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Monday, September 22, 2008

Nobody likes Bok Choy

Hurricane Ike was a horrible guest. Swept in, destroyed a bunch of property, stole our power, and left. What a jerk!

The picture to the right is actually I-45 South heading to Galveston. It is normally a busy multi-lane interstate.

Dear Husband and I were VERY lucky and we continue to be grateful and feel blessed. Our house withstood the storm with only minor damage for us to contend with. The chimney blew off the roof, but that isn't a big deal. It's Houston, we've never used the fireplace. I don't even understand why homes here are built with them. It's got to be an aesthetic thing since no one really uses them.

We lost power early Saturday morning (Sept. 13), but it was back on Sunday night and that was a huge blessing considering many of our friends and family are still without power TODAY, and it's been a good 11 days since the storm. We are still without cable and internet service at home, but that is nothing compared to the real problems people are facing here. Several parts of Galveston were destroyed, homes uninhabitable because of the flood waters or because they are simply no longer there. I cannot imagine losing absolutely everything.

The upside to all the pain for many people is the generosity of the human spirit. We all pull together when something like this happens. There are several stories of people providing ice, food, and other necessities for those who don't have them or cannot get them. Getting ice, milk, bread and other similar items was nearly impossible in the aftermath of the hurricane. Those who had it were willing to share it. I even saw a handmade cardboard sign in my neighborhood that gave the address and said "We have ice, willing to share." Dear Husband helped people cut trees that had fallen in their yards or were blocking parts of their home. I was proud of him.

I stood in line for an hour at Shipley's doughnuts the Sunday after the storm hit so that I could get milk. They were the only store that had it. I bought four pints of it. Gas was even more scarce. People literally lined up for it by the mile. Cars stretched out in front of open stations for hours. Many stations had no gas at all so a lot of the media outlets started reporting where gas could be found around the city. I was lucky in that I had filled up my tank a few days prior to the storm and I don't drive a lot during the week so I still had 1/2 a tank in the aftermath of the storm.

I also went to Walmart in the days following the storm. It had not been re-stocked yet. It's very interesting to see what is left on the shelves after a big storm hits and everyone has stocked up previously. It's a study in human choice because what is left is obviously what people hate. I couldn't get certain kinds of cookies, but there was a ton of Bok Choy. Apparently, nobody likes Bok Choy.

Now that we are 11 days out from the storm, things are returning to normal for those who weren't hit particularly hard. Stores are re-stocked, it's not as difficult to get needed items such as bread, batteries, etc, and a good number of people are getting power back.

My office is still without power and Thursday is the projected date for it to be back on. We are really hoping that is the case. Once we return to the office, I will have been off for two weeks, which means I've lost an entire paycheck this month. Regardless, I continue to feel blessed beyond words because we can deal with that financial loss, we have our home, our friends and family are safe. Thank you God. And thank you to everyone who prayed/sent good thoughts for us here in Houston. It did make a difference.

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