My piece on Katrina

A couple days after Katrina hit, we had a pretty big Monsoon here. (Actually, it didn’t seem overly large to me, but it made national news, and in the wake of Katrina it had to be big news to make national news…maybe everyone was just going a little crazy over weather stories…who knows?) Anyway, when our little monsoon hit, we happened to be driving home from violin lessons. At first it was just a little windy, and then the sky quickly became overcast and the wind picked up strength. Then the rain started to pelt down. I really hate being caught on the road when a monsoon hits…apparently the girls didn’t like it too well either. My oldest was noticing that some of the cars were having a hard time driving straight, including us. She also noticed that it was really hard to see with all of the dust and the rain. She kept saying “Oh no…we’re gonna get died…we’re gonna get died.” I assured her that we weren’t going to die, but that even though it was a little scary, we would make it home just fine. I had her say a prayer while we were driving. The scariest part for both of my girls was once we got home and we had to run into the house. Just that few feet that we ran screaming from the carport to the front door drenched us all pretty good!

I took the opportunity to talk to my oldest daughter (5 years old) a little more about the hurricane. I felt like the monsoon was a good thing to relate Katrina to for her. Since she was so frightened by our weather, I explained to her more fully than I had done before about the damage that the hurricane had done in New Orleans and in Mississippi. She listened intently, then watched the news with me again.

She has since diligently tried to remember the hurricane victims in her prayers…she says “bless the “hunicane” people that they can get new houses.” I am proud of her.

And that brings me to the point of this whole blog: Today. Today she came home from school so excited to bring money tomorrow to “feed the pig” for the “hunicane” people. The note she brought home said they were having a fund raiser to donate to the Red Cross.

Before I had another chance to talk to her about it, the phone rang and I left her alone for a second. Right as I finished up my phone call I heard a loud crash and the sound of glass breaking. I came out of the den to see my crystal candy dish in smithereens and loose change everywhere. My daughter was immediately upset, as she understands that breaking the crystal is not a good thing. Remarkably, I stayed totally calm and I didn’t even feel the need to raise my voice or be impatient. Part of it was because I knew how excited she had been to bring money to school for the Katrina victims. I talked to her about the rule of getting into that dish (I also know it is probably not the smartest place to store loose change…but hey, I rarely have candy sitting around) and the consequences of her disobedience. She told me it was okay…we can just get another one. I told her I got it for my wedding and it was special, and I didn’t think I could get another one so easily. I had to snicker at her reply, “It’s okay Mommy…when you get married again, you can get another bowl!” And then, when I told her that I didn’t think I was going to get married again because I wanted to stay married to Daddy she really lost it“Am I in trouble??” she wailed.

In the end, she learned that she is far more important to me than a silly candy dish. And I remembered that the hurricane’s devastation took far more from people than their silly candy dishes….not only did it take their heirlooms, it also took their cars, their homes, and in some cases even their lives and the lives of those they loved. I can certainly sacrifice a piece of not-quite-heirloom-status crystal to the cause of teaching my child to help others in their needs.

And that is my piece on Katrina.

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What a great life lesson for your sweet girl. Isn’t it a blessing to be able to teach them these lessons in love and patience? It sounds like she “got it” through and through.


If you really want to teach her about the hurricane, the next time you have a “monsoon”, put her outside and lock all your doors. Or you could put her on the roof and leave her there for 2 days!

Just trying to help!


I have a lovely christmas tree candy dish at my mom’s house I can send you next summer. I’d to have to see you get re-married just for a CANDY DISH. 🙂 Great story though, did you let her take the change for Katrina?


Love your entry today Lara! What a sweet story about Bria and her sweet prayer and desire to help those in trouble. As for the crystal, that happened to my mom once. One of my sisters broke her favorite yellow bowl. It was then that my mom learned that “things are just things” and that love and children are more important. Ever since then, whenever anything like that happens, EVERYONE in our family looks at each other, smiles (sometimes a forced smile depending on the item that was broken…LOL) and says, “Yellow BOwl!” LOL! Love her response about the dish and you getting married again though. LOL! That’s hilarious! Thanks for the very meaningful and entertaining entry today!!!


Kids are so great, they want to help in any way that they can. What a cute story.


Oh I will never forget how Katrina touched my life. I was stuck in Germany on my way back home from Iraq and I can just remember being glued to the tv in the airport. I will never forget and even went to New Orleans a few years after and it was still in really bad shape.


Living as close to New Orleans as we do, we experienced Katrina first hand. A lot of the evacuees were sent to our city, and many of them are still here.

My boys, my husband and I took time one day to take comic books out to the arena where they were staying so that they could be distributed to the kids there. It was one small thing we did with the help of some of our friends who donated money.

Bria is a very thoughful little girl and her compassion is something that you must make you very proud.


What a great story and life lesson for Bria.

Jake and Stephanie Perrin

Thats a wonderful lesson for Bria!! I remember when we had that little Monsoon. Thanks for sharing your story with us.


I agree! Children are so good at wanting to help others. Bria will remember that all of her life of being taught that her efforts are valued rather than the result of her excitement.

When Katrina hit, it was surreal to us at first. I was overwhelmed with the gratitude that we were all together and that there are a lot of survivors enough to be dispersed all over the nation and when the news of some survivors coming over to the campus, we were overcome with gratitude for that. I can’t quite remember what we were doing then, but just remember all the hugs, gratitude and sorrow we felt…


What great teaching moments! I love it!


I am constantly working on reminding myself which is more important in situations where my kids break or mess up stuff. It helps me to be more patient if I take a deep breath and think about that first.


I also find it to be a proud moment when I don’t lose my temper over things broken…not that I always succeed. Great post.


I try not to watch the news, especially when disasters occur, because I know it would freak my kids out so much.

Great post!


Weeping again (just a tad.) What a wonderful blessing it is to read your perspectives. Especially cool to read posts from years before I knew you. Reminds me how lucky I am to count you as a friend. (And I am totally not just saying that for the apron. Cross my heart.)


Bria’s comments about “we’re gonna died” were so genuine. When my kids were little, thunder and lightening were so scary for them. What a great lesson for your daughter.


So sweet.


I love how we find “teaching moments” to teach our children about what is important in life. And I love their innocence – loved the comment about getting a new dish when you get married again 🙂


I think disaster is always a teaching moment, whether it’s a trivial as broken crystal or as grave as a hurricane, we always learn about priorities and compassion and strength of spirit. Nice piece.