Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Party

Well, it looks like I am going to have an exciting birthday. We'll be stuck in the house, with probably no power. So much for an evening out at the Melting Pot, and no Zach! It has been an interesting week, to say the least...

People started making preparations on Tuesday for Hurricane Rita, but not us. We figured that we'd head to my parents' house in Louisiana to ride out the storm, and there was still plenty of time to get everything done. Well, during the day on Wednesday, a decision was made to cancel school on Thursday and Friday. The kids were restless and worried, and it was a very stressful day for all of us. We couldn't tell them until the end of the day, but they suspected that something was amiss, and wanted to talk about it all day. I tried to ease their minds as much as I could, but it wasn't very effective.

They began evacuating Galveston, 70 miles south of us, and people bought up all of the supplies in the stores. By the time I left work on Wednesday, gas was scarce, and groceries were even more scarce. It took Darren 3 1/2 hours to get home from work that day, because the roads were so clogged with people heading north. We went in search of gas that night, and found one station south of The Woodlands that was about to close, but still had gas. We tried to find an ATM with money in it, but there were none to be found. This area has voluntary evacuation, and a lot of people headed out of here that night, preventing people with mandatory evacuation from getting out of the area.

Darren's dad left Galveston at 7:30 Wednesday night, and finally arrived here at about 9:00 last night. They spent 3 hours in a hotel yesterday morning, and finally got off the interstate and took back roads late yesterday afternoon. Thank God for cell phones; Darren used a computer map to guide them here. After over 24 hours on the road, they were exhausted, and went over to Sean and Jamie's house to sleep.

We went out in search of money yesterday, and found a bank that was about to close. We waited in the drive-through for over 30 minutes, but were finally able to get cash. I went to the grocery store before they closed yesterday afternoon, but couldn't get water, milk, or bread. We have plenty of food, though, and filled up several containers,plus the bathtub and washer with water. We brought in all of our outside stuff, packed all of our valuables and important papers in Rubbermaid containers in the back of the truck, took pictures of everything in the house, and I guess we are ready.

There is no traffic today, and no businesses are open. I'm glad that we decided not to go to Louisiana; they might get it worse than us. Mom and Dad do have a generator, though. It would have been a miserable drive with an energetic, restless 4-year-old, and an energetic, restless, 11-year-old cat. Most of our neighbors have stayed, and we'll hang out with them and pool whatever resources we all have. I've heard that if we lose phone and cell contact, text messaging will still work. I guess we'll try it if we need it...

We're going to sleep downstairs tonight in our office, which doesn't have any windows, and has a separate window unit. I'm not sure that we'll sleep, but it's better than being upstairs in our bedroom with the huge windows. I hope they're still there tomorrow! We just painted our bedroom and bathroom, and I really don't want to have to remodel again. It's going to take a few days to put everything back in order, but I guess we have to go to work on Monday, and act like everything is normal.

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