We've returned from the New Orleans visit. City looks battered, though it's working hard to rebuild itself. My mother showed us all the places people were living; all the stores that were open again; all the restaurants back in business. It's in much better shape, in that regard, than it was last year, or, God knows, two years ago. But there are still wide stretches of abandoned houses, and still people living in the occasional FEMA trailer. Also a housing crisis no one wanted to talk about. It is apparently impolite in New Orleans to discuss Bad Things. Someone rioting about houses being condemned. But not local people. Outside agitators. This was all I could get.
OTOH, stores do stay open after dark now! That was nice. And many are fully staffed, unlike last year, when the lines snaked around the block -- it was like shopping in Russia, last year.
It was hot when we got there -- hot and sticky -- cold, briefly -- and then hot again. I took the kid for a walk in the park which, when I was little, was the undeveloped wilderness where I used to play. Nutria and chickens and ducks live there now, and, we were delighted to see, a hawk, hunting the chickens.
On the way to New Orleans, we listened to a novel mr. delagar had downloaded onto his iPod Touch, Heinlein's Have Spacesuit Will Travel. The kid did not want to hear this book, because she hated SF, hated it, hated it!
"You will like this one," I promised her, and yikes. She did. She not only liked it, she loved it. All through the holiday, she drew pictures of the Mother Thing, she wanted to know where the Mother Thing's planet was, she wanted to know how the Mother Thing rotated planets, she wanted the Mother Thing to be her new imaginary friend. Now that we are back in Pork Smith, the first thing we have done is go to the library and get two Heinlein books from the library for her to read.
And she is reading them.
One of them is Have Space Suit Will Travel -- she's reading it first. Last night, around midnight, she poked her head in my door and woke me from a sound sleep. "The wormfaces aren't real, right?"
"Right," I said, drowsily.
"And if they were real, the Mother Thing rotated them back in 1959, right?"
"Just checking." She disappeared again.
6 hours ago