Last night, I left Birmingham, Alabama around 12:30 a.m. I said goodbye to the kids (Eliana, Camrynn & Jasmynn picture above with Clay) and headed out. I was on my way to Diamondhead, Mississippi, migrating south to be closer to New Orleans. My husband had to report to work on the 4th so this was the reason for the decision. We are unable to return home yet because there is still no power and sewerage services are very limited. Jefferson Parish Officials have asked residents not to take showers, flush the toilet, wash clothes, or allow any water down the drain. This may cause sewerage to back up into people’s homes.
We decided to rent a condo in the resort area of Diamondhead, just a few miles from Gulfport, Mississippi. I only stopped twice, at a rest area and to gas the car.
It was smooth sailing all the way. No traffic, thank goodness. My cousin and webmaster, Heidi, kept me company on the phone the whole way. (Thanks, Heidi!) She set up a service for me on Jott (turns voice into text messages) so that I could Twitter by voice. Unfortunately, Jott to Twitters aren’t always so accurate. One of my Twitters said, “Ran over a dead gunk. Hey you.” It was supposed to say, “Ran over a dead skunk. Pee yoo!” It also misinterpreted “I-59” into “Aisle 59” and “Just passed a rest area” into “just packed a guest area.” Heidi and I laughed until the tears rolled! I traveled I-59 South to US-98 East to US-49 South to I-10 East. I arrived around 6:30 a.m.
I was surprised at how nice the condo was. Very tastefully decorated. It’s a two bedroom – perfect for a family of four. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom with a large soaker tub. The smaller room has a pair of twin beds, perfect for our girls. There is a full kitchen, living/dining room combination and two balconies (we are on the second story).
Just as I was going to bed, it was time for Antonio to get up and go to work. He had driven to Diamondhead ahead of me because he had to report to work in the morning. Mom, Clay, Soleil, and the kids stayed one more night in Birmingham to get a full night’s rest and breakfast in the morning before hitting the road. They left Birmingham around 10:00 a.m. and arrived about 6:00 p.m.
While Antonio was at work, I worked as well. My friend and fellow professional storyteller, Rachel Hedman, interviewed me about my new book, The Story Biz Handbook, for her blog, Storytelling Adventures.
Rachel told me about a new service on the Internet called Ping.fm. What it does is link all your social networking sites so that when you update one, they are all updated simultaneously. It is genius. I pinged Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Blogger, Hi5, and MySpace. When I update my status on Ping, it automatically updates the status on all my social networks. Ping is absolutely free and takes just minutes to set up! You should try it!
Heidi and I also worked on updating my website and blog. The front page of my website has new boxes and my blog has a new background. While it was a very productive day, I managed to slip in a trip to Dairy Queen. Yum! Eliana caught a picture of me working in my room.
While Antonio was in the city, he went to the West Bank and checked on our house. My brother, Gary’s, preliminary report was pretty accurate. We lost a tree, a 10 foot section of fence in the backyard, and some roof shingles. In addition, we lost the front window shutters and the patio ceiling is sagging from roof damage. There was no flooding and no broken windows. Hopefully, our insurance will be more cooperative this time.
When Mom and Clay arrived with all the kids, they went to the rental office. The office staff was supposed to leave the keys to the townhouse they rented in the mailbox. When they checked the mailbox, there were no keys! So they had to bunk in our condo. There are 10 of us in one small two-bedroom apartment. Soleil and Eliana are sharing a single bed. Clay is in the other single bed. My mom is on the sofa while my brother’s four children are sleeping on the floor in their sleeping bags. Antonio and I are in a double bed in the master bedroom.
It’s nearly 2:00 a.m. and here I am blogging, late as usual. Perhaps tomorrow will bring more good news. News that we can head home soon…
Until next time…