I started this blog to keep my church, friends and family updated on my year volunteering in Katrina recovery with the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've now signed on for a second year working in disaster recovery and another year living in Mississippi. It's getting good....

Monday, March 05, 2007

You went where for dinner? Alabama?!?

Last night we went out to dinner in Mobile, AL for my roommate Sarah Ann's birthday. I forgot the camera, so there is no photographic evidence of the hilarity that ensued, but rest assure- it was a good one. We went to a great restaurant on the waterfront called Felix's. Wonderful food, fun atmosphere, fantastic view and charming service. The best crab soup of my life! (And that is a big statement coming from this Marylander) But then they ran out of grits. But it was okay because they let my housemate substitute another cup of crab soup. We liked it so much that the server told us that we could buy a gallon of soup....for $92! No thanks. Back to the mean. They served us a special birthday dessert for my roomie. But then they ran out of fudge for dessert. We substituted hot moon pie and ice cream. And then they ran out of tea. And then the server dropped the moon pie and we all just started howling. It was a dinner comedy of errors...and quite possibly the best time I've had in weeks.

I guess that got me to thinking about what this whole experience has been like: one big, beautiful mess. Nothing looks like it should. So we ran out of grits (constructive conversational forums)? And tonight there's no more tea (or patience or grace)? But we're still loving each other and enjoying the process (and God's work), right?

Today that was hard to remember. I love my work, but I don't love the work drama it brings along most days. Managing a disaster recovery operation is just plain hard. Coordinating volunteers, fundraising, managing donated money, public relations, crisis counseling, making all the right people feel happy all the time, working with multiple agency interests, navigating government regulations, partnering with people who are still living that year-and-a-half-old trauma as if it were yesterday, trying to provide stability and consistency through frequent staff turnover and burn-out.....really it is a miracle anything ever gets done down here. Maybe I shouldn't cry so much over spilled grits? Maybe I should remember that a messy meal may still be a great feast!


Brenna said...

Watch out for flying moon pies!

Linda said...

i think you missed the scary hovering servers who helped to synchronize our meal service!