Being at my uncle's house I ocassionally forget why I came here in the first place. His house is...well...it's fucking fantastic. This is the first time I've been here since he moved to Fort Worth three years ago. He's a doctor and I swear if I didn't think I'd blow my brains out I'd get my ass to medical school just so I can buy a house like this some day and fill it with cool stuff. Since my two cousins are grown and moved out, he and my aunt Amy have this huge house to themselves. There are many rooms. My aunt and uncle's room, two guest rooms with their own bathrooms and three other rooms that are just rooms. With their own bathrooms. I swear, there has got to be like 15 full bathrooms in this place. Yesterday I discovered another one that I hadn't noticed before, just off in the corner somewhere, and I didn't need to go but I used it anyway. Because it was there! Seriously, you can go to the bathroom in almost any room in this house. THAT is class.
Besides the spaciousness, and sprawling toilettries, the dude has a sauna! Yesterday I sat in there for about thirty minutes listening to New Agey-type guitar with the sounds of the ocean in the background. Also (and this is the second to best part) Uncle Chris has a library with bookshelves that reach the ceiling. Oh yes, just like Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gadget. Plus, he's got a dog who can catch a frisbee in her mouth. But the best part is the music room upstairs. Uncle Chris, like most of the Rheams family, plays guitar and keeps all of his instruments in a room that is like a music shrine. There are various amps, accoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, drums and recording equipment. The room smells like pipe tobacco, and there are pictures of old blues players and framed posters of Jazz Fest. It reminds me of my dad.
This is the first evacuation I've gone through without my sisters or my parents and it's strange. My parents are in Alabama, Stephanie is in northern Mississippi, and April is in Florida. Not even Daivd and James (my stellar cousins) are here. But it's been great seeing my uncle and (step?) aunt. Last night we talked in his music shrine until midnight while he puffed on his pipe.
I can't tell you how thankful I am that my family had a place and the ability to go. While I was in the sauna, listening to waves crash against the New Age shore, I felt a little guilty. The majority of New Olreanians are not waiting out the storm in huge houses with saunas.
I began writing something yesterday that I plan to post soon. It's a copy of journal entries I wrote a couple of weeks after Katrina hit. It's taking a while to transcribe them. In the mean time, here is a conversation I had with Emma this morning. Oh! But before that, Chris and the kids are all right too. The kids are homkesick, well we all are, but they're having a good time and they're happy to see their daddy again.
Before I share the following conversation, I'll give you some background details. Emma sometimes invents characters and for the last couple of weeks she has been talking like...how can I describe it? An old southern woman who is not very bright. This morning she said this:
"Mama, it's time fa me ta live on mah own."
"Yeah?" I said. "You gonna move out?"
"You gonna get a job?"
"What are you gonna do?"
"Ah'm gonna watch tv. I gotta go watch tv, tha's mah job."
Then five minutes later she walked in and said, "Mama, the kids are running from me. I don' know why. They're just ruinning and running and running until they get hurt from their lives."
I don't know what that means but it sounds serious. And now I must check for the latest on the weather. Shall report later.