Wouldn’t you just figure! This week freakin’ flew! It was SOOOO good to see my mama, though! We spent the week hanging out with Tammi over coffees, puttering around town and enjoying our (my last) week at the Portz’s. My favorite part had to be “girls night” when Lem and Katie left the kids with the daddies so they could join the moms and I watchin’ “A Death At A Funeral” and playin’ charades. Katie took the cake with her rendition of FRIED CHICKEN! She was the fried chicken…picture pregnant woman sizzling in a frying pan! Leslie was a close second with her impression of the poor bird that died in the pool earlier in the day! Tammi was extremely dedicated to her role as a paraplegic. Needless to say, we had a lot of laughs that night.
Thanksgiving was spent at Tammi and Jim’s house, where we gorged ourselves on the traditional dishes of Turkey Day. I’m not sure if the tryptophan had anything to do with it, but the evening grew a bit somber knowing the next day would send my mother and I in opposite directions and leave Tammi without her sis, and her “mouse in the house” I’ve become known as. The mood in the morning, you can imagine, wasn’t much better. Despite all appearances, we were all so very thankful to have our time together to laugh, cry and reminisce.
A Long and Winding Road
“It’s a winding road, I been walking for a long time, still don’t know where it goes,
And it’s a long way home, I been searching for a long time, but I still have hope, I’m gonna find my way home” ~Bonnie Summerville
As my mother boarded her flight home, I was gassing up Ol’ Blue and picking up Leslie for our road trip east to NOLA. We enjoyed the 9 hour drive, listening to music and chatting about anything that rolled into the conversation. I was desperately searching the swamps and gullies along the drive in hopes I’d spot an alligator or anaconda (don’t burst my bubble, you never know! ) but it was to no avail, this time. We made it to the Big Easy Friday evening and found ourselves shelter at the Travelodge in Kenner just outside of NOLA. Next on our list of to-do’s was to score some grub, and being in the heart of Cajun Cooking Country, we had ourselves a platter of shrimp, crawfish, sausage, potatoes, and corn. Unfortunately, it’s not yet crawfish season, so they were a bit pitiful, but we got the idea. Later, we checked out a couple apartments and called it a night.
Saturday was spent entirely on the hunt for a place for me to call home. It was a long day, but we got to meet some friendly and unique people as well as visit a couple of cafes/pizzarias. There are some amazing houses in NOLA, none of which seemed to be renting in my price range! I tried to maintain an optimistic outlook, but was beginning to get a little discouraged. Ready to retire for the night, Lem and I got in contact with my one local friend, and, though he was out of town, he let us crash at his dorm on Tulane’s campus. Sunday was our last attempt to find me a home before Lem left, and for the first time I felt encouraged by an apartment. I wasn’t ready to make any final decisions, however, and it was time for Lem to catch her flight home. So an all-too-short ride to the airport and we said our goodbyes. Whoa…alone in New Orleans. This was what it all has been leading up to? Heavy, man.
I’m a Bum
Couch surfing has truly become an art form for me and, although it’s become increasingly comfortable, I’m about ready to be done with all that. Needless to say, I was ready to decide on a place to live. I wasn’t totally psyched about any of my options, but finally came to a decision…or so I thought. Just before moving in, a better, closer place fell into my lap! PTL! As I was given a quick orientation to my practicum placement, another employee overheard me talking about my quest for a place, and told me she and her roomie were looking for someone else to share rent. WOO HOO! I’ll now be living with a former social work faculty member, AnneMarie, and a Tulane SOWK grad, Preet. Can you say networking!? The only downside is that I am on a couch for ten more days, but Jeff and his dog, Callie, are good roommates.
Now I am in search of employment nearby. I’m lacking motivation at the moment, but have halfheartedly put in several applications. I’m sure that will work out flawlessly like the apartment deal (knock on wood). Meanwhile, I’ve been exploring the lay of the land and taking in the scenes; old Victorian houses, hurricane damage and renovation, rats chasing garbage trucks and soggy weather. I’m looking forward to volunteering this weekend in the lower 9th ward and going to a NO/AIDS benefit as well. It’s definitely gonna take some getting used to, but that’s the whole point. I’m well out of my comfort zone, and feeling all sorts of out of place....the possibilities are endless.
I’m so glad I got to share this chapter of my life with all of you, and to have spent some priceless time with many of you along the way. This is gonna be my last traveling blog for quite a while! I had so much fun sharing it with you and I’m sure I’ll be glad to have it to look back on.