Twice-flooded Home Demolished – Memories Remain — 44 Comments

  1. Thank ye for sharing this – I know what a journey it has been getting here…and now…what a beautiful view ye have from the “Miracle Treehouse” – and a big, lovely tree to guard yer privacy (and buffer occasional noise), too!

    I have to ask – was there a stampede o’ critters, when the tractors came?
    that photo o’ ye wading into the house with the canoe…yikes…am I seeing a water line just below the roof?

    • No, my good captain, that is not a water line. Thank heavens, lest we would have certainly jumped ship at that point. Or should I say abandoned ship? There was not a stampede of critters that we saw — just an angry swarm of bees not wanting to give up their honey!

  2. I do remember all the hoops you said you had to jump thru to get that bit of assistance. It was a long road but, you have a wonderful home now and that view is fantastic!

    Am I dreaming or at one point during the building of your new home, did you post a question asking us to guess the size of the new house? Seems there were rooms being partitioned off with the 2xs and firebreaks and a few photos of each area that would eventually become certain rooms.

    • I guess you were dreaming!! I looked and looked for that included in a post about the new house and never found it. Maybe it was in the comments. Regardless, the exterior measurements are 60 long by 30 wide, with the inside being less than that after you consider the front and back porches. My best estimate is about 1200 sq. ft. total living. Happy to have it!

      • 1200 sq. ft. is what I have. My old home is 32′ deep and 42′ wide on the outside and 30×40 inside. Our walls are 6″ thick and absolutely no insulation in them! But as of this past week, it is now level! I can actually sit in my chair at the desk and not roll up under it!! It was off by 3″ on that side of the house!

        • I’m picturing you rolling under the desk, LOL! Glad you got leveled out! My walls aren’t that thick, but there is some insulation. After living here 3 years, I have discovered all my design/architectural mistakes, and say ‘next time”, but there’s not going to be a next time. Acting as my own contractor was a big job, and one I don’t relish doing again any time soon. Oh, and the laundry room is not quite wide enough. But, it’s things we can live with. All in all, though, we got a decent house at low cost because of some volunteer labor, self contracting, oak floors given to us by my friend, Mark, from his storm-felled red oak trees. Live and learn.

    • I do remember that! It might have been in the comments, but it was about the time that the electrical work was being done. I remember studs and ladders and a lot of open space!

  3. You know, I just was over in Chambers County a few weeks ago, and I suddenly realized that the blue roofs all are gone. Galveston is abloom with new plantings, and the trash seems to be entirely picked up. The homes along Galveston Bay are either being rebuilt or are demolished, and there, too, the trash is gone.

    For a while, Galveston looked so empty and forlorn with all of its missing live oaks. Now? There are lots of new palms, and the oaks that remain are coming back.
    It’s funny to think of the cycles of life. The oaks Galveston lost in Ike were planted after the storm of 1900. Now, the new plantings will take root, and in another century (no less, we hope!) they may be blown away, too. But life goes on, and as you say — the memories live.

    Happy new view from your front porch!

    • I’m glad to know that Galveston has recovered . . . it HAS been six years already! let’s hope those new palms are never blown away . . but what an interesting parallel! Yes, indeed, it is a happy view! I can see way into the marsh to the west now!

  4. I am always happy to see tax dollars used in this way. Enjoy you new home with its lovely view. Btw, I so enjoy you blog, it gives me a little feel of the culture I left so many years ago.

    • Hi Toni and welcome again to the bayou! So happy to provide a little touch of back home for you. I know you must miss it deeply, because there is no other place and culture like south Louisiana! Thanks for your kind words, and thank you also for visiting and taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! It’s great having you here!!!

  5. If you hadn’t gotten up to tell the excavator to stop, I was going to! I couldn’t stand it! 🙂 I’m really glad you were able to get the contents of it back in your hands.

    Even I have memories of your old house. I loved the kitchen porch with it’s flowers. I had a few good meals in that kitchen too. And, I loved your private bathroom!

  6. Nice now you going to plant that space with perma culture or something?

    Getting started on steroids that I hope will let me get down there soon. Otherwise I got no idea if I can even maintain up here much longer. Stupid back is doing me in before the CnD get me.

    • Funny you should mention that. just read a book this weekend on survivalist permaculture. Wish i had done this on the back part of my property years ago. I don’t intent to do that in the front yard, though. Hoping the steroids help and that you make it down soon. We’re on the same page because I’ve been having a little back pain myself. Annoying as all get out. Hang in there, Blu, we’re rooting for ya!

  7. Thanks for showing this.I LOVE THE HOUSE AND SINCE IT IS SO HIGH, it probably is cooler too! you concreted under the house didn’t you? The colors you chose inside are very similar to my colors.

