Thursday, December 07, 2006

Temporary New Orleans- Part 1

These days I try and only write about what I have first-hand knowledge of in the world. If you want to sum this post up, it would be about: a family looking for a permanent spot in a city that has taken a beating from storms, crime, a history of mis-managed funds, a party place, a University town, insurance problems, price gouging, FEMA trailers, people deciding if they should stay or leave and people coming in to be part of the re-birth and settling there with their families forever. It also has to do with many "temporary" people. People who refuse to move their families there, live there temporarily, make a bunch of money & go back to their family.

The past 3 months I have quickly gained knowledge about NOLA. My only experience with this city is driving across country with my hubby 15 years ago and stopping for a drink on Bourbon Street. My husband just finished up 21 years in the Army & took a really great job in NOLA working for a private company that has contracts with the government to get NOLA where it needs to be for its' own good.

Thank goodness for the internet or maybe in this case, it gave me too much information. This could be our landing stop, our forever home & jumping in to this feet first was a little scary. While hubby temporarily lives there, I do the "wifely" research try and tie things up in OK.

I won't bore you with all the details of the "money-pit" house I am trying to sell in OK to get down to "hahem" Chocolate City. Here are a few things that have surfaced during this transition.
Hesitant but excited were my initial reactions (he has been there 3 months now). We've been nomads our whole married life and our kids are up for any new adventure (6, 8 & 10 yo). How cool is this kids, will be "NOLA Post-Katrina Pioneers?"

  • My first PCS (permanent change of station) thoughts as a former public school teacher & huge supporter of public education, was to live in a flooded area, find a great home that had been gutted and re-done and try them out in the new "Charter school" system while I get my foot back into education and help re-build the school systems. If the schools didn't work out - I would put them in private school & teach at the school in exchange for tuition.
  • The more hubby lived there, the more he thought about the future safety of our family. He wants his family to be as safe as they can and seek shelter North of Lake Ponchatrain in the St. Tammany Parish.
  • From my keyboard - I find Slidell (economically diverse - just what I want) to be a desirable area . It has decent schools & so the house-hunting continues from OK . NE of the lake usually takes the brunt of the storms, but I can get a decent house for a pretty good price and hubby can have options on his commute to work. I get a home-owners quote for $6,000 a year for a house we seem to like. Must have been a mistake -right? Wrong!
  • Let's go for Mandeville he decides - a much nicer area - great schools & minor storm damage. The commute to the city would be a PITA, but worth it for safety & decent schools.

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