A tree fell on my aunt's house. It is likely she's going to need a new roof, and parts of her home will need to be gutted.
Repairs are set to begin soon, but there's an eerie sense of limbo, with still another month left in what has become a record-breaking hurricane season. While the tree has been removed, and her home partly covered in blue tarp, she doesn't yet know whether the damages caused by Hurricane Delta will delay those repairs. For now, she's settled with my parents and me in Conroe, Texas -- about 40 miles outside Houston.
That sense of dislocation, and the weight of hurricanes -- on my family and many others in the South -- has only become more potent over the years. Natural disasters mark noticeable chapters in our lives.
When we moved to Mandeville in 2003, my family's plan was to put down roots. But Katrina changed that. That year, 2005, my father's job was about a 40-minute commute to New Orleans. He worked as an accountant for what was then Dominion Exploration and Production. His office was located in what is known today as Benson Tower, near the Superdome. But after Katrina ravaged the city, his company relocated their offices to Houston, where they already had established operations.
For the rest of that year, and for some of 2006, my dad lived alone in an apartment while my mom and I remained in Mandeville so that I could finish the school year. The summer after Katrina, we moved to a Houston suburb to be with my father.
Looking back now, it's undeniable the privilege I had compared to so many other children during that time. I was in a constant bubble of safety, bouncing from one home to another, and under the care of parents who had the financial means to recuperate from the storm.
And I was so young that I don't think I knew having to move because of a storm wasn't the norm. Hurricanes, and moving because of them, just seemed like a fact of life. I think the most frightening thing to me at the time was moving to a place where I didn't have any friends.