breathing under water….

May 9

Lake Palourde, two blocks from our house


The news crept in slowly over several days as we watched areas north of us cope with water flooding their cities and homes. The flood gates in downtown began to close, leaving just a few open for business owners on the river side. A slow hum began at work for Joe. By Tuesday of last week I could see the worry he carried in his heart. Some folks are concerned, others aren't. We've stood in the front yard for the past week watching the National Guard raise our levee by 3 feet with sand filled HESCO baskets.


HESCO baskets & levee from our driveway.

from our driveway, the levee…. behind the stop sign


On the Levee ~ May 9

stacks of HESCO baskets waiting to be unfolded & filled full of sand


We realized there is a very real possibility of evacuating from our home. High water isn't expected for another week, but we made a plan.

Our pictures are tucked into plastic totes and stacked next to the door. Joe & I went through ALL of our paperwork over a bottle of wine one evening. Insurance, home and personal documents are all in order. The suitcases are packed. It's amazing to know in this house filled with stuff, the things we cherish most can fit in a few plastic totes. 

We're watching neighbors & friends do the same thing. Our neighbor across the street just lost her husband unexpectedly two weeks ago and now she is preparing her house for a flood, taking care of her family, keeping on. I am awestruck by her strength, she amazes me.

There is a quiet worry settling over all of us.

And we're all waiting. There isn't really anything else we can do right now. We're watching the lake and the river levels rise. Some of us will stay as long as possible, until the water trickles into the street and threatens to close the roads. Some of us will head out much sooner.



sand filled HESCO baskets lining the levee


Joe said to me, "It's like a slow moving train wreck…. you can see it happening but there isn't a damn thing you can do about it and no one knows how bad it might be."

And he's so right.

But in the mean time. I look at my friend across the street….. and I realize that you just gotta keep on keeping on. (Dylan is so right, you know?)



The laundry still needs done, the garden watered, the children loved and fed. People have to work, children go to school. Hard as it may be you can't let this consume you.

You just take one day at a time.

Be prepared.

And hope.

40 thoughts on “breathing under water….

  1. This is heartbreaking. Ive been worried about you and your family and if this was going to reach your home. I hope it all turns out ok. I would say good but with this much damage happening.. there is nothing good about it 😦 Love ya girl. Stay safe and dry!!!


  2. I got chills reading this. After the Red River flooded in 1997, I headed out to Winnipeg, Manitoba, as a Red Cross volunteer…I will never forget what I saw there, the people we met, the homes and farmland that was devastated.I so admired the strength and resilience of people who had lost everything. I so admire your perspective and calm in the face of the unknown. Because we can’t always control what happens to us…all we can control is how we react. We’ll be praying for you and keeping an eye on this space. Blessings to your family.


  3. I’m so sorry Stephinie. I have been thinking of you all every day. Please let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help!! If you end up coming our way, our house and my parents are open to you all:)


  4. dear dear friends! the south seems full of an angered mother earth this year…i am still in shock over the devastation here. i hope the preparation is not needed in the end. but if you need a place far from the water, you are welcome to come fill our house on the hill!


  5. Reading this I think of my grandma. She was very good at keeping life going when it gets hard. She lived in Louisiana with 4 children under five, when the town they lived in flooded. There are stories of her serving the neighborhood women iced coffees and beating off snakes. I’ll be thinking of you, your friend, and all the other mama’s and papa’s holding it together down there.


  6. Thank you Stephanie. I have seen areas closely north be flooded and it is so devastating. I was pretty anxious the first few days, I felt so helpless. But then, just as you said I realized I can control how I react to it. And the last thing my kids need is for their mama to be upset. So we talk about it…. we prepared and we take a lot of deep breaths. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts & prayers, it means a lot πŸ™‚


  7. What a lovely memory of a strong woman, wow. These last few days I am more aware then ever that as long as I have my family, everything else will be okay, it will work itself out. Your thoughts are much, much appreciated. Thank you~~


  8. You’ve all been on my mind. I feel greatly reassured seeing your evacuation plan. We’ll keep hoping for the best. I see the cat wants to make sure he’s on that list of things to take. Let me know if you need to store anything way up here but we have room if you want to drive stuff up. Keep us posted a let us know if there is anything we can do. Sending you big hugs and your neighbor too. Bless her heart. It’s a lot.


  9. I came visiting via Valarie but even as a new reader I’d like to say my thoughts are with you too! As someone who lives in an area which regularly floods, I know that feeling of waiting well, in some ways the event is better because at least you can do something…but on the other hand lets hope its just waiting and no event! I will hope all your preparations are not needed, best wishes Em x


  10. Valarie, thank you so much. You truly are such a dear friend to me. Yes, I believe the cat wants to make sure he is coming….. the kids certainly enjoyed his lounging on the suitcase anyhow πŸ™‚


  11. Sending best wishes to you all.
    You sound like you are well prepared, but I really hope you will not need to be evacuated.
    Much love.


  12. I was just asking about you guys yesterday. I know the waiting game (our house flooded in 2004), and it really is the worst part. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. People, things, animal friends . . . any are welcome. Praying this drought keeps those waters in check.


  13. Semper Paratus! I know you know what that means. We are all going to get through this. My front door looked just like that…all of our favorite little irreplaceables stacked in totes. Only difference is, ours actually made it to the car and we left town. Praying yall stay dry.


  14. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could be there to help.Your pictures and story was so very touching. Love to all of you Aunt Lori


  15. Oh, Stephinie, thank you for reminding to take a breath above water and be grateful. I am glad you are okay and I am wishing you strength and admire your preparedness. I hope the kids are okay. I know this kind of thing can be scary for little ones.


  16. Amazingly, the kids seem really good. We've been honest with them, but made a point to tell them it isn't a scary thing, just a messy thing. Plus we'll get to have a slumber party at friends houses….. so that could be adding some rose colored glasses to their view πŸ™‚ We should start seeing high water any day. It's been one incredibly l-o-n-g month for us!


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