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.


Andrea said...

Thank god you're OK!!! Meltdowns are good for the system, you know!! Stops you grom getting ulcers, so very healthy!! More good vibes coming your way!!

Kristin said...

Kay - you've been through a much rougher stint than we have. you were so much on my mind today - I'm wondering if you have power yet or water. We are completely restored to a state of normal - but even before hand, I experienced more abundance than scarcity for the sole reason that I have such wonderful neighbors. My heart is warmed by all the wonderful gestures and my body was blessedly cooled by the wonderful weather. All in all, I felt God was at work creating small miracles out of a larger disaster. I have yet to write about it in my blog - it's kind of an overwhelming task. Perhaps I'll just post your blog and refer to your words - as you've expressed the feelings so well. But I have been writing in my journal A LOT - especially be candlelight when the power was out. It was kind of fun, even though I couldn't see the page to know if I was traveling a straight line or not.
As for meltdowns, i got quite emotional in church today seeing all the help they provided to the public - and all the people who really needed that help! It was too much. And I learned from that experience that I need to buy water proof mascara because this stuff runs fast and stings my eyes, making me cry more. It was a mess.

Sweet Repose said...

Your post brought back the memories of the destruction of Charlie a year after my move to Florida...ahhh, the sound of generators in the morning. The silence was surreal in the evening, no chainsaws, no TV or loud music, no traffic, no gas...but plenty of humidity and mosquitos and destruction and beautiful clear skies, unobstructed by the glare of city lights. But I was never so happy to see the first flicker of light in our never know till it's gone...I can flush the toilet again!

Be well and good luck.