While the math is a bit sobering, I can’t make it add up any differently. It was—gulp—thirty years—and almost exactly two months ago—that we began our journey toward knowing what it means to miss New Orleans.
The hubs and I drove there from Texas with one daughter, a one-month-old baby and a six-weeks old, new hip (the hubs). We looked a bit like shell-shocked refugees from a war-torn country. Our realtor called us “you poor things” and offered to do our laundry.
It was an AD-venture (exciting) and a NUD-venture (painful, but spun as fun by the hubs) for our family. The hubs and I both grew up in Wyoming, which is, in so many ways, as opposite as you can get from New Orleans.
New Orleans is mostly hot and humid. (I think I grew gills living there.)
Wyoming is mostly cold and dry.
Even though I’ve lived in the South longer than I lived in Wyoming, I still stop and stare when the rain ramps up. We can get more rainfall in an hour here than they get during a whole year in Wyoming.
New Orleans is the Big Easy. Mardi Gras is a city-wide party that takes weeks.
Wyoming is not, well, easy. For example, when your truck passes the truck of an acquaintance, you wave your index finger without lifting it from the steering wheel. If they are family, they get two finger wave. If you wave your whole hand, then you stop to find out what’s wrong.
New Orleans is low, like, below sea level in places. Like, the sea is up there and New Orleans is down there. In the swamp.
Wyoming is high. I grew up 4,000 feet above sea level. I had no idea you could live below sea level and not have the sea in your house all the time, not just now and then.
So, yes, there was a period of adjustment. I chronicled some of my adjusting in a column I wrote for my hometown newspaper. In a funny twist, my sister still gets complimented for writing it. (We look alike and people see her more than they see me. She also gets asked when she’s going to release a new book. She used to tell them she wasn’t me. Now she just says she’s “working on it.” Then she tells me to get busy because I’m making her look bad.)
Anyway, we spent 18 years learning about New Orleans and falling in love (then falling out again during hurricane season). I know what it means to miss New Orleans. So when I was thinking about writing a series about a law enforcement family, well, I had to go “home,” if only in my imagination.
I had big plans for The Big Uneasy, but Life Happened. A lot.
I got Relatively Risky out in 2013 and then a short story called “Family Treed,” also released in 2013. Yeah. You’ve probably noticed that it’s 2015. And I did release a New Orleans book last year, but that was the Uneasy Future series, which is a spin-off, but yeah, different.
A lot of stuff happened in between 2013 and right now, but this isn’t a whine-one-one blog post. This is a celebration of New Orleans and my personal celebration about finally getting Dead Spaces on track to release in May.
Yes, May. I don’t have an exact day yet, but it will be out there by May 31st. Unless I die. That might slow it down. Otherwise, watch for it and please let my sister know you’re glad she finally got it done.
In the run up to the release of Dead Spaces, I’m going to be writing about what I miss the most about New Orleans. And I might share a few things I don’t miss as much. I hope you’ll join me in this trip down memory lane and maybe you’ll learn what it means to miss New Orleans, too.
Have you lived/visited New Orleans? What’s was your favorite thing? What do you miss the most? You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.