Six years ago, I would have slapped me. I would have stared, jaw dropped, at the bold defiance.
You'll never guess.
I never would have imagined.
We bought land. On the water.
Six years after Hurricane Katrina reduced our home to a slab, we are returning to the water.
I wish I could explain the draw of the water. We swore we would never return, never risk our home again, but we are. And my heart beats wildly to tell you. Our compromise is that we are moving to the bayou, three miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico where our home was originally destroyed.
I'm smiling. I know this isn't much of a compromise in your eyes. But! Look! Listen to me.
Our hearts are tied to the water. The smell of salt is who we are. The scurry of crabs engages our minds. The draw of the current is how we thrive.
I pull a deep breath, lift my eyes to meet yours, and promise you that we will prepare. Preparedness after disaster is wretched with lethargy, but we will not succomb.
Our plans include pilings and wash-out levels, concrete sunk deep, cables wrought with a fury. Our plans far exceed updated hurricane codes. I won't discuss odds with you, as odds matter little. We will plan as though another Katrina is moments away from the last nail driven.
And yet. As much as it is entirely possible to avoid the risk completely, we are tempting the jealous fates again. Oh, if you could see it.
Right now, it is an empty lot. We are taking our time. We have rebuilt a very temporary pier and are slowly getting to know the land. Neighbors gave us their outgrown playset for Quinn (7), Grey (5), and Iris (not yet 2). An old wooden porch swing on scavenged pilings grants us hours overlooking the water, searching the bayou for alligators and reveling in the cranes and pelicans overhead.
A wildlife refuge for wild hearts and fierce minds. Is it a bad decision? Maybe. And I'm good with that. My heart was drawn back to the water, it sighed deeply when I looked down the slope of the land and found the bayou. A terrible, beautiful, living bad bayou.
Life is too short to not do bad things every now and then.
We've found our home among the gorgeous bad things. I can't wait to share it with you.
Here's a peek:
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