Labor Day Weekend 2012

Written Sep 9, 2012 9:03am

Sunrise–Lake Charlevoix, Michigan

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello! Happy Labor Day weekend!

I would like to personally thank Hurricane Isaac, with its projected duel threat of flooding and days of sustained winds leading to widespread power outages, for motivating us to evacuate to Michigan. I’d like to thank Terry, for letting our evacuation include a short visit to the Cottage, for one last taste of summertime, Lake Charlevoix style. And I’d also like to thank our new dog, Bleu, for getting me out of bed early enough to catch the sunrise this morning. A beautiful blue moon last night and gorgeous sunrise today. Perfect.

I planned to have my next Caring Bridge post linked to a new blog, but I haven’t yet set the blog up ‘just so,’ so a CB post is what this will be.

How is everyone? With Hurricane Isaac this past week, NOLA friends and my work did ‘roll calls’ to check in on everyone. So, roll call: I’m tired, but fine. And you?

I guess the most pressing news coming from my world is Hurricane Isaac. We did not evacuate late Monday afternoon well rested or with me totally sold on evacuation.  Sunday was prep day for either hunkering down or for evacuating. We cleaned the house, shopped for supplies (stores ran out of water and batteries) and started assessing what we would need for either option. We got the news Sunday evening from the Louisiana Board of Education that teachers were expected to report to school on Monday to prepare our classrooms for the storm and that there would be no school for students Monday thru Wednesday. Monday morning I ‘battened down’ my classroom, securing anything that could fly around or might be damaged, moving everything away from windows, taking pictures of the state of my room, etc.—while carrying on a text conversation with Terry as to whether we would leave town. An indecisive decision ended up being made that we would evacuate and so the afternoon was spent securing our 2nd floor apartment for evacuation. Needless to say, with all of our windows and stuff, and a new dog who we hadn’t quite bonded with as of yet, we didn’t make our targeted 2:30PM departure time and instead left at 4:30PM.

The Weather Channel posted footage of major evacuation traffic, but taking US10 and 59 northeast through Mississippi and Alabama, we didn’t experience any backups and made it almost to Birmingham on Monday night—where we actually found a pet friendly hotel with vacancy.  On Tuesday, August 28, we drove up to Plymouth, Michigan where we crashed at my parents home until Friday morning, staying glued to the Weather Channel and Facebook for reports on the storm. Well, we also managed to visit some friends and catch a pre-season Lion’s game!  Back in NOLA, our apartment lost power Tuesday night and did not come back on until Friday evening—and our neighborhood was one of the first back up with power!! We spent 2 days worried about the damage a window blown open by the wind was doing to our place—but got the news on Friday that there was NO damage done when our landlord got back into town and could check out our place. Our landlords, on the other hand, had to break in a window to get into their part of the house because their front door had swollen shut with all of the rain!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We’ve started back to NOLA this morning. 20 hours worth of driving time is going to take us two days. Wonder when we are going to hit Isaac’s remnants? It’s still sunny north of Cadillac, Michigan…

In a nutshell, I’ve had a full, rocking awesome, summer. My vacation from school was officially June 1-July 31 and I made the most of it. Zoey and I took off for 2 weeks on Friday, June 1, visiting family friends in Tennessee; stopping in Cincinnati to do some family history research; visiting family and friends in the Detroit area; spending time at the Cottage on Lake Charlevoix with Grams and the rest of my family; and closing out the trip with a few days in Chicago—eating yummy food with my Chicago ‘besties’. This trip was very much the “Me” trip. It was a chance to get some distance after a challenging work year, prove to myself that I can still be the independent traveler I pride myself in being and reconnect with some great people.

I made it back to New Orleans in time for a short visit with an old Peace Corps friend and her family—who I had not seen in at least 3 years—and to spend 2 weeks doing curriculum planning for the 2012-13 school year. Then Terry and I were off on Terry’s Vacation, leaving NOLA on Friday, June 29th with Zoey, ready for another adventure. We did a similar circuit as the trip I made in June, but added on the UP and the Keweenaw Peninsula to visit family, play some golf and kayak on Lake Superior. At the end of T’s vacation, Terry and Zoey headed back to NOLA, dropping me off in Chicago so I could attend a wedding and spend the last two weeks of my vacation reconnecting with old friends in Chicago and Michigan.  Awesome summer vacation!!!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


That is basically how I’ve felt since returning to NOLA on July 27th. Teachers at my school went back on August 1st, while students returned August 13th, and it has been a busy, busy, busy ride. The good news is that I am teaching all upper classmen and classes I am very passionate about: International Relations, Advanced Placement United States History and both International Baccalaureate history classes–History of the Americas and World History; I like my classroom; and I am department chair with an extra planning period so I teach five classes instead of the usual 6. The negative is that I have 4 high-level preps–lots to do!

Thanks for the messages during and after Hurricane Isaac. We arrived back in NOLA on Monday evening—about the time the President arrived to inspect damage. Isaac did lots of damage to trees and vegetation in New Orleans proper—and thanks to fallen trees, there were a lot of people who sustained damage to their roofs. The only damage our apartment took was water damage near the mail slot! My classroom didn’t sustain any damage and we were back in business on Tuesday. Lots of tired and cranky people around the first couple of days back since many neighborhoods were still experiencing power outages and heat indexes throughout our region were running between 100-105 degrees all week!

In regards to my health…I’ve been to the surgeon, primary care physician and oncologist within the last 6 weeks and everything looks good.

And I’ve rambled on quite enough at this point, so I will wish you all a great week.

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