October 8, 2007
Melanie Pfrimmer's "Heart of Katrina" ornament, which I wrote about in September last year, sold well.
The ornamental blue heart with the jeweled stones dotting the front, was designed by Expressions of the Heart owner and artist Karen Helenthal. The ornament has a signature basketweave front.
A quote from artist Barbara Bloom is included in the card explaining the heart and its meaning which reads, "When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful."
The Katrina heart sells at Salmagundi for $48, with $20 of the price going to Habitat for Humanity.
As the second observance of Katrina draws near, Pfrimmer contacted me to say that $3,000 has been raised through the sale of the hearts for Habitat.
And with about 80 hearts still for sale, another $1,600 is available for Habitat.
Pfrimmer came up with the idea, as you may recall, when she saw the Coast after Katrina hit.
Her parents, Bill and Genie Peters of Ocean Springs, lost everything in the storm. Pfrimmer has spent a lot of time helping her parents rebuild and move into their new home, which they did in April.
While here, Pfrimmer said she noticed that the people seemed to be recovering.
"People don't have quite that wounded look on their faces," she said. "It seems people have moved on with their lives, and property is starting to be rebuilt."
A mortgage broker by profession in California, Pfrimmer also sees need for improvement, such as the grant and SBA loan process.
"It's been two years," she said, "and people still need money, and the country needs to understand the Coast is still recovering. A lot of people don't know unless they know someone who lives there."
Her most recent trip to the Coast was in July. And while she said she sees so much needing to be done, there are signs of recovery.
"When I was here in April, I saw, environmentally, that things have come back. The trees came back, the plants and flowers. It looked like the South again," she said.
In the day-to-day living here, it's sometimes hard to see that. Sometimes it takes a bit of beauty to remind us. Like flowers blooming in April.
Or a pretty ornament from the heart of a former Coastian who just wanted to help.