to summarize a summer…
I’ve had trouble paring a day into a paragraph. But here goes for the summer. We were warned that the river held some fierce threats to novice boaters. I suspect that a little planing can hold most of the danger at bay and by keeping a watchful eye, one can reduce the potential trouble further. What a watchful eye and planning misses, quick reflexes can help abate and hopefully what gets past all that is taken care of by a little luck.
In all that, I mean to say that we didn’t have nearly as much trouble as we could have. But it’s impossible to tell how close we came. Our anchor could have been holding on by a few pebbles and another ounce of pressure would have set us adrift. You will never know these things until you pull too hard. In a way that’s what bill and i were doing this summer. Pulling harder than we could have in our city apartments. Pulling harder than we could have by working all summer and going out on weekends. Pulling harder to see if we go adrift. It’s certainly no Everest; we’re not prepared for Everest. But we were ready for the Mississippi river. We were ready for the lessons held in that path to the Gulf. Bill and I have researched and we believe we are the first to video-blog the length of it. So as far as any adventurer ever gives back to a journey, we hope that our chronicle can be that gift.117 comments
So the whole time bill and I were floating -care free- down the rivers and canals of middle America, our destination held some part of my imagination. Though I try not to dwell in the future or the past too much, I thought about how the lives of the different people were affected by our meeting and about how I hoped to affect the lives of people we were yet to encounter. Mack is the generous and uplifting founder of the 9th Ward Village here in New Orleans. His dedication to helping the people around him has been inspiring to me ever since I met him six months ago. And meeting him has affected me in some ways I have yet to articulate.
Before I set out for this trip I wondered if there was a way I could engage in some care-free adventure and still contribute in a meaningful way to people who need a little extra to get back on their feet. I can invest energy into a worthwhile project. I can swing a hammer. But I’m wondering if I can inspire others to comprehend the urges I feel for contribution to these community projects. I wonder if there is something I can say or write that will take my sentiment and carry it to you. Perhaps the images and the story of this community is enough to evoke the same empathy.
I’m not asking you to donate to this organization. I’m asking you to examine, without defenses, the condition of the people in this region. Without the ‘It’s their fault for living here.’ Without ‘I have my own problems.’ Without ‘What is anyone else doing for them.’ Just imagine how you might be able to help. You don’t have to do it, just get in touch with how it might feel. It might feel better than that.
www.ShopWithLower9thWardVillage.org If you shop online, use this portal.178 comments
New Orlins, Nawlans or New Oieans but never New Orleens.
It’s known for some pretty diverse things. Bill decided, like many who visit for the first time, to follow our mouths around the town, mostly the French quarter. Because we got back from the boat late we started late. We were surprised by the night life on a tuesday.
Here’s something for you if you want to try it:
1 tbsp olive oil }
1 large onion }
2 medium cloves garlic } Saute until onions are translucent
1 large green bell pepper }
2 celery stalks }
3 tbsp parsley }
4 oz smoked ham }
5 oz chicken } Add and cook for 5-6 minutes
1 tsp cayenne pepper }
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes } Add with 1.75 cups
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce } water simmer 5 min
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked } Add, stir, boil, reduce to simmer
} cover 45 minutes
1 1/2 lb medium shrimp } Add cook five min.
Easy!!! Jambalaya!41 comments
We’re still here. This is our final week. The anxiety of the finish line has faded away for us and we’re remembering that as soon as we are done with this we will miss it. We are considering selling the boat in a few hours and even that is making us pre-nastalgic. We met a man in Quincy, IL who had done some boating when he was younger (he is in his 70’s) and he informed us that this is the kind of trip we will always remember and when we get older it will be the story we can’t stop telling. I’m sure anecdotes and foibles will work their way into my conversations for a while.
As for the comments about getting jobs… know anyone who needs workers out in California? Just about anything will do. The more interesting it is, the less I need in the way of compensation.
Oh yeah, and the dolphins later told me that they don’t like Beethoven very much, preferring the levity of the later Baroque period.155 comments
How about that motor, huh? We’ve calculated the finances: If we sell the motor for what we’re asking, we will spend less this summer than we would have at home on rent alone. Granted the accommodations are not as luxurious as our rooms would have been, but you all know the old maxim: Location, Location, Ever-Changing-Location.
Thank you Big River Show executive producers. I think we’ve met about half of you through this project and about half of you are our friends and family. We had considered doing some sort of advertising but, to be frank, it would have been annoying to you and it would have eaten up the rest of our free time trying to stay on top of the logistics of it all.
Can you imagine us floating through the locks with a blue-tooth headset, trying to broker deals with Verizon and some outboard motor company out of Japan saying things like: “I understand your position, sir. I just hope we can work together in the future- after you grow a sense of humor!” We’re off in the next couple of days to try our luck with the Inter Coastal Water Way.
And tropical storm Fay.146 comments