Saved from the flood waters

This lovely needlework that sits on the sewing table in the dining room reminds of the devastation in New Orleans. This beautiful needlework piece was made by our great aunt whose entire contents of her home were destroyed by the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. When we were there in November to help with the cleanup, Jordanne spotted this piece that was put aside to be thrown away.   Going through the home contents, it was hard to choose which stuff could be saved (or determine if it was even worth the time and effort to save). As my great aunt came to grips with the situation of her home’s content she said “just throw everything out!”

Of her possessions, not much could be salvaged except for her wicker furniture set, some clothes, jewelry, a few knick-knacks and glassware/silverware pieces, and collection of depression era glass that somehow managed to escape the flood swirling waters.

There were the obvious items that were soaked and ruined (like all her knitting and craft books and antique furniture), broken (dishes) or totally covered in moldy slime (handmade afghans, pillows, dresses and more) that of course were headed to the ever growing pile in the front of the house. Then there were items that were slightly damaged, such as this needlework piece. Jordanne  was determined she could salvage this piece of handwork, even though mold had started to spread and discolor parts of it.   Jordanne brought it home and soaked it in a vinegar solution to kill the mold which had started to discolor the threads.   The treatment was quite successful; however, if you lookrd closely in spots you could see a hint of the greenish/brown mold but oxy clean got rid of that. Now, this piece is part of our family and reminder of our time spent in New Orleans and how fleeting are the things one has accumulated in life.

We spoke with our great aunt over the weekend. She said that the recent tornadoes there damaged her house. The force of the wind, ripped off the clay roofing tiles from her home and leveled her garage.   She said that the cleanup process is slow, but there is some progress.   Our Aunt also described her trip to the devastated 9th ward and told of the sorrowful scene of houses on top of houses, barges on top of houses and the complete and utter bleakness of the place. The streets have been cleared some; but, if there is a home in the middle of the street, the city just leaves it there out of respect for the owners. While she was witnessing first hand the destruction, she told of how singer,Fats Domino, pulled up in his limo to check out his home in the lower 9th ward.   All classes of people were affected by this disaster, the flood waters didn’t discriminate it affected people from all walks of life.

You can read about our journey to the city of New Orleans 45 days after the hurricane