December 8, 2006
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Photographed in Metairie, Louisiana on January 15, 2006.
On this particular day, I was having "one of those days". Celebration Station was hectic and several things had recently happened that put me in a funk. So I took a walk along the road behind the building to clear my head. The day was dreary and matched my mood, until I came upon this monarch butterfly. It was surviving in the worst of conditions and seemed a little worse for the wear, yet it still flew merrily about. Seeing it reminded me why I was there… to help Louisiana begin with a fresh start.
November 9, 2006
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Last year on this date (November 9), I had just returned home from my first pet rescue trip in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana. I volunteered for 8 days with Alley Cat Allies at their base camp in Bogalusa, Louisiana. It’s hard to imagine a whole year has passed. There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t think about my experiences there, and of my time with ARNO and then the months with Best Friends Animal Society. I’m including the good memories with the bad here, too.
I wish I could say that I’m "over it", but I’m not. I fully expected I would be stronger and that it wouldn’t affect me to the extent it has. I guess I thought that I could just pick up where I left off with my life here and be on my merry way. Now, I know that is not going to happen and, honestly, I doubt my life will ever be the same. Experiences like that change a person forever and it’s just something I’m going to have to deal with forever. Plain and simple, I just see the world through different eyes now.
But, ya know what? I don’t regret a single second of my time there. And, if given the chance, I would it all over again. I might be slightly damaged, but I’m not broken. Personally, I like to think my nicks and cracks (not to mention the bites, scratches and bruises ;-)) just add character to an already strong, but not totally unbreakable, foundation.
Here’s hoping another year goes by where the hurricanes are weak and the foundations grow stronger.