Friday, September 26, 2008

2 weeks ago

14 days ao, Hurricane Ike made landfall.

14 days ago, we lost power at 11:45 p.m.

Maybe this weekend will bring some relief? Please, oh, PLEASE, CenterPoint Energy, come to our rescue.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

still no power

Things I'll never take for granted again ...
  • going to the bathroom with the lights on
  • the garbage disposal
  • the ceiling fan in my bedroom
  • the quiet hum of the air conditioner
  • the dish washer
  • the front porch light welcoming me home in the dark
  • my TV and DVR (I've missed recording so many of my favorite shows!)
  • cold milk from the refrigerator
  • quickly throwing something in the washer and dryer

Tomorrow marks the 2-week point without electricity. Hopefully I'll be able to celebrate the "anniversary" with an announcement that the lights have come back on.

Keep on keepin' on, CenterPoint folks! We're still sweatin' in the dark in my neck of the woods.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

still waiting for the lights to come back on ...

... or more importantly, the air conditioner.

Hurricane Ike very rudely shut off my power 11 days ago. Center Point Energy released an outage update map a few days ago stating that electricity would be restored to my zip code by yesterday (Monday). According to their website, crews are working "24/7" to get the power back. For all of their hard work during an unprecidentedly difficult time, I'm eternally grateful. BUT ...

... we're still waiting for electricity.

And Houston in September, without power, is not a comfortable place to live.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my city

I love the weather. I've even written about my love of thunderstorms in this blog. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a meteorologist. And until I saw how much math and science it would require in college, my post-college plans were to go work for the National Hurricane Center. I've experienced a hurricane before, as well as a few tropical depressions and storms, so I'm really no stranger to the whole thing.

But this was different. Very different.

I'll never forget the noise that the house made when we finally lost power. It was right before midnight. There was a surge of energy, and then a strange screaming sound. I even asked my mom who was yelling outside. No joke. I thought that was probably the worst of it. But I was wrong.

Around 4:00 a.m., I was really afraid. It was a kind of fear I've never really felt before, where you have no control of mother nature. I started to question everything -- all the decisions I had made as far as riding out the storm, where the safest place to be in the house was, whether or not I should wake up Aidan and move him, whether or not the house would continue to hold up (which it did, thank God), and just about every other thought that came in my mind. And just about when I thought I couldn't take anymore, Ty called and informed me that the hurricane-force winds hadn't even hit us yet. I felt sick.

Finally things did start to die down, and the winds began to fade. And in place of Hurricane Ike, the first cool front of the year blew into the Houston area. Not to sound sacreligious or anything, but it was almost as though God felt like he must owe us a break. Thank goodness, because the temperatures were stifling in the house without air conditioning.

We're cleaning up now, but my city is wounded. We're still without electricity, but we're so blessed. So many people lost everything, including their lives. It's going to be a long time before things are "normal" again. Ty is here, and it made all the difference in the world -- Aidan has his daddy for a while, and I have my best friend. It makes things a whole lot easier to take.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

hurricane ike

Here we go, Houston. It's time to hunker down.

It doesn't look like we're going to be able to dodge this one. The Houston/Galveston area is currently in the direct path for a very BIG hurricane, with landfall expected early Saturday morning. And I'll be honest ... it's pretty scary. The forecasts have become bleaker and bleaker for our area. Every time I turn the TV on, the news gets worse and storm seems to have taken even closer aim at us.

I've decided not to evacuate. I'm on the west side of Houston, and hoping that we'll be able to ride things out. I just don't want to brave the mass exodus out of the city, although we're still considering heading out to College Station at a moment's notice, if things change any more. Trying to move the dogs, Aidan, my mom, and all of our important possessions in a Honda Accord just isn't something I think we can do without Ty here (and where oh where is his big ol' truck when we need it?).

We've been compiling supplies all hurricane season this year, but it still puts a pit in my stomach as I second-guess myself and our readiness? Do we have enough water? Do we have enough batteries? Do we have enough lighting? How about communication with the outside world? I have Ty's crazy-fancy radio, but I've never used it. I've got my laptop and plan to take home my work laptop as well, for a back-up.

So here I sit in my classroom at 7:10 a.m. Thursday, watching the news and listening to the stern tones and warnings of city officials and the Mayor of Houston discussing a possible 18-foot storm surge.

God bless Texas and the city of Houston, and God keep us safe.

Monday, September 01, 2008

unsung heroes

As Hurricane Gustav currently pounds away at New Orleans, I, along with the rest of the country, am following the coverage closely on the news.

Once again, as was the case three years ago during Hurricane Katrina, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard have stepped up and are admirably serving without hesitation. A runaway barge was just secured, in chaotic conditions, by the swift and heroic actions of the USCG. FOXNews' Shepherd Smith went as far as saying that it could've been a definitive move in saving the city.

I've expressed my frustration time and again over some of the sometimes random and seemingly unnecessary operations and trips that Ty has been forced to endure, at the expense of distance away from our family -- and Lord knows I've been vocal about the shortcomings and "wrongs" that we've felt from this branch of the military.

But when push comes to shove, it's times like the current state of things that remind me why he's doing what he does what he does, and why it's very much needed. Even though most folks don't even realize the Coast Guard does anything but board boats checking for life jackets and alcohol, I'm glad they're out there doing what they do, day in and day out.