Eight years after Katrina: I can't say today is a good day.
I can say, however, that I did learn something. When my wife and I left Chalmette the day before Katrina, we knew we would get some flooding. But we didn't realize we would lose absolutely everything we had. Our house got 11 feet of water, and absolutely nothing was spared. Even the boxes we put overhead -- on top of the refrigerator, on high shelves in closets, and in the attic -- were all lost. All we were able to save was what we took with us, about as much stuff as would fill the cargo space in our Toyota Highlander -- that is, about as much as would fill a small closet.
So we discovered how much all the stuff that fills the typical house is worth. Turns out, not so much. What do you do when you lose all of your physical possessions? You start over. You replace the pictures you lost, the furniture, the TV, the toothbrushes, the socks, the jewelry, the backyard swing set, the memories. It takes a while, but eventually, one by one, you replace them all.
You drop your kids off at school, you quietly thank God, and you think: I'd replace that house again, and the one after that, and a thousand more if necessary, but as long as I don't have to replace anyone I love, it is no big deal.
Truly, it is not.