Sunday, September 28, 2008

More after Ike life

Frog finds lost sofa

Ike plucked this sofa from someone's home and frog found it on Nasa Rd 1 and claimed it. Rather poignant, don't you think?
Life here in our house is getting back together. The debris is gone, the frig is running, laundry is done. Parts of the fence are still missing and there are some large branches dangling from our trees. Our insurance adjuster is scheduled to come Tuesday and I'm trying to be optimistic in spite of reports from other folk.
But life around us is still lagging behind. There are still people without power, water, and often jobs. Our favorite Mexican restaurant is still closed and it is doubtful that Margarita can reopen. She was struggling as it was and the present state of the economy doesn't help. Such is the story of other businesses in Ike's wake. Our nearby grocery finally opened to a waiting group of loyals and I noticed a woman living in her car in their parking house, no $$$ and likely no job. I saw another doing the same in the parking lot of a local least the lights of parking lots offer some degree of safety. A friend who lost everything was offered 6 months of housing in Alpine, TX by FEMA. She would have to quit her job and move hundreds of mile west of here. FEMA claimed that was the closet hotel housing they could offer. I am aware that our economy is getting ready to break but Ike's wrath has seem to have fallen off the radar here.

But back to the economy, we spent yesterday packing up a friend who has gone bottom up in this economy. He has worked hard all his life, great guy and is courageous enough to take a hard look at how he got to this point. He is temporarily taking a sabatical to the North to help a friend with some rennovation and we wish him well though we will miss him.
Geez...this is a rather gloomy post. I am off to church and perhaps will return in a lighter frame of mind and get busy posting pics about our Alaska cruise which has been rather overshadowed by Ike I'm afraid.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More on Ike

We have electricity! AC, drinkable water, Dancing with the Stars, laundry and ice cream. Awesome!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This picture was taken at the entrance of our little village of El Lago in Seabrook after Hurrican Ike gave us a visit. Boats are everywhere while others remained moored...go figure. Big, big clean up necessarythat will take months if not years. Directly behind this stack of boats one can see the mast coming out of a huge boat that has sunk along with a couple of others. It is all surreal...the condo complex, The Landing, adjacent to this marina has been condemned. After we were able to get back into our area our local pub, Boondoggles, offered a burger and a beer for a $5 donation a few days ago where we met a cute young couple. He is 22, worked hard and had just finished redecorating his condo at The Landing and paying off his $55,000 mortage. It is now condemned; it will may be months before insurance and FEMA pay. He was to start fire fighters' school the following Monday and had to find somewhere to live. His dad's law office was wiped out along with his parents' home. The stories go on and on, many of them of miracles, many of them very sad.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

After Ike

After Ike
What a week! We are fine and our house is FINE! Amazing grace...we have so much to be thankful for. Thanks to all of you for your good thoughts, concern and prayers...they worked. We had no water in our house, no trees on our house. We returned home last Monday and began the clean up. We had many big limbs down in our yard and a yukky refrigerator/freezer to clean out which took several days and help from my next-door neighbor. Our fence is down in several places. Like many other neighborhoods our neighbors have been just wonderful and generous with their time. One community member drove by and stopped to see if she could help. She had finished at her house and knew there were elderly residents that could use a hand. She raked and bagged piles and piles of leaves. She works at the Galveston Yacht Club marina which had burned and may have lost her job. Her husband came by and he was a manager at Landry's in Galveston on the Seawall which was wiped out. He can't move to the Landry's in Kemah because the Boardwalk is under 2 feet of mud. They both are facing the possibility of no work.
Now it is late Saturday night Sept 20 and we are in Austin after the big clean-up. Our son, Chris, and our grandson, Sam, had plans to fly into Austin from Charlotte to attend the UT game and invited us to come up and enjoy some air-conditioning. We jumped on it and therefore are able to get online. We still have no power at our home and still have to boil the water but slowly El Lago's power is coming to life. We plan to return on Monday power or no power and try to get our lives back together. And so grateful to Chris for this break away from the chaos and are loving being with them. We haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving...way too long ago.
I have no complaints...the first day we were allowed back into our street the National Guard drove down our street making sure we were all okay and handed out cases of water and MR3 rations. The next day FEMA set up pods and we were able to get ice, water and more rations every day. It has been amazing out here though I hear it hasn't gone so well in Houston. Our neighborhood pub offered our community a burger and a beer out of a makeshift kitchen for a $5 donation which was so welcome after a few meals of potted meat and vienna sausages. A few groceries opened....Kroger opened with no power allowing 10 folks in at a time to shop for 20 minutes and we were able to pick up more batteries and soft drinks. No fresh produce anywhere. But all in all we are just so fortunate though surrounded by what looks like a war zone.
Closer to the bay in Seabrook two of my neighbors and good friends lost their businesses...across Clear Lake friends lost all their downstairs, cars and trucks and one lost everything; another, I can't reach. All of you have probably seen more of the devastation via TV than we have as we've had no electricity. The Universe provided us with a cold front with dry air and cool night temperatures so we could sleep with the windows open the first few days. Our cats have another story to tell of their adventure in being boarded near my cousins but that is a story for later.
A big frustration was nowhere to recharge my cell phone. Our land line will be out as along as our electricity is out. I was able to charge my cell once at my cousins' via a neighbor's generator. Finally I located my car charger and am back in business. We went to bed a little after 8 as there was nothing else to do. The mosquitos are too bad to stay outside and I soon gave up trying to read or write by flashlight.
While going through all this aside from getting pretty grumpy and a few bouts of frustration, I was pretty calm for the most part with only a couple of melt downs. The first came while hugging the National Guardsman who handed me the rations....I was just so moved that he was going door to door to help and probably a little in shock from the devastation seen on our way in...trees on houses, huge power lines down, sides of buildings missing and numbers of huge boats wrecked up against each other at the edge of our development.
The second melt-down was on our way here. We stopped in Columbus to eat and when I saw the buffet with all the salad and veggies, I was just overcome with the thought of real hot food. But it didn't keep me from finishing a full plate. Why does it take something like this to have this awareness of the many in the world who greet hunger every day! I still stop while brushing my teeth looking for the bottled water.
Life is looking up and though we are still reeling a little (we've lived in the area for 42 years and have never seen anything close to this kind of disaster), we are looking forward to hugging some folk and helping others who suffered much. Thanks again for all your good thoughts...we are in good shape and very grateful. Photos will come later.