Looking Back >Katrina Refugees: September 7th, 2005

Day 10

We woke up in Mullin Texas this morning and took Daniel and Spencer to register them in school.   The school in Mullin is very small: Spencer is the 5th kid in his 6th grade class and I think Daniel has about 12 in his freshman class. They both seemed like they will be fine there, although, Staci had a hard time saying goodbye to Spencer. We then thanked Vonnie for opening up their home to the boys and left, driving the 2 ½ hours back to San Antonio. While we were driving, Jon called to tell me about his meeting with the FEMA representative. All of our damaged rooms were noted and Jon was told to get our claims processed with our insurance companies. Once our insurance determines what will be and will not be covered (not much), FEMA can process our claim to cover what the insurance companies did not. When we got back to mom’s house, I called USAA to request their denial of coverage letter, since we do not have flood insurance. I also called our other insurance company that covers wind storm damage; an assessor will call us back to schedule an appointment. Jon will call USAA about the vehicles tomorrow.

After I was done with the phone calls, I took my car to be washed. Around the middle of August, I purchased a car wash at the gas station in Diamondhead. However, when I went out to take my car through the wash, a maintenance man had it closed and was doing maintenance on it. I figured I’d wash my car another day, the car wash code was good until the 30th. The following week I went on a trip to San Diego. No worries. I figured I’d get my car washed when I got back. That Friday, I was at the airport baggage claim in New Orleans when Jon called and told me about Katrina. We were so busy the remainder of the weekend getting ready to evacuate, that I never had it washed. Needless to say, I don’t know when that gas station car wash will open again. And by now, I can barely see through the windshield. Dad had a coupon for a local full car wash service, so I took my car. The attendant at the car wash service even threw in some free tire detailing – I think he saw my Mississippi plates.

This evening, I took Heather, Staci, Samantha and Jonny to Barnes and Noble. I bought Jonny a couple of Magic Tree House books; he was collecting them but they, of course, were ruined in the flood waters. I bought him the next couple in the series that he hasn’t read. Jonny was very happy to hear that his plastic bin of stuffed animals floated and stayed dry, as did his legos. His bed of stuffed animals must have been an ark, because Jon said everything on it was dry. Jonny’s tortoise that was outside in his cage also floated. Jon found the cage in a different location in the yard, but the tortoise was fine.

A very tired Jon called again this evening. He and Bob were showering, eating and resting after a very exhausting day. They cleaned out the refrigerators and freezers (a very nasty job), ripped the carpet out of most of our house, pulled up baseboards, put holes in the bottom of the walls (so the walls can start drying inside), ripped out wet insulation, moved unsalvageable furniture to the street and bagged wet clothes. They plan to head out tomorrow morning and drive back here to Texas. We’ll wash as many of the clothes we can on Friday, pack up and (the four of us) head back to Mississippi on Saturday.

We did find out today that Heather’s college will resume classes on September 19th.   She’s very anxious to get back to school, as you can imagine. Hancock school district is hoping to be up and running by mid October. We haven’t decided when the rest of the kids will return to Mississippi, but we will have to figure out what we’ll do with Jonny once Heather returns to school, since mom and dad get up and leave for work very early. Jonny also needs to stay in an area where he can keep his doctor’s appointments until his cast comes off. One day at a time, one decision at a time.

Another late evening and I need to get some sleep. The days seem to slip by so quickly. Good night.

Grace & Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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