No rising water. No clinging to a box-spring mattress. No dead bodies floating by.
For 10 New Orleans ladies -- part of a larger family of evacuees crammed into a Laurel townhouse -- Thursday was a day at the spa.
"Look at my toes, J.D.! They look like they belong on someone else," Sabrina Davis told her cousin, Joanika Davis, after walking out of the pedicure room at the Cole Stevens Salon & Day Spa in Greenbelt.
Both women stared at Sabrina Davis's toes, cleaned, exfoliated, polished. "You're not putting your shoes back on?" Joanika Davis asked.
"I'm scared to," her cousin said, joking.
The two women -- one 31, the other, 30 -- have been close since childhood. Sabrina Davis found out Wednesday night that her mother made it to Texas. But Joanika Davis is starting to give up hope that her mother will be found.
"I got an extension," she told her cousin quietly, running her hand through her hair. "It will last for months."
The trip to the spa was arranged by a local woman who'd heard about the family's journey to Laurel. They are staying with relatives who also are from New Orleans. The spa treated the women for free.
Area residents have chipped in about $3,000 in direct contributions. There are 16 evacuees squeezed into the townhouse, sleeping on air mattresses. The adults are enrolling their kids in schools and checking to see what kind of public assistance they can get for housing. One of them, 29-year-old Shaun Waters, has secured a job cleaning and sweeping for a construction crew.
On Wednesday, the family visited an American Red Cross office to get their names registered for flood relief. As they rode back to the townhouse, a cell phone rang. It was Sabrina Davis's mother, calling from a shelter in Texas.
"I love you!" Sabrina Davis screamed.
Her mother had more good news -- about Sabrina's teenage son, Brandon, whom she'd last seen before the storm. She'd been particularly worried about him. He has attention-deficit disorder and once was arrested for stealing a car, she said.
The story her mother told her over the phone: Brandon was near his grandmother's house when the floodwaters were rising. He got to her roof, swimming away a few times to get water and food for himself and others. Helicopters eventually found them.
Joanika Davis tried to look confident, but she was losing hope. It wasn't like her mother not to call.
Family members awoke Thursday for their spa day, beginning with a complimentary limousine ride.
Tira Johnson got a light Swedish massage around her neck and shoulders. Soft, instrumental music tinkled through the air.
"I'm going to introduce you to hot stones," Tommi Blake said softly, as Johnson rolled over. "Do you have any questions?"
"No," Johnson said, a small smile on her face. "I don't have any questions at all."
In the pedicure chair, Sabrina Davis sat as spa attendant Robyn Bassett held her right foot, rubbing it with a salt scrub.
Over in the hair-styling room, Joanika Davis sat, waiting to get started. Her 12-year-old twin daughters sat on chairs next to her. She quietly began crying.
"Are you okay?" stylist Camille Austin asked.
"I just can't find my mama," she said.