Although I live in NE Oklahoma now, I have lived a large part of my life in Southern Louisiana. I still miss bayou country and the south tremendously but OK is where I am and there are many, many thing I do like here. We have some really great friends and 2 of the 4 seasons are okay with me (fall and winter, not so much).
hurricanes and tornados
When I lived in Southern Louisiana it seemed that three or four times a year I was in hurricane mode – with the threat of a hurricane pending I’d board up the house; collect the important documents and such; grab the kids and wife, and head off to a safe distance (usually hours, and hours of driving at a snails pace). I cannot tell you what a pain that was. Luckily, we had a travel trailer at the time which doubled as our “hurricane evacuation vehicle” in which we had clothes, food, etc. But the boarding up; collecting up, and traffic was a killer. And it never failed most of the time the evacuation was for nothing. So we’d head home and put everything back together and resume life – only to have to do it again in a week or so. Ugh….
So we left LA a year after Katrina (not because of Katrina, but because of a job offer) and settled in NE OK. There is a lot I like about OK, and a lot I miss about LA – and vise versa. Inevitably no matter where you go, there is some natural event you will have to deal with – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and now it’s tornado’s (for us anyway). When my wife and I built our home here we adapted a lot of what we had learned living in South LA into it – floor drains, gas appliances, utility sink in garage, lots of outlets and phone jacks (that one turned out being not such a good idea i.e.. cellphones), and even the ability to disconnect the gas water heater (which takes electricity to light the pilot 😐 ) and hook it up to the generator. We put in a very, very expensive closet (wait, that’s called steel tornado safe room) which has gotten a few uses. Luckily we live in an area that tornado’s seem to slip around (so far) – but the threat is great and the winds here can get pretty scary. (the average NE OK breeze would send any South LA resident into a hurricane frenzy – it’s crazy)
Now that it is tornado season it seems every few days I’m converting my workshop (which normally is a 1-car garage, with lawn equipment, and my workshop) into a 3-car garage (with everything else crammed up against the walls). Now with my oldest daughter back home from college the garage gets pretty full. I’ve recently made room by selling the Harley 😦 and I guess I’m lucky my youngest isn’t driving – yet. Oh yea, when I designed the garage, I make it 5 feet wider and 5 feet deeper than a normal garage – glad I did.
I tell my kids that you are allowed to make mistakes – but you are also required to learn from them. So I guess I have to live by those words too. Since I work out of my garage I’ve learned to make everything mobile – table saw, benches, etc. I’ve almost gotten taking the workshop “down” and putting it back together down to a science – a fact that I’m not sure I’m too proud of – but it sure is a pain.
The fact that I’m a little bit of a clean freak when it comes to my garage doesn’t help either.