    • The color inside is called Delta Fog, and I copied it from a friend. When i saw it in their house, it seemed to change hues with the changing of daylight, and everything seemed to go so well with it. I’m terrible at interior design, so copying someone else is the best i can do!!! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the house. I call it a hybrid house because it’s made from metal and wood. The entire framework, including the trusses for the roof, are made from red iron. The only wood is the interior wall framework and the floor. I chose this because after hurricane Katrina, I drove down to where the people endured a 25 foot storm surge to the Hopedale Community. The only thing still sitting atop its pilings was a metal structure. It’s not really aesthetically pleasing to look at a house with siding that should be on a commercial warehouse, but I went for stability and storm worthiness. That’s what matters most.

  8. Dearest Lady~ As always, your writing is a joy to read and eye opening at that! I cannot imagine this entire journey and to finally see beyond the past. It’s true that memories stay with us and here is wishing you and yours many more new (and good)ones.

    • Hi Kim, you know what they say? What doesn’t kill us . . . . it was all worth the trouble after recovering from everything, but really don’t care to go through the entire process ever again! it saddens me that such a great recovery program was abused by many people, making in tough on those of us who were doing the right thing all along. But forward ho! making new and good memories, right? And new friends!

  9. Enjoyed your account of your experiences with Rita. I too experienced to wrath of Rita. Mary and I had 18 inches of Rita’s water and mud in our house across Bayou Dularge from your place. After flooding 3 times, I found out that I was not as Hardy as you. Your article was beautifully composed. Your command of the English language is impressive. Thank You!!!

    • Raoul, well, the older I get, the harder it is to stay and battle the elements. So much has changed regarding building regulations since you left. If you would have had flood insurance in place all three times, you would have qualified for the ICC money to elevate, which was $30,000 for a house the size of yours and my camp. It is directly connected to your flood policy, so there’s no hoops to jump through. I would have encouraged you to elevate and stay so we could visit and drink coffee in the morning, cold drinks in the evening, swap fishing stories, and heck, maybe even wet a line together!!! I’m sorry we didn’t get to know each other while you and your wife were here. Oh, our outdoor writers conference might be at Toledo Bend next year. I’m not sure what town, but some place that can accommodate 50 or 60 overnight guests and a banquet for 100. I’d love to go there since Toledo is where i learned to fish with my mom and dad . . . great memories of getting in a bream hole and fishing with crickets pulling out bream the size of a man’s hand! Great hearing from you, and thanks for the kind words!

  10. I remember now. No mud bath on lower level. mistake. I think I ‘d put the laundry down there too and screen room most of lower level. Then you could get by on 900 sq ft. Which I intend to do if I survive.

    • it’s tough going up and down steps to do something like laundry that happens a lot around here. I could live on less, but it’s not just me. i still have 3 other people to consider. You on the other hand, could easily get by on 900.

    • Have you seen it from the road in person yet? I got used to being tucked away back here where no one could see. Can’t recall now how I lived comfortably so close to the road before for 15 years!

  11. Well with the pulley system to dry clothes it ought to drag them up to living level. Steroids kicking my butt but think that might be good sign. Off to do battle with renter I got by mistake. I didn’t need this this week.

    • Now, Blu, you know i can’t use a clothesline with that big oak tree in the yard and all the bird poop! Watched a fat squirrel building a nest in it yesterday morning while listening for the first shots of gator season to ring out. I heard Capt. John’s first gator bite the dust at 7 a.m. and not far from that one, the second one met its demise. Good first day for him and his son . . . 22 gators, ten foot and under. For the first time in many years, i didn’t get to take photos at the gator-buying dock. other business had me in town all day. maybe today I’ll get some snap shots at the dock. Did you notice my left shift key doesn’t work? 😉

  12. Been in Ms. You have more than memories. I think some of your best writing came out the “old homestead”. I loved “getting to know you and your family” through your blog.

    • Hm. Well, i guess i’d better step it up and do some better writing in the new homestead! You and I go back to the days of Lady Anglers’ forum, when it was alive. i became friends with those folks . . . from your neck of the woods, and they have no plan to carry that on. They’ve made it a FB page, but I had asked them to sell me the domain name so I could do something with it. It was a great idea that just didn’t take hold at the time. Anyway, Reel Woman, i’m so glad we are friends, and you and hubby need to get on some trout action down here this fall/winter!

  13. Oh I remember those hoops all too well. Due to my Dad’s limited education and reading ability, I was tasked with dealing with his insurance company, Road Home program, and the USDA for his farm losses. I did this all from the state of Georgia where I lived at the time—while I worked full time, continued to be a wife and mother, and tried to train a puppy that was an escape artist. (She was affectionalty named Lagniappe) That was the only time in my life I ever thought I might have a nervous breakdown! (Seriously) One afternoon when I had put the paperwork on hold so that I could clean up after a puking kid, I happened to look out the window just in time to see Lagniappe climbing over the fence–again. Yes—this 12 inch dog could climb like a squirrel I finally decided something had to give if I were going to come out of the ordeal sane. I couldn’t abandon my Dad, and no one wanted my kids (kidding), so the puppy had to go!

