Eleven years ago—and after 18 years there—the hubs and I left the Big Easy, courtesy of a company transfer. The thing about New Orleans, it doesn’t let you completely leave. It lingers in your mind. And yeah, in your taste buds. You find yourself trying to find food as good and those rich, distinctive smells.
I went back to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and it almost broke my heart. Before Katrina, as soon as you stepped out of the breezeway at the airport, you knew you were back. That first time back, it didn’t look or smell like home. The airport was a dank, shadowy, scary place.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back, because it didn’t feel like home anymore. But we did. Some places are gone forever, but the spirit of New Orleans survives and even thrives. Katrina isn’t the first time the city has faced disaster and made a come back.
I didn’t expect to write about New Orleans again but a friend of mine found a partial that I wrote for a long gone agent. When the agent and I parted ways, I shelved the story to write Out of Time. She emailed me and asked me about the partial, wondered if I had more. I hunted around on my computer and found it, opened it, started reading…
Pauline Baird Jones
Perilously romantic fiction for armchair adventurers
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