Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Refugee Report #7- Green Acres

Originally uploaded by LisaPal.
Goodbye city life.

There are many difficult adjustments to be made here in our *now home*. You guys are probably sick of hearing me whine about the dial-up problem. Getting broadband is turning up to be incredibly difficult here. I tried to work out something with an aircard from Sprint, but it won't work with my Mac. There may be a work-around, but I don't know if my Mac-Goddess powers will serve me so far away from my magical torx screwdrivers, which, last I checked, sat in a container on my desk, which is in my house, which is on a flooded street in New Orleans.

In fact, my lack of proximity to any major urban area (Washington DC is approximately 80 miles away, I think) is making me feel like Superman in the presence of kryptonite. It's like Green Acres here. I'm about 8 miles outside of Charlottesville, in the land of rolling hills where deer roam free and frequently cause serious mptpr vehicle accidents. And Charlottesville isn't exactly a bustleing urban Metropolis. The day after we arrived I started sneezing, just like Leeza in the original Green Acres, (but unlike her, I don't really like to shop), and I ended up with a wretched sinus infection that required a doctor's visit, antibiotics, and a shot in the butt full of anti-inflamatory cortico-steroids. (Not the bad-ass anabolic kind, mind you.)

Yes, we are fish out of water here. Our host is a republican (gasp!). But/and he's really a great guy. Truly. His wife, a woman with the same first name as me (which keep things interesting around here) and with whom I have been friends for about 13 years, married him almost 5 years ago and I was the lucky maid of honor for this Hawaiian wedding. The subject of politics has never been part of my discussion repertoire with my friend over the years and I now have to imagine myself inside the cone of silence when provocative remarks emerge from her husband's lips; when they penetrate my protective shield, I must bite my tongue. It's just not worth getting into any debates. He's a good man and he's been VERY good to us poor refugees,

Now, many of you have asked what you could send in a care package. Funny thing- none of us have an answer for this. I asked Rachel is she wanted some Barbies (which loyal readers know I loathe, but she loves) and she declined. Alex can't really come up with anything either. This is amazing to me, given the fact that, aside from a few days worth of clothing, Rachel took one stuffed animal with her, Alex took his iPod Shuffle and a couple of CDs, and I took a guitar. I have a theory or two to explain this: First, perhaps with the exception of young Rachel, we are not the type to ask for things, especially things that cost any more than a few dollars. Alex have always been reluctant to take the cash out of anyone else's pockets. The second reason I propose is that we all don't really believe that we can;t go home for a long time. I was gettig rather furious while at the grocery store as I purchased all of the same food that I already had and/or had recently purchased at home, much of which now sits putrifying in my power-dead refrigerator. I think we all are still registering this experience as some extended vacation that will end soon. I cannot believe we have to go out now and buy things we already have or at least had. I am resistant. It seems rediculous. But it's a reality and it's one that we clearly haven't accepted as such.

So, if I must, here's what I can come up with on the fly. First, Rachel seems to be getting lots of things from my friend, who is just delighted to have an adorable little girl around to spoil with things. Rachel's dad, who, by the way, did seek to find us, (so I take back what I implied about him in an earlier post- I even was told he was crying when he contacted a distant family member in another town when trying to locate us) is supposed to be sending her all kinds of things, so we'll wait and see for her.

That leaves Alex and me. For Alex, I think something like a Blockbuster gift certificate or an iTunes GC would make him quite happy. Or make a mix CD with some old punk rock on it. He's a teenager. He's into video games (but we have no game system here), music and Samuel L. Jackson movies.

That leaves me. There are two or three things that would make this more like home for me, besides a broadband connection and an airport base station. I'm a HUGE consumer of tea and I need three things that I consider to be too much of a luxury to buy for myself in this situation, but that are necessary creature comforts for the proper support of my habit while here:
A large thermal carafe that keeps liquids nice and hot, an electric kettle to boil water anywhere (like in my room and not in the kitchen), and a gigantic mug. I don't know how best to coordinate this so that 3 people don't decide to send me carafes or mugs. etc. Ughhh! I can hardly believe that I'm even requesting anything. It just doesn't seem right. I'm really just so grateful to be safe, the rest doesn't really matter.

Finally, say a little prayer that I can get the web access worked out and the laptop stays healthy. It's suddenly acting all buggy. All my programs keep quitting unexpectedly, like Firefox which will not even boot at all, so I'm posting from Flickr. (I thought it was appropriate to revisit my water droplet photos, given the volume of water in the place I care about, not to mention all if it that's run down my cheeks the last few days.)

Anything you want to send, you can send to me at this address:

Lisa Palumbo
4103 Fairway Drive
Keswick, VA 22947

BTW, You don't have to send anything that costs $$. I'd be so happy with some little piece of creative expression, some little part of yourselves that reminds me of all the love that you are, because you all mean the world to me. And when this is all over and New Orleans is dry and de-funked (but we'll keep the good kind of funk), I want everyone to come down or up or over and celebrate witk me. It will be the best blogger summit ever, I promise. You're all such good people, how could it be anything less?


Blogger De said...

Hi Lisa,

You couldn't pick me out of a lineup but Genevieve steered me toward your blog. Does your son like The Ramones? I know punk tastes can vary, especially when it comes to the early stuff. I could probably get him a copy of the Sid & Nancy film as well provided your hosts don't mind that sort of thing watched in the house.

My wife and I are tea lovers as well. Pick something yummy from Teavana and I'll have it shipped to you. I have an online gift certificate that I haven't used yet.

4:57 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Thanks so much, de. Alex indeed likes the Ramones and I think he'd love Sid and Nancy. (The hosts gave him a 13" TV with built-in DVD, but not VCR -for his room.)It gets MUCH colder here than what we're used to, so I think there will be heavier then usual tea consumption. Anything that facilitates that will be greatly appreciated! Your thoughtfulness is VERY MUCH appreciated!

(Look at all the type-os in this post! Too tired to fix them now...but you guys know what I meant to type, right?)

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Ingrid said...

Lisa -

Be on the lookout for a package from containing an electric kettle for you and other surprises for Alex and Rachel.

I remember seeing these cool, colorful carafes at Whole Foods the other day. I'll pick one up the next time I'm there if someone else hasn't picked one up for you yet.

I was reading an article in last week's Newsweek about the flooding. Included was a photo of my mechanic from Uptown Auto (remember my old Volvo?). He was standing in front of Cooter Brown's holding a shotgun. Seeing a photo of someone I know (knew?) really shook me up.

Know that I'm thinking of you, Alex and Rachel and sending you love and good thoughts every day.

11:26 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

De- We now have a used VCR donated by Rachel's new school, so if Sid and Nancy is on VHS, we'll be fine.

Ingrid, you're talking about Paul, the mechanic? He stayed??? He married my friend's daughter and they were expecting a baby, if they haven't had it already. That's crazy! And how could I forget that Volvo P1800 that I coveted? Without it, we'd never have met. (Ingrid caught me leaving a note on her car asking her to call me if she ever wanted to sell it.) Thanks so very much for the kettle and carafe! I'm very excited about that! I will have my own little shrine to tea in my room. Hooray! I just found out it gets much colder than I can comprehend in these parts. Yikes!

1:34 AM  

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