1) I love JetBlue! I got Gram and Sam to New Orleans and was able to meet my parents in enough time to check back in and hop the same plane back. So I didn't have to sit in the airport all day. That meant I didn't have enough time to buy stuff. But really, I have no business frying beignets in here. And (shh!) I know how to order the mix online...which if I keep typing about beignets, I'll be tempted to do.
2) After a cranky start, everything went pretty well. Gram got cross with me last night and this morning. I kept Sam in the dark until it was nearly time to go. Then I swooped down, harnessed him and shoved him in the sherpa carrier. Somehow the little houdini managed to get out. I was terrified I would have to take the huge hardside carrier. After I loaded Gram's walker, luggage and wheelchair, it was apparent that wasn't going to work. So I took the sherpa bag and prayed he wouldn't try the escape act again. He didn't. And as far as Sam's travel record is concerned, things went really well. He cried in the car and a little while at take-off, but eventually he piped down and was mostly quiet.
3) Gram has been wholly unrealistic about what she's going to find in New Orleans. This is her first time back. All year my mother and I have been torn wbout what to tell her and when. And I felt like the Grinch everytime I reminded her that, no, she wouldn't be retrieving her belongings or moving back in her home or cleaning things up when she returns. My grandmother's house was in walking distance from the much-media-covered levee breach in the Ninth Ward. And even though it was the only one left standing on her block, it is condemned and will have to be completely demolished. My father was able to recover precious little when he was finally allowed access. My mother tells me she was quite distressed on the drive through. But in a way, and this is probably difficult for those of you who haven't been through this to understand, it is probably the only way she will be able to accept what has happened and maybe move forward. Neither my mother nor me can keep her in a bubble away from all that has happened. We all have to move forward. It is awful to watch her have to go through this, but maybe that will be the way she comes to accept our help and comfort.
So now, for the first time in a loooong time, I am alone (well, Nairobi is here!) in my own apartment. My family is back in New Orleans and on their way back home. I am in no eminent danger of having to go to Virginia or otherwise check on them. Now, I can focus on getting my life in order. Over the next couple of days, I intend to get a little sleep, give myself a little low-level pampering, and start settling into my new home with gusto. I've already stepped up my job search and my home organization is nearly done.
Deep cleansing breaths and prayers....Here we go!