Putting My Stuff Up

Updated: Mar 31


In New Orleans we don't put things 'on' the table, bed, book shelf, counter or passenger seat-

We don't put things 'behind' the door- in the back of the house .. or under the stairs-..


We put absolutely everything 'up'.


Please don't confuse 'up' with height or distance from the ground. 'Up' is a location that can be over, under, behind, inside of, in the back of, on, or even way up high out of reach.

'Up' can even be in the freezer, or in a hole you just dug out in the woods. "Up' can mean in a shoe box or something as every day as your purse.


In regards to storm preparation during hurricane season, someone might say:


"Hey Leslie, you got everything? -I heard you're staying in"

I might reply: "yeah, I'm still putting things up, but I got most all of it done. I all I gotta do is make groceries and put up the rest of the dishes."

"Alright, just checking to make sure you're good. If you need anything, I'm here"

In this instance, 'staying in', 'putting up', 'everything', 'it' and 'here' are relative terms:


staying in means: in the path of the storm, the general location, in town, or 'Home'


Putting up means: getting everything ready and secured, knowing where your stuff is, having important things where you can get to them when you need them, organizing..


Everything - is a very broad term, but in this instance, depending on tonal inflection means "Is there anything you need that I can get for you?"


'It' basically means 'everything' in this instance


'Here' means in the general location of the coming event; not outside of the perimeter of the trouble where you really can't do anything personally to help.


My friend is checking to make sure I'm aware of the coming storm and am prepared.

I'm letting my friend know that I'm not done yet, so I've got no time to chat right now, but I was able to locate all of the things I needed, and any store Items left to secure aren't things that are in high demand. My friend's final sentence lets me know they understand I'm fine for now, but fully engaged in final prep work, and they are a phone call away if something unexpected comes up- also that they have transportation or other assets they are willing to use on my behalf.


If you know a storm is coming, clean your house and put everything up.

If you get it all done, check on your friends and make sure they're ready as well.

Offer assistance, but don't monopolize their time.

Let them know where you are and what you can do for them if they need you.



The key to making it through just about anything in life is being prepared. It's also helpful to keep a good attitude and a bit of cash on hand just in case.


The nice thing about hurricanes, tornado's, pandemics and such is they give us a chance to see how kind and giving we are.

We get so caught up in our daily lives sometimes that we don't see all of the other people sharing our struggles. We get home and race inside to unwind, or keep working, or get lost inside of a movie. We don't interact.



Big events bring us together. We all want to help. Seeing someone else go through bad times reminds us that it could have just as easily been us, not them suddenly homeless or facing the pain of losing a loved one.


If only we could conduct ourselves with that level of care and concern when the shit's not hitting the fan...


Now that would be an event!! -





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© 2018 Leslie Blackshear Smith