weather disasters and MP3 players

My parents moved into a new house this past weekend. It’s been a long, arduous process, and they’re both completely exhausted. I move approximately once a year, so I’m familiar with how stressful it can be – however, I only move my little one-bedroom apartment, not a 4-bedroom house that I’ve lived in for 20 years. I can’t even fathom how much stuff they’ve accumulated over that amount of time. They’ve had at least 3 yard sales over the past 6 months just trying to get rid of all their junk.

Last night, I called my mom’s cell phone (they don’t have a land line yet) and my dad answered. I asked him how things were going, and after the quick unpacking recap, he said, “And your aunt Si is on her way here now.” Um… What? This aunt is actually a great aunt (she’s my mom’s aunt), and in my 28 years on this planet, she has never to my knowledge set foot in my hometown. We always see her when we go to New Orleans for family gatherings, but I honestly didn’t think that the woman ever traveled at all. So, my curiosity peaked, I asked my dad why she was coming, and he said “Oh, you know, just to visit…” I must have made some kind of confused “huh??” sound because my dad cracked up at that point. He laughed and explained that it’s because Hurricane Ivan is heading toward New Orleans and the local authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation of the entire city.

So my 90 year-old great aunt, her middle-aged daughter, their dog, and some nephew related by marriage who my parents have never met were all on the freeway headed out of New Orleans, moving along at a top speed of about 4 miles per hour. I guess that’s what happens when everyone in the city tries to leave at the same time. They had even changed the incoming freeway lanes to outgoing – no one can drive into the city at all. Pretty scary. My parents live about 200 miles north of New Orleans – they were predicting that my aunt and her posse would arrive at about 4 a.m. I haven’t called to get an update today, because my mom is totally stressed. Not only does she have 3 unexpected visitors (plus a dog), but they’re all going to be staying in a house that my parents have lived in for less than a week, and they can’t even get to the guest beds because they’re surrounded by boxes. Yep. Should be a rockin’ good time. It’s funny, I’m always happy that I don’t live in Mississippi anymore, but sometimes I’m REALLY particularly glad that I’m not there.

In other news, I got an iPod yesterday. Oh. My. God. It is so cool. I’m copying my entire CD collection onto it, I’m on the D’s right now. (Yes, I alphabetize my CD’s – my obsessive-compulsive disorder is just mild enough that it doesn’t require medication, so back off.) I’m not even using 2 GB of space yet, how am I ever going to fill up the 40 GB that are available? Oh happy happy happy…