In New Orleans, a blessed sign of recovery

New OrleansIn most communities, garage sale signs are so ubiquitous as to be a nuisance. After all, most of us have too much stuff and we need to get rid of it. And these days, to pocket some cash is a happy thing.

But in New Orleans, which got flooded in 2005 when the defective federal levee system failed, signs like these were rare for many years. While not all the city got flooded (the French Quarter and Uptown were barely touched), much of it did, and hundreds of thousands of people lost everything they had to toxic floodwaters.

Imagine everyone around you losing all their furniture, kitchen stuff, clothing, kids toys, books, music, plants, bedding, rugs, appliances, and so on and so on.

In that case, you would not see any garage sale signs. In New Orleans, it was several years before folks got back to their houses, cleaned them up, collected whole households worth of goods, and once again had too much stuff.

So a garage sale sign in the Big Easy is a blessed sign indeed.