In New Orleans and missing home (sort of)

Me and New OrleansHere I am in New Orleans, visiting my husband, who has been hired by Louisiana State University for six months to help train people how to rebuild hurricane-damaged homes properly.

This whole deal started back in February when Bill and I drove through the area as tourists. We were shocked at how much rebuilding needed to be done almost three years after the storm. And as we drove around, Bill could see how some of the windows were being installed and he could see it was being done wrong in some cases. Installing windows properly, especially in a humid and rainy climate, is not simple. Bill started referring to a “second disaster” on the way as those windows will leak in the future during normal weather conditions.

Back home in California, Bill really started feeling passionate about those improperly installed windows. This is what he does for a living, after all, teaching people how to do construction, at contractor trade shows, in online courses, for manufacturers and building companies. Before that, before he became a contractor, he worked 15 years as a diver on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico (and other places around the world) and spent many years enjoying New Orleans life.

Finally, Bill decided to come down here and find a way to be helpful to the homeowners, contractors and volunteers doing the rebuilding. And as providence would have it, LSU was searching for someone just like him, to help steer these good-intentioned people toward correct building methods.

So here I sit, doing my work in the home Bill is renting for a few months, and my nesting instincts are in full bloom. This is a cute little house, but seriously needs embellishment. It’s all I can do to keep my mind on my writing, and not on what I would do with this house if it was mine. I’d definitely install French doors from a family room to the back yard and put a bird feeder out there. The kitchen could use a little rearranging. The way it is now, the sink and stove are in complete opposite corners of the room. That’s awkward.

But I didn’t come here to mentally remodel this home. I came here to visit Bill and to get some of my own writing projects done. In fact, this should be a vacation for me from the incessant nesting I do back home. I get so many lists going of what I’d like to get done on my house that I feel exhausted before I’ve gotten started. It’s good to step away, to get a break, to get a new perspective.

And what better place to do that than in the Crescent City?