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Year’s End

Here’s the note I’m sending off with our solstice cards this year, mainly to people who (I think!) don’t read this blog.

2007 got off to a tragic start when our friend Helen Hill was murdered in her home on January 4th. We were virtually incapacitated by shock and grief, and twelve months later, we are still trying to come to terms with this senseless, terrible act. We considered moving away from New Orleans but have decided to stay here for now.

Helen’s violent death was but one of many that occurred in a short period. That led to a massive march of thousands on City Hall. I was one of a dozen or so speakers, and a soundbite of me chastising our officials was picked up on television and was eventually seen around the world.

It was largely because of that speech that I was invited to attend a leadership seminar at Harvard in May. It was my first trip outside New Orleans since returning from our evacuation in 2005, and I needed the break, but the seminar was very intense and I learned a lot.

I found I was spreading myself thinner than ever throughout 2007, and I ended up on the boards of so many nonprofit organizations that I lost count. Meanwhile, the renovation of our flooded home continued at an agonizingly slow pace. Xy continues to teach in a public elementary school here. I’m still working the same old job at Xavier University, but I have a new boss and she seems to be working out pretty well.

Early in the summer we had a blissful and much-needed vacation to Vero Beach, Florida. Later in the summer we discovered that Xy was pregnant. Also in the summer Xy trapped five feral cats behind our house, had them neutered and released them. They have become permanent residents behind our house, and I believe they are holding the rodent population down.

As we look forward to 2008 I am disentangling myself from many (but not all) of the board obligations I mentioned. Our renovation has finally reached the point where I can do some of the work myself, so I am pressing forward in hopes of completing the job before the child is born. Xy is due in early March.

Wish us luck, and enjoy the season.

Published inHoly DazeLife with Xy


  1. A happy holiday season to you and XY. It’s been one of the most challenging years for many people. 2007 was a real slog, and a heart-breaker. But maybe we can build on the struggles of last year, to enjoy an improved situation next year.

    I’ve been domesticating a feral male cat in my neighborhood with the thought that I might catch it, somehow, and get it fixed. He’s a sweet cat, but difficult to get close to. Traps? He’s eating my food, so I could probably get him to take it in a trap now.

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