Biographical Non-Fiction posted November 7, 2018 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 


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New Orleans was an adventure.

A chapter in the book My Life

Fate blessed us.

by aryr

Our next travel took us to Louisiana, to be precise, New Orleans. Now that is an interesting city/ area. Mind you we were there ten years after it was hit by Katrina and there were still areas that had not been recovered. We learned a lot about the city itself- the French influence, the Spanish influence were very prominent. In fact, the city was divided into the two parts. Since our travel there, unfortunately many of the statues were dismantled. They were an interesting part of the culture and of the tourist attractions. Oh, and the food was fantastic, there are so many options.

We were there about three months and spent every weekend discovering something new. We visited the 'Mardi Gras' building, where they constructed the floats for the parade as well as costumes and some were for sale. We, actually arrived on the Sunday before Mardi Gras ended on Tuesday, it was exciting to see some of the parades and activity.

We also found the building they used to film the series 'NCIS-New Orleans' and from a distance got to see some of the filming, it was great. I guess it is obvious we are fans.

That area has a variety of campgrounds available, from the pricey, fully loaded to the bare bones type. We had planned to stay at one on the west side of NOLA= New Orleans Louisiana (LA), since Jim would be surveying the west side with another couple of workers. Unfortunately, the park we had made arrangements with had someone over book, so there were no sites for a couple of days. We were advised to call back in two or three days.

I like to think fate intervened, since we were able to find a park on the east side which required a weekly payment. I called the first park on the Tuesday, to advise them of our situation and was promised a site for the next weekend. It meant that Jim had to drive forty-five minutes to work then home each day.

Not long after that call, there was a weather alert- an unexpected tornado cut a path through the west side of the city. It destroyed, all but one camper and two cars. Most of the people were at work of some sort, but the news showed animals / pets either trapped or wandering around aimlessly. There were homes along its path that were either destroyed or severely damaged. Per the news reports-three people died and several were injured. We were safe, due to fate and circumstances.

Part of the work that Jim does, includes travelers who can go to disaster sites and survey for gas leaks- Jim was there for this one in 2016. In 2017, a crew was sent to Houston for the flooding.
There are some hazards to his job. I guess beyond the weather/ flooding concern, one has to remember falls, bug bites, snake hazards, being hit by drivers not watching for surveyors walking, as well as road hazards when moving from one park to another.

So far, Jim has broken his wrist, that was in New Orleans, seen several snakes but never bitten, has dealt with as field supervisor broken bones, breathing problems, emergency surgeries, flipped campers during travel- it is never ending.

When Jim broke his wrist he was working, his suggestion is that if a curb area looks wet, be careful, it could be covered with a slime that is common to Louisiana and Mississippi. It is slick and causes slips. Of course, he was on the opposite side of the city. He did call.

"I slipped on that $@%t that covers the curbs. I will decide when I get home (to the camper) if it's a bad sprain or if I broke something. When I went down I tried to protect myself with my hand. Just in case I do have to go to emergency can you call about a rental car, it would be a little much driving the rig to the hospital. Oh, and find out where the closest one is."

When I got off his call, I started my calls. None of the rental services offered to pick up, so that meant that I would have to drive the rig. Which by the way I can do, and yes, it is a manual, but I can manage all ten gears, if needed. This was before we had a second vehicle and one of the major reasons for one.

We were three sites from the owner's camper so off I went in search of taxi information.

"Hi, I was wondering if you can recommend a taxi service that can pick me up here and drive me to Enterprise, so I can rent a car. One second, Jim is calling again."

"There is no car rental that offers a pickup service."

"I am about a third of the way home, there is really something wrong with my right hand, I can't shift gears with it. It's a bitch shifting with my left hand."

"Okay, I will get a rental and take you to the hospital. Do you want to park somewhere, and I will find you?"

"No, I'll make it home." And he hung up.

Now back to the two owners.

"What happened to him?" the one asked. So, I quickly explained.

"First, call him back, I know how to manage a manual rig and you can follow me in the old pickup, get him and take him to the hospital and I'll bring the rig here. You can use it as long as you need to. It is old, it is beat up, but it works. It looks horrible, it is yours to use."

I called Jim back and explained but he insisted on getting home.

When he got here, he haphazardly parked the rig, got in the pickup and we were off. It was a short trip to emergency. He had broken his wrist. It was a clean break, so they set it in a brace with instructions to see the orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. When I call the next morning, he got an appointment in an hour. He confirmed it was a clean break and put a cast on, I wanted a pink, we got blue, darn. He had to return in a week, then in six weeks and then they switch the cast to a four-week adjustable brace.

I remember the morning after the emergency department visit, he was befuddled about keeping the arm dry when he showered. Remember I was a retired nurse, so it was easy coming up with a solution- a garbage bag. After the doctor visit, I went to Walmart for a quick trip. You see I remembered they had umbrella bags, which were great for covering a broken limb. I spoke with the manager who agreed that I could have ten, each one if used carefully can be last up to six or seven showers. Pull it over the arm or leg and using a head band secure the top, then fold the bag over the head band to keep it dry. The other option is to tightly tape in place.

It was cute, that when I returned to the store a week later there was a laminated note at both of the doors, above the umbrella bags. "It has been reported that these bags are also great for covering casts while showering. Help yourself."

We were directed to a new location two weeks into the four, but he was provided with great instructions.

To be continued .....

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