    • I know the punctuation was jacked up in that post……put either my ipad or the site was messing up…..I couldn’t add, delete or correct anything. :-/

    • Hi PJ – never even noticed the punctuation, I was so captured by your words. I can certainly sympathize what you. Can only imagine how difficult it was to help your dad from so far away. one almost needed to be a lawyer to get through the maze of paperwork. Folks don’t realize, either, that we had to sign legally binding documents for the Road Home, which were binding to the property for three years and required a legal release at the end of it all. Not to upset you, but if your dad used the Road home program to rebuild, did you ever get your release? I had to stay on them about mine until I got it so my property could be released back to me, the owner. I’m still wondering how some folks got away with taking the money and using it for other things, like vacations and new cars. unbelievable! Well, you definitely had your hands full, and I had no clue you were doing that for him or we could have commiserated during it all! But we’re through it now, and I know you miss your daddy bunches. Don’t even get me started on kids and puppies and all that jazz! Great hearing from you!

  14. Lagniappe sounds like Ari escape artist and smart enough to play dumb about stuff useful in escapes.
    I’ll take a bad dog over good kids any day. Too old to change but been that way since preschool .

    seems really hot up here today to me but thermometer never hit 90. must be the drugs.
    Back pain has split up. high in shoulders and low toward right leg. tired of food up here which is not good cause of disease driven weight loss. not at all sure if bored senseless or leaning toward depression. must be side affect of spending every second of every day looking to get rid of pain. off to feed the big dog and scrub the new to us dogloo (The Ari Dome)
    some more before painting.

    No pics of the Warpath full of gators? Wonder if John can put me on wild pigs with it? I’ll really have to improve to do that. carry on. oh got me some muscadine jelly. bye fer now.

    • The Warpath isn’t used for gator hunting . . . just the old homemade mudboat and the new GatorTail he won at a CCA Banquet two years ago. It’s been raining every day when they came in, so no pics from me. Been hoping to see one or two from him, but nothing yet. We don’t have an abundance of wild pigs in this area, thank goodness. It’s a real problem over in pearl River, though. Bro-in-law south of shreveport is a hot hunter, tho. Oh, and plenty around the deer camp up at chatham. All you can do is keep on keeping on and read the email i sent you from Steffi!

  15. BW, don’t Labor too hard today. It is a holiday you know. Hope everyone has a nice day.
    BTW, Hubby is making repairs (design) to the “Chicken Palace” today. No Holiday for him. HE JUST WOULDN’T LISTEN! I finally gave up. Too large, too heavy, OVER built (never let a former industrial tank welder/builder work with wood). I can’t tell you how many screws are in it. It will survive another Katrina hands down! My “girls” might not, but the Chicken Palace will! This project has been a nightmare!
    Delete if you’d like, I needed to VENT! Go ahead…laugh.

    • My memory isn’t serving me well . . . did he attempt the Chicken palace after seeing my chicken tractor? Even that little thing got too heavy for me to move by myself. So, you have chickens in the backyard now?

      • I’ll try again. I’m having trouble posting. Our stupid computer is giving us problems. Anyway…No he didn’t make an “A Frame” tractor. It’s 12’L x 5’W x 4’H with the nesting boxes coming out the back. I’ve got 6 hens. Only 1 of them are laying though. I was going to buy some hens near us, but he talked to a friend that was at a livestock auction. Hubby told him to get us 6. He did. One laying, 3 Pullets, 1 molting (or she’s loosing her feathers because she thinks it’s too hot) and 1 that just eats and poops. I WILL BUY THE FUTURE HENS. It may be soon if they don’t start laying. We’ll be having some chicken and dumplings, then I’ll buy some more hens.

        • My daughter and her husband built what I call a “chicken mansion” for their chickens. That pen and house is nice! She has doors outside the roosting/laying house that she opens to reach into the nest to gather eggs. She doesn’t have to go into the pen at all unless she wishes to gather fertilizer.

          She brought 8 dozen fresh eggs over yesterday for us to share with her brother, my mom and a friend of mine. And they are soooo good when they are fresh.

          • Well, honey, 8 dozen fresh eggs sounds divine. Makes me wish I had chickens again. My family consumes a lot of those incredible edible eggs! What a versatile and necessary food source!

  16. Pretty busy this week not so busy next week thinking going to put the dogs in lock up and go for a drive for 3 days. Of course just typing that means unscheduled med tests and poking and prodding and bunch of annoying stuff to decide that yep I am a very sick person with medical issues too. LOL. No winning this thing.

    • kicked out of chemo for open lesion , knew it was coming now for all the appts doc visits insurance nonsense etc.n hmmmmm life is grand, right?

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