getting out of bed and realizing they’re in water up to there. Or the folks who had to climb into the attic and out of a window, or hack a hole in the roof. It’s a sickening feeling, watching the water rise and knowing there’s not a blasted thing you can do about it. Been there, done that, no fun.
On the other hand, there are the stories of kindness. Travelers stranded on the highways for hours were cared for by people living nearby. Not just water and snacks, but home cooked jambalaya, red beans, etc. When in doubt, bring food. People helping neighbors and strangers. Perhaps that’s why there hasn’t been a lot of national news on this story; Cajuns (and “adopted Cajuns”) know how to fend for themselves and each other. Just do a quick search for “Cajun Navy” and you’ll see what I mean.
Yes, there is a certain amount of “self determination” and self-sufficiency in that, and this isn’t always seen as politically correct. Too bad. It’s what we do, it’s what many people do in Louisiana and beyond. It’s common human decency, although if you watch the news too much you may become convinced that this no longer exists. It does, though, and is out in full force this week as everyone does whatever they can to help someone else who’s dealing with the flood aftermath. Self sufficiency doesn’t mean all alone; it means that there are people around you who will help – just as you help them when the need arises.
We did OK. Family, house, business, staff, all ok. Too many other folks we know – not all so good. We’re on high ground (relatively speaking in south Louisiana) but a lot of folks live in new subdivisions that were “not in a flood zone” – and therefore don’t have flood insurance because no one ever dreamed they’d flood.
I read today that the equivalent of one and a half Lake Ponchartrains fell on Louisiana within a few days. That’s a lot of water.
So what are we doing? What we always do. Back to work, do what you can to help wherever you can, swat the mosquitos, and be grateful. Oh, and bring food.
How’d y’all do?
Shrug. We’ll get there. We always do.
Want to help Louisiana and show some love? New Iberia artist Paul Schexnayder has designed a print that expresses the resilience of Louisiana, and ALL proceeds go to the Community Foundation of Louisiana Disaster Relief Fund. The 11 x 14 print is $45 and the T-shirt is $20, and comes in adult and youth sizes. I love how Paul’s work shows hope and joy in even the darkest of circumstances. To order, or for more information, look up Paul on facebook or find him via his website.