Home > Lifestyle > One bad day out of every Seven-hundred isn’t that bad.

One bad day out of every Seven-hundred isn’t that bad.

Standing on the edge of the water the past few months has caused me some great reflection. As my toe touches the sand, now dotted with black specs, no doubt remnants of the oil disaster, I can’t help but feel lucky; blessed.

Blessed you say? Blessed for what? The brackish water, the industry falling apart, the tourism detracting?


Because if you don’t live here you don’t see. You don’t know. You can’t feel.

And that’s it, isn’t it? You can’t feel what we feel.

You can’t know what it feels like to wake up and smell the salt, to feel the wind whipping in your hair as you drive over a bridge, only to be greeted by so much never ending water that it must have been supplied by God.

You can’t know what it feels like to have a stranger, someone who is standing over their own pile of rubble, grab your hand and tell you its going to be alright.

And it will be.

For the beauty that I have spent my entire life witnessing can only be rivaled by the camaraderie and community I have been privileged to be a part of.

When I was 16 I lost my house.

Or rather, my father lost his home, and I lost my room. But in that room, the room that I had lived years in, the room that had born my first days of middle school and high school, that housed my first love notes from a boy, 100 Sweet Valley High books,  the diary that would never be written again, I was sure, in my teenage mind, I had lost my identity.

I was wrong.

What I found was far more valuable.


When all that is left behind are concrete walls; Hope Persists.

(my home, Hurricane Opal, 1996)

When your pets, after 3 weeks of praying and searching and falling on your knees in desperation…..Oh God, Where are they, Don’t take them from me….run to your arms from the rubble; Hope Solidifies.

When some of your longest standing friendships come simply from helping a stranger; Hope Evolves.

When a 16 year old boy grabs a shovel and digs in the ground to help you find anything, everything, that is a remnant of your life and he becomes your husband 7 years later; Hope Blooms.

And it’s not about the victimization of Katrina, or Opal, or Bonnie, or Ivan. It’s not about what we we lost. Rather, it’s about what remains.


Hope, I said. Not cry. Not whine. Not point out devastation. Not look longingly at the past.

For we only have one bad day, and albeit a very very bad day, out of every seven hundred breathtakingly beautiful ones.

We look towards the future.

Keep in mind that disasters are not just located on the Gulf, they are everywhere and can strike without warning. They are the floods in Tennessee, the earthquakes in California, the Tornadoes in Oklahoma.

So ask me why I stay?

Why, when every part of my life from youth to adulthood has been so profoundly affected by the Gulf, its hurricanes, its disasters and it’s grief, would I ever want to stay?

I say this to you.

We may be Cajun in Louisiana and Redneck in Alabama and Cowboys in Texas and Old in Florida- we know what you say.

More than that, more than the cover on our book, the Gulf Coast is the absolute embodiment of culture. We are neighbors where state lines know no boundaries, where craw-fish boils are monthly festivals and sweet tea is on the menu. We have our own language and we reckon y’all can’t translate it.  Street performers are the norm, top rated colleges (and their rivalries) are in every home, and our blood isn’t red, it’s Crimson.

We are #TexasStrong and #FloridaStrong and #AlabamaStrong and #LousianaStrong.

Simply put, we live where you vacation.

We are proud. We will rebuild. We will have Hope.



27 thoughts on “One bad day out of every Seven-hundred isn’t that bad.”

  1. That was so well written Trisha!! I was tearing up reading it. Sorry I haven’t been around to read your blog lately. Life has been crazy since NOLA. It’s starting to settle into routine now. (Of course now that I say that…) Anyway, I miss sweet tea being on the menu. I miss Florida, but I missed IL more.

  2. omg I love your husband. Its a good thing I didnt know that about the two of you when I met you in N.O. I probably would have like been non stop hugging the 2 of you hahahaha

  3. Very touching post! You’ve been through so much, it’s nice to see that a great family evolved from such memories, devastation, lessons, friendship, faith and love!

  4. Trisha this is such a great post. I know how hard you worked with coming up with a post. I think you did a great job and I can’t imagine all that you’ve had to go through, though I let out a little “awww” when I got to the part about Chris (and yeah I almost put Christ too lol)

  5. Great post. My husband’s grandparents live in Florida and southern Alabama. I’ve never quite understood why they would stay there with the constant threat of hurricanes taking down your home you’ve worked all your life to build. I’m originally a Tennessee gal so we only had to worry about tornadoes. Hurricanes make me really nervous and squeamish. You put it in great perspective for those of us who don’t “get it”!

  6. Lovely post Trisha and I love the “We Live where you Vacation”. Kinda puts it in perspective for those of us who don’t live there to see it every day but do in fact go their to vacation. We sometimes forget that we have the luxury of NOT vacationing there if we don’t want but that is your home, in every sense of the word, so not only is it a choice, it’s your life.

    Great read!

  7. I wouldn’t change living in the South for anything. I LOVE the culture and crazy cajuns that others laugh at. There’s nothing like good ole southern hospitality! You had me smiling and crying at the same time Trisha. Great post!!

  8. What an amazing post. I lived in Florida for 6 years, the last when Charlie came through in 2004. We stayed every year, through all the hurricanes. You have to have hope and faith. You have to be strong, and rebuild with the entire community. We left Florida to be closer to family, but we will one day return.

  9. What a beautiful post, and oh so true! I live in Central FL on the Nature Coast, and there are things taken for granted…thanks for putting it into perspective again! : )

  10. I will never forget what you did for my family and I that fateful day five years ago. I know I have said it a million times, but Thank You just never seems like enough.

  11. I can’t even begin to imagine what real disaster is like. I don’t truly know what it’s like to pick up the pieces and hope you can get something to fit back together. I do know that I have visited all along the gulf coast and there’s no place on the face of the earth quite like it. It’s not just the beaches or the vendors, the skies or the smell and feel of the salt in the air–it’s the combination of it all. My Grandma lives in Mobile and it’s one of my favorite places ever! The Gulf Coast has much to be proud of and you’re right–1 day out of every 700 isn’t that bad. Great attitude and perspective. 😉

  12. This makes me want to cry. I love living here. No matter where we have lived or will live, the Gulf Coast will always be home! Bring on the sand, the sun, the casinos, the French Quater, the plantation homes, the boats, the smell of salt and sun tan lotion. Bring it all, for I have experienced God’s beauty and man’s resilence and desire to press on living here. I could ask for better thing for my family. Of course the bikini’s dont hurt either. Ya’ll come back now ya hear!

  13. I love this post. I love how you can turn such a tragedy in to something so beautiful and full of hope. It’s reminders like these that are important.

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