When Keith and Patti Crosby built their dream home on the water in Ocean Springs' Gulf Park Estates in 1999, they called it an oasis, reflected in palm trees and beautiful landscaping.
   Hurricane Katrina changed all of that. The storm destroyed the home, leaving only a slab.
   "We will rebuild, stronger, higher and smaller," said Patti Crosby. "It has such a beautiful view."
   When Keith, general manager of the Palace Casino Resort, and Patti moved to the Coast in 1993, they sought out "a piece of heaven." They checked Destin, Fla., and Gulf Shores, Ala., for dream home ideas. The found those ideas and built their 2,400-square-foot home at 9525 Seacliff Blvd., which is in the county.
   The couple and their two teenagers evacuated their dream home as Katrina approached and stayed with friends in Windsor Park. Jimmy lost his boa snake in the storm. The family's cat, Harry, jumped out of Patti's arms when they came back to find the destruction. "Harry was lost for seven weeks," she said. "We found him five blocks away. Neighbors were good about taking care of animals."
   The Crosbys were in shock at swath of destruction Katrina had cut through the homes of the several hundred families in Gulf Park Estates. "Everything was gone for three blocks," said Patti, who is in real estate.
   The Crosbys are rebuilding when elevations are determined. "We will conform to FEMA requirements," she said. "I believe the whole Coast will come back bigger and stronger."
- GARY HOLLAND