"Lots of water!"

As many of you may know, the summer of 2001 was eventful to say the least! Once again I would like to thank the many, many friends that helped me with an overwhelming show of support, encouragement, and love!

It began at the beginning of June...

Due to a variety of factors, I had decided after spending 4-plus years in Louisiana that it was time for this Yankee to move back North. Plans were all set to move to New Jersey...

And then, Tropical Storm Allison showed up!

Buildings are NOT supposed
wear blue hats!!

My brand new "skylight!"

Laundry room...so much for the
clean clothes I had just washed!!

Most of the southern states were experiencing more flooding than had been seen in a hundred years...and the rains keep coming, and coming....and coming...water was everywhere. So what happens to me? Fire, of course!!!! (Trust me to be different!)

On June 8th, 2001, around 2:30pm, I heard a loud crack of thunder, and saw a lightening flash. "Boy, that sounded like it was close!" I thought. And, was I ever correct! As I soon found out, that lightening bolt had actually struck the roof on my apartment, starting a fire in my attic.

The fire itself was doused quickly, but what a mess was left!! Water (from the fireman, as well as the rainstorm now pouring in the new "skylight" burned through my roof...)and foam, had soaked my entire attic, weakening the sheetrock, and causing large portions of my ceiling to relocate to the floor.

So that's what my
attic looks like!

Hmmmm....this used to
be my computer desk!
Now I really have a
good excuse not to cook!

Luckily, my pets (2 cats, 3 snakes, 2 lizards, and a turtle) and myself were unhurt! (I will never forget the scene of a line of fireman exiting my apartment, each carrying an aquarium with a reptile in it!! And one of them had a string of Mardi Gras beads draped over him that had been hanging on my wall...and gotten caught on his uniform!! LOL!)

The apartment was no longer habitable, so luckily a friend took me in. I spend the next couple of weeks digging my belongings out from under the soggy sheetrock, cleaning what I could, and disgarding the rest. Thanks to my habit of storing art supplies in plastic tubs...most of my arts/crafts/costuming supplies were eventually restored to usable conditions. (Whew!) My clothes and furniture did not all fare so well, unfortunately!!

Out the open window...
into the dumpster...
(That's me...looking
WAY too happy!)

It is very sad to see
your broken possessions
in a dumpster!
This was even sadder...
"Mom, why can't I go
back inside!!??"

At this point, I decided that the time was just not quite right to move across the country, so instead, I moved into another apartment outside of Baton Rouge. Shortly after that, I started a new job at Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality.

At a friend's house,
before I found my
new apartment...

Exploring the carport...

This little girl is "Min."
(named after a character in the
Robert Jordan fantasy series.

And this fine gentleman is "Loki."
(The Norse god of mischief.)

Min and Loki are the two sweetest cats I have ever known! Brother and sister...they were born in my living room and still haven't realized that they are not people! Unfortunately, my new apartment does not allow pets, so Min and Loki now have a new pet human with a big house. : (( (I have to remind myself that the important thing is that they are safe!!)