Sunday, September 07, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

We’re home, we’re safe, our houses made it through the storm in great shape, and so did our city. Here are a few of the moments from this past week that I’ll always remember:

*Caught in evacuation traffic at 1:00am on Sunday morning and admiring the way the wet blacktop reflects the miles and miles of brake lights ahead of me as I listen to the Moody Blues singing Traveling Eternity’s Road

*Waking up early Sunday morning to go get gas for our generator, only to discover that all the gas stations in the area are sold out and closed. Oh, dear.

*Watching the pine trees around the lake house thrash wildly back and forth as the hurricane rolls over us on Monday morning and thinking, We should have had some of these suckers cut down.

*Listening to a continuous bombardment of broken limbs from said pine trees crashing down on the roof and thinking…but I already said that.

*Losing power at midday and thinking, We don’t have any gas for our generator.

*Spending days playing Charades, Clue, Scrabble, and Crazy 8s in a futile attempt to keep my electronics-deprived daughter from unraveling, and thinking, Why didn’t anyone tell me a hurricane can take 48 hours to pass?

*Emerging into a shattered world to spend five hours driving around looking for gas and ice, and finding neither. (This includes three hours spent parked in 95 degree heat in a line at a open station, only to be told when we are the fourth car from the pumps that they just ran out of gas.)

*Finding an open hardware store, to be told that since they don’t have power, we can only come in and shop if we have 1) our own flashlight, and 2) cash. (We have both, and buy lamp oil and batteries).

*Driving up to a little town in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi and scoring both gas and ice. (Only, since there is a limit on the amount of gas each customer is allowed, we are only able to fill our cars, not our generator’s gas cans. Good thing we got the lamp oil and batteries.)

*Watching the rising sun spill across the mirror-like surface of the lake while cooking pancakes on a camp stove on the front porch.

*Hearing that our house in New Orleans survived the storm with nothing worse than a downed fence and a refrigerator full of spoiled food, and that the power is finally back on. We’re going home.

*Feeling a zing of joy as I turn from I55 onto I10 and see that sign that says “New Orleans.”

*Listening to my next-door neighbor (who is in law enforcement) tell us about his hurricane experiences, then watching him pull an M16 and an AK 47 out of his car and carry them into his house.

Ironically, given Hurricane Gustav’s final path, our lake house actually got hit harder by the storm than the house we evacuated.

Thanks to everyone who wished us well. It’s wonderful to be home (and to take a hot shower). But I'm not unpacking. Have you seen some of the projected paths for Hurricane Ike?



Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Glad both your houses did OK. Yes, I think you got it worse where you were then we did, although not so much rain and flooding after.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Steve Malley said...

Glad to have you back. Hope you don't need to evacuate again, but this certainly looks to be an active season!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara Martin said...

Glad to hear you're okay.

And your neighbour has to be careful with those weapons or he'll be writing all kinds of paperwork on why they went missing. Now, certainly you must feel safe...

10:43 PM  
Blogger Shauna Roberts said...

Glad to hear that you and your houses did okay this time around. I had no idea you had seven cats. Evacuating with two cats was bad enough; seven must have been a zoo.

7:16 PM  
Blogger cs harris said...

Thanks for your good wishes, everyone.

And Shauna, while all seven cats have been mine at one time, my daughter now has three of them at her house, and my mom's cat normally lives behind a closed door with her. The alpha males in the group have never liked each other, to put it mildly. Having all seven of them together in one relatively small house was frankly horrific!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Vwriter said...

Wow! Glad to hear you survived. It sounds like it was tough, but think how many books you'll be able to write out of these experiences.

11:19 AM  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Thinking of you through all of this and pleased you made it through this one as we all watch Ike move on........

1:06 PM  

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