When Elise and David Fayard bought their beachfront property in Long Beach, the smallness and its pie-shape and lack of depth proved a design challenge.
   "So we went two stories and put a curve in the house," said Elise. "All 22 windows faced the Gulf. We got to sit in the living room and watch the whole world pass by and our friends going out in their boats.
   "When we designed the house it was everything David and I wanted. We were living in a condo and had lots of time to sit and think about building our dream home."
   David has a moving and storage business; she is retired as a longtime orthodontist receptionist. They moved into the 3,100-square-foot house at 102 Winters Lane, immediately west of the old Ramada Inn, in May 2000.
   They boarded up for Katrina, evacuated and returned to a slab. For the next three months they lived on Blue Thunder, their 52-foot Hatteras that was one of the boats that survived Katrina on the Industrial Canal. Then they bought another house in Long Beach.
   "We've had the concrete and steps cleared away from Winters Lane," Elise said. "We think two of our neighbors are getting ready to rebuild and we didn't want them to have to drive by and see our empty slab all the time."
   "Will we rebuild on the same place? We're undecided. I think if we have a good storm season I won't hesitate. I'd be ready. I miss my views.
   "We always wanted to name that house but we never did. I know that if we do rebuild the next name will be Petite Maison because we will never build that big again."
- KAT BERGERON