Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Headed for Texas

Left Slocomb mid morning. I drove through the countryside, enjoying a beautiful spring day. Tree branches are softened with buds, the grass along the road is bright green. At one stop, I stood beside Madame for several minutes listening to a bird sing. What a wonderful day.

As I drove along country roads, I noticed that most of the churches had their own graveyards. Something I had only seen with very old churches before.

I had to put a quart of oil in Madame – only about the 2nd time since I’ve owned her that I’ve had to add oil between oil changes. Then, Jack slipped into a coma. Damn! A blown fuse. That takes nearly standing on my head to remedy. But, I was finally successful, and once again Jack was intoning “recalculating”. Frequently.

I followed Hwy 90 to Pensacola, and hopped up on I-10 until I got through Mobile, then back on Hwy 90 to head for Biloxi and Gulfport. I arrived at “gulf-side” at Biloxi, and it started raining.
The drive from there to Pass Christian, was beautiful, and sad. The gulf and snow white beaches were on one side, and the devastation from Rita and Katrina on the other.

Susan, those beautiful houses you spoke of are gone! After all these years – the evidence is lot after lot, block after block of knarled old, old trees shading if anything, foundations where the stately homes once stood.

There are more empty lots than homes, and those homes standing definitely look like new construction. I saw very few homes that looked old enough to have withstood the hurricanes.
I saw tall pilings standing alone, the homes they once held, washed away. I saw one house on pilings that was demolished to the studs. Really, a roof, and studs. Door jams, window sills, but no siding, no nothing.

And not just homes. I saw a parking lot, painted stripes for spaces still there, but no buildings.
A gas station that was just a concrete slab with pipes standing sentry.

The rain continued, and I finally stopped at dark about 75 miles east of Baton Rouge LA.

I awoke early, and listened to my book for a bit. I drifted off, and woke with a start at the vision of a large black pickup on a collision course for Madame. My heart was pounding, and I certainly hope forewarned is forearmed. I’ll be driving through rain today, and mostly on the interstate. Neither condition is comfortable for me.

Bear Hugs

PS I'll post photos next blog - camera is in the car.

No comments:

Post a Comment