Coming Home After Katrina

Real Estate Agent with Cherimie Crane & Associates

This will be a difficult post for me, emotions high and wounds still very much open. Beaufort is my home, but I was born and raised near the coast of Mississippi.

As all southern women, my roots are as strong and deep as those of the sweet gum trees that line the streets.

There is an unmistakable, irreplaceable, pride that simply comes standard with a birth certificate signed in the state of Mississippi.

I am sitting in the Ole Brook library checking my email (parents still have dial up) and the water stained carpet, the missing ceiling tiles, and the diminished volume of children's books stings as if a hornet had just made breakfast out of my heart.

Katrina left her mark. Everywhere.

It seems just like yesterday that I was searching for my family, friends, any semblance of all that I had ever known.

There is no photograph, no newspaper clip, that could ever rightly portray the feeling that consumes you once you stare at devastation that was once home.

It is still next to impossible to discuss.

I am proud. Katrina's initials are still cemented all around, yet my family, my friends, my Mississippi has pulled herself up without blame, without self pity, without the media attention and buzz.

She is strong, she is beautiful, she is proof that the human spirit, the human will, cannot be over- thrown, over- looked, or out done.

So as I sit in this small public library surrounded by words, history, and photographs, there is no louder testament than the water stained carpet, the missing ceiling tiles, and the absence of some of my childhood favorites.

There was always character in this building, now her scars tell a story no written work can rival.

You are strong, you are resilient. Good job, Mississippi.




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Whether you are buying or selling Real Estate in Beaufort South Carolina, We know Beaufort. Our little coastal town has something for everyone.





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Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Cherimie - what a beautifully written emotional post this is.  I could feel your heart in every word I read.  Character and strength will hold everyone steady, steady as those sweet gum trees that line the streets.


Nov 17, 2008 12:02 PM #16
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
GoodWin Team Realty

Cherimie, I should have guessed from your name that you were from the south.  The only other Cherimie I know lives minutes from the Gulf in Louisiana.

Katrina (and Rita) were hard on a lot of communities, but they weren't New Orleans, so nobody really saw all the devastation.  Same thing with Gustav and Ike.  Many people had still not recovered from the first two storms and then were hit with Gustav and Ike.  Many people have given up - especially the elderly - and are moving on.  It is very, very sad.  Thanks for sharing your story.

Nov 17, 2008 12:18 PM #17
Linda Pitts
Sue Wilkinson Real Estate, LLC - Brandon, MS

Beatifully done!  The devastation was overwhelming and will never be forgotten.  Katrina is something we still mention every so often even here in the Jackson metro area.  The storm came through here as a category 1 hurricane this far inland.  I had the opportunity to help with some repair and restoration on the coast and it was something you never forget.  I worked with the Red Cross at a shelter as well as at a facility that was giving FEMA vouchers.  It was an humbling experience.   Loosing everything is something most people will never have to endure.........Thank God!

Nov 17, 2008 12:29 PM #18
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Lovely post.  I lived in Mississippi for 10 years, we moved to Ca right before Katrina.  To my kids, the Gulf Coast was their home, 2 have moved back there since K.  When I went to visit, I was crushed by the sights, the damage, the loss.  But yes, you could feel the resilience of the proud people who weathered the storm.

Nov 17, 2008 12:43 PM #19
Bethany Little
Whitworth Builders Realty, Inc. - Navarre, FL

I'm a southern woman too, and I agree, our roots run deep.  I live on the gulf coast, but nothing makes me happier than coming home and seeing the rolling hills of Alabama.  It just puts me at ease, if you know what I mean.  I'm home.  I hope that being home in Mississippi is a balm for you.  Take care and thank you for the post.

Nov 17, 2008 12:53 PM #20
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Cherimie, Great post and you should be proud of Mississippi as all of us should. They are resilent, they never whined nor did they look for all the handouts.  One of the reasons I am proud of Florida is the fact that we were hit by four huricanes that year and no one saw a Floridian on the news begging at the government trough either.

Nov 17, 2008 01:05 PM #21
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

You have done a great job expressing your emotions and the pride that comes with being from Mississippi.  Congratulations to all who have pulled through the aftermath of Katrina.

Nov 17, 2008 01:08 PM #22
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs

The media rarely ever shows the thousands that were able to come home and make it against long odds. I am always amazed at homw many people are still in the area with all that has gone on.

Great blog, some of Americas great writters and musicians have come from the area. Not to mention football plyers from Mississippi and Louisiana Brett Farve, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Terry Bradshaw and Doug Williams who have all won SuperBowls. Joe Ferguson, David Woodly and Jake Delhomme who made it but did not win. May have left some out. Just had to throw that in.


These were brfore and after from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Seeing is believing but you had to be there to get the feel and the depth of destruction. Maybe 150 miles of this.  


Nov 17, 2008 02:20 PM #23
Courtney Cooper
Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office - Seattle, WA

I grew up in Pascagoula Miss and it is just heartbreaking...

Nov 17, 2008 02:37 PM #24
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

I know you will be surprised when you make it back to the library to see your post was featured! congrats Cherimie!  KM

Nov 17, 2008 04:25 PM #25
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Oh, Cherimie - what a beautiful, from the heart post.  Your words really touched me and I want to thank you for sharing such strong feelings.  You are an amazing woman!

Nov 17, 2008 11:13 PM #26
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

And you are going to survive and thrive in the future! I was in Mississippi last may to work on the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter work project for Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes for those desperately in need but who are too poor to make it without assistance. this is an especially good post and  am glad it was featured! Well done! 

Nov 18, 2008 12:00 AM #27
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Very touching post, when tragedy hits home, it is best understood by those who lived thought it.

Nov 18, 2008 12:13 AM #28
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Morning Cherimie,  This is a wonderfully done piece !  It must be gut wrenching to see it now and remember it then .

Nov 18, 2008 01:10 AM #29
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Now that was beautiful, and you're right, New Orleans was not the only area of devastation.

Nov 18, 2008 01:28 AM #30
Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming Agency INC - Coon Rapids, MN

I could not even imagine going through this.  This is such a well written post! Thank you for sharing!

Nov 18, 2008 02:08 AM #31
Richard Barbee
Realty Executives Assoc - Knoxville, TN

I was so proud of the people of MS and Gov. Haley Barbour in the way they handled the Katrina devastation.  Their attitude stood in stark contrast to the people and politicians of LA.

I was embarrassed by Louisiana's response to Katrina.  Ridiculous.

But the people of MS (including Brett Favre) have always impressed me.

Best wishes!

Nov 18, 2008 02:49 AM #32
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Thank you all so much for commenting! I was just now able to get internet access. I had no idea that it had been featured.

Thank you again for all of your kind comments.

Nov 18, 2008 10:56 PM #33
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

It really must be something else to go home and see all of the after effects and inspiring to see how so many pulled through the devastation.  I have friends in Slidel and know they have been through so much.  I hope your parents are doing well.

Nov 19, 2008 10:59 PM #34
Omega Omega
Omega - Glendale, CA

Cherimie - good post.  We had a very good time visiting Beaufort while in Hilton Head.

Have a peaceful and happy holiday season.

Dec 12, 2008 04:36 AM #35
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