Wednesday, May 31, 2006

On FEMA Trailers, Blue Tarps, and Roofs in Trees

I am really tired of seeing big white shiny metal objects cluttering the landscape. I look up and down my street and see shiny white FEMA trailers jutting out of yards, white pickup trucks with Texas plates lining the curbs, and white PODS filling almost everyone’s driveway (if you don’t know what PODS are, they’re Portable On Demand Storage units).

We all seem to have our own private points of annoyance. Danielle is tired of seeing sludge-filled swimming pools and this piece of someone’s roof that’s stuck in an oak tree on Carrolton. Every time we drive past it, she says, “When are they going to get that roof out of that tree?” My mother is tired of the piles of trash that fill the yards of recently gutted houses. Steve is tired of replacing the cracked windshield on his SUV (twice this month). Sam is tired of roofs with flapping blue tarps and tumbled-down chimneys.

Nine months now. One would think we’d be getting used to it all. Instead, our patience is wearing thin. We want normal again. We want Walmarts that are open 24 hours instead of closing at 8:00. We want to be able to order a new mattress and not be told, “Well, the mattress will be here in a week, but the first delivery slot I have open is at the end of next month.” We want to be able to drive across town without having to choke back unshed tears. We want our house, our city, and our lives back.

When it gets really hard to bear, I remind myself of what it was like last October and November, when Walmart closed at 3:30 pm, when we bought a new refrigerator and were told, “It’s cash and carry. You take it with you now, or you can’t buy it.” (We shoved it in the back of Steve’s SUV) Last September, a drive across town took you past piles of ski jets and boats and coffins.

Yes, it is getting better. Just not fast enough.


Charles Gramlich said...

The worst for me is seeing all the ruined cars with the watermarks under the overpasses and even along the road.

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