Updated: Nov 9, 2020
So as it turns out, I'm a tornado kinda gal.
*Texas Tornado by Tracy Lawrence starts playing*
I am NOT about this hurricane el crapo.
(Yes, I'm fluent in Spanish...and sarcasm.)
Hurricanes are the WORST.
For my tornado alley friends, consider this... An 80 mile wide tornado that brings half the ocean with it and is on the ground for 100+ miles. Oh and it sits out there in the ocean taking its sweet time taunting you for daysss before actually showing up.
Maybe it'll go east, nope, maybe west, nope it's going northeast... Maybe it dumps the ocean on your town, maybe it just blows your town away with wind... Who knows!? Oh and on the edge of the giant water tornado, it slings off hundreds of little regular sized tornados that you can hardly see on radar due to the giant water tornado hiding them.
Again, hurricanes are the WORST.
If you'd like to know what kind of folks live down here, let me paint you a little picture...
These people have hurricane parties. Yeah, hurricane parties. Are you kidding me? lol Nope.
I can only assume these involve a few trips through the drive through daquiri shacks (drive through alcohol slushies) and probably the specialty meat shop where you can purchase everything from turtle meat to a roll-up (think eggroll stuffed with boudin and pepper jack cheese - SO GOOD).
One thing we've learned about Louisianans (is that what they're called?): they like to party.
And as much fun as a hurricane party sounds, I sincerely hope to never ever attend one.
Alright, let's rewind to August 2020 in little ol Livonia, LA...
Hurricane Laura appeared to be going way west of us so we decided to ride it out at home, but we dang sure weren't having a party.
Instead we made a mad dash to Tractor Supply just before the storm hit and purchased a generator. We then went home and secured all our outdoor furniture, filled a bunch of jugs with water, and I got on the roof to check for the tornados supposedly forming around us because you can't see a blasted thing with all these ridiculous trees around. The neighbors having their hurricane parties thought I had lost my ever-lovin' mind, but I'm not the one eating a turtle and having a party for a water tornado. Just sayin...
That night Dusty stayed up until 4AM watching radar to make sure we'd know if a tornado was headed our way. I tried. I really tried to stay awake, but I couldn't.
The days following Hurricane Laura were draining. Thankfully we weren't personally affected by the storm, but we wanted to do whatever we could to aide those who were. The problem is when a storm like this moves through there's very little anyone other than first responders and electric crews can do for the first few days.
Dusty did immediately begin working on coordinating relief efforts through LCA...Meanwhile, I tried not to add to his stress and helped with what little I could.
Just a couple days post-Laura we went to meet some folks in the Lake Charles area and survey the damage. I will never forget the absolute devastation. We spent all day driving through complete destruction. Your whole body stays tense in surroundings like those. It's unnatural to drive over powerlines, unnerving to pull over for the National Guard, and heartbreaking to arrive at someone's home with a generator only to find it obliterated.
Again, to my tornado alley friends, imagine an 80-mile-wide tornado. I've never seen anything like it in my entire life. I genuinely don't know how these people have the nerve to stay here. A comment by one local stuck with me, "We always just hope it doesn't happen again." Rebuild and hope for the best. That's resilience.
If you'd like to read more about how Louisiana producers were affected by Hurricane Laura and/or ways you can donate, take a look at my article published in the Gulf Coast Cattlemen.
The aftermath of Hurricane Laura is truly indescribable. Many producers had their livelihoods ripped away overnight and won't be able to continue raising cattle. Others will spend the next several years trying to recover. Pray for these folks and send aide if you're able.
Needless to say, when Hurricane Delta decided to start taunting us, we high-tailed it to Texas, but that's for another post.
Other than dealing with stupid hurricanes...
We celebrated National Dog Day by not murdering our precious little jerks who strung out trash from two full trash cans all over the house (joint effort), urinated on our nicest chair (Bandit who is one more of these incidents away from losing his manhood), vomited on our living room rug (also Bandit), and refuse to quit eating fabric resulting in severe constipation (Lizzie).
Okay, but HOW CUTE ARE THEY?!?!
I happened upon a sale on succulents at Wal-Mart... Of course I purchased 10. Apparently succulents do very well in Louisiana because I haven't killed them yet. In this household we name everything and the succulents are no exception. Meet Eunice, Beatrice, Myrtle, Edith, Mabel, Irene, Winifred, Florence, Dorothea, and Matilda.
Speaking of names, our dehumidifier is named Hydro. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT, try to live in Louisiana without a dehumidifier inside your home. That is unless you enjoy feeling like you're taking a shower in your own sweat just outside the gates of hell.
Another thing we’ve noticed about this part of Louisiana is that everyone takes great pride in their lawns...
These people are mowing multiple times a week. They're mowing in the rain. They're hauling their mower on a trailer behind their Prius in case of a lawn emergency. They're driving their mower to the specialty meats store... And therefore everyone’s lawn looks like a a dang golf course. No kidding!
Now we come from a part of the world where grass is usually primarily dead by this time of year and a background where turning stock in on excess grass would be a perfectly reasonable means of mowing.
That’s not the way they do it down here on the bayou. We finally got a lawn mower and will no longer be the disgrace of the neighborhood. Through this process we learned that "Sweet Chunk" is the man to see if you need a lawn mower repaired. Ask Dusty how it feels to call another grown man Sweet Chunk...
Nicknames are a big deal down here. It seems like everyone has one. I mean "Disco" the cop lives down the street and apparently he'll have any gator situation handled before anyone knows there's a gator situation. To be fair, I have yet to meet Disco personally, so Disco might actually be his real name. If you're reading this sir, I think Disco is a fantastic name/nickname.
Moving on... Here's a photo of Dusty being super adorable at the office and another photo of one of the MULTIPLE snakes we've killed at or INSIDE the office. Precious. Love it. Welcome to freaking Louisiana.
Meanwhile, we also have Bongos (this cool lizard that turns brown or green to match its surroundings), Arthurs (geckos), Freds/Freddys (bright green frogs, and a plethora of other creatures.
Like ginormous roaches that jump on your face and pinch your eyebrow as you're trying to dry off after the shower and then cause you to run around your house naked searching for a shoe to kill it while screaming bloody murder. It's great. I love it here.
Tune into the next episode of Adventures in Surviving 2020 and the First Year of Marriage and a Career Change and A New State During a Pandemic with Dusty & Emily, where we run away from Louisiana (temporarily).