When Maryalice and her husband rebuilt their house, they did it differently than before.
They built their original home, located on a peninsula that juts deep into Biloxi Bay, on a concrete slab where it nestled nice and snug on a sandy patch, conveniently located for optimal flooding.
Thirty-six years and a great boot stomp later, they’re doing it differently the second time around.
Steel pilings raise the house to the government required height and plunge deep into the ground, beyond the shifting sand, they’re assured. When you tap on the wall, it echoes back like a thump on the side of a shed. Metal now, not wood that splinters and swells and falls with everything you own and love in it.
Only a 10X12 ‘storage’ room is allowed beneath. Maryalice’s houses an elevator; getting up all those stairs with hands full of groceries isn’t easy when you’re 87.
Around the storage room, breakaway siding makes the house look bigger than it is, which is four rooms max, by the looks of it. I drive by and because I know the story, I sense the emptiness behind the facade of that first floor.
Five months after Katrina, on the same land, on the same side of the street, on the same peninsula where devastation visited and took all, the wise old man and the wise old woman rebuilt their house…on the sand.
This upsets our our Sunday School sensibilities, doesn’t it? Rebuilding on sand goes against the grain of anyone who has ever bellowed,
“The foolish man built his house upon the sand…and the house on the sand went SMASH!”
But when sand’s all you got and the insurance only gives you $40K for the place you paid $350K for 36 years ago, options are limited.
Sometimes you have to rebuild on the sand because that’s all you have.
But one man and one woman built it differently this time.
More about sweet Maryalice…