Thanks for comments and email from concerned friends... an update:
There were a couple of beautiful days for boating and tubing ... kids big and little had a terrific time. The lake house bursting at the seams (hurricane damage so far: one new family room ceiling fan was installed due to an ill tossed ball ;-) but hey, no biggie! The two dads headed home with a work entry pass before most were allowed back in... reports that water and power were working but tenuous, and no damage was done to their houses. The rest of the crew decided it best to wait in comfortable quarters and let the main NOLA traffic surge get past them... they'll leave later today... the house will seem strange without the kids and pets.
My friend and her daughter and grandson were caught in the I-59 'parking lot' and the usual five hour drive was closer to fourteen hours! Cell phone difficulties meant it was late in the day before they were able to get through to me and put my concerns to rest. They finally arrived about 11pm with me asleep on the sofa. So both houses did duty as temporary homes to weary and stressed travelers. We've had a great visit... the 'my kitchen is your kitchen' type... J and I were back and forth to the lake most days and they understood our need to spend time with the g-kids. They are packed now and will head back home shortly.
And all will pay close attention to the accumulating storms stirring in the Atlantic. The strong and buoyant New Orleans spirit is often sorely tested... they don't need back to back threats!
And so... there leans a stack of canvases in a living room corner... waiting to be delivered to Atlanta at first chance... that needs to be tomorrow.