Tag Archives: hurricane

IOU

I just haven’t had the time to blog lately.  And when I have had time, I just wanted to relax (and enjoy my latest addiction).  So, I owe entries on the following:

  • Hurricane Ike (my family lives in Beaumont)
  • Friends who vent about others’ acts of “rudeness” when, in fact, that friend is guilty of the very same acts
  • Biting the bullet and calling EAP to get back into counseling
  • How the Roku box for Netflix instant viewing over my tv is taking over my life

There’s a house under there?

My parents were able to go back into Beaumont on Friday.  They thought they’d be back before the weekend was out, but by Sunday, they had power.  And they already had water and gas because they live out of the city limits.  So they are staying there and getting to work cleaning up the mess.

Their houses are all okay for the most part.  No major damage, structurally atleast.

My oldest brother (I’ll call him Dilbert) flew in on Saturday night to help Dad with the (tons) of work to be done.  Since my parents’ computer is trapped in the van in a shop near Jasper somewhere, it’s a good thing Dilbert brought his laptop.  He managed to, over my parent’s ridiculously slow dialup connection (seriously…it’s like half the speed of normal dialup), email a few pictures tonight.

Supposedly, one of my dad’s rent houses is under all the mess.  Amazing.

It’s still dark outside, so why am I awake??

Seriously.  People that get up this early are insane.

My parents left around 5am.  The Beaumont Enterprise was reporting yesterday that the area would be open today only for people to come in and check their property, secure things, and gather any belongings they might need.  They are asking that people not stay, but I’m sure there will be plenty that will.  Mom and Dad were planning to go back through Jasper, roads permitting, to check on their crippled van that they had to leave behind and all the stuff they had loaded it up with. 

I’m guessing they will be back before the weekend is over.  Although, now Dad is talking like he might stay and send Mom back.  He’s thinking he can start clearing limbs or whatever else needs to be done.  He had gone over to Mississippi with a group of guys from church after Katrina to help with the cleanup there, so now he’s thinking he should be able to do the same where he lives.

Think I’ll see if I can’t get a couple more hours of sleep before work…

Hockey and a missed call

Took my parents to the game tonight against the Blues.  That was certainly a welcome break!  AND we won.   It’s preseason, I know, but still.  One more preseason game at home this Saturday and then the real deal starts next Wednesday!  Can’t wait!!!

After the game I noticed a missed call on my phone.  A call from T.  I haven’t talked to him since our big “discussion.”  And no, I never did send that email.  Never deleted it either.  I think the ball was still in my court to figure out the could we still be friends thing.

Anyway, he left a message.  Saying he was glad to hear my family was all safe and sound.  And to give him a call when I had a chance.  I would’ve called back when I saw the message, but wasn’t too keen on doing so while walking back to the car with my parents after the game.  And by the time I got home, it was too late.  Probably for the best, right?

I’ll call him back sooner or later.  Awhile back, I had offered to take him to his first hockey game next weekend.  I’m sure he’s forgotten about it. 

Now that there’s been some space to let the emotion and disappointment subside, I think we could actually do the friend thing, if we can agree on what that means.  It’s the “benefits” part I’m not sure of.  I’d hate to give that up.  I’m pathetic, I know. 

As for the good news, well, my parents have heard that one of their rent houses has a huge tree through the roof, but their other houses appear to have only minor damage.  Some shingles gone, lots of trees down, but no visible structural damage.  Granted, that’s from the street view of the houses, so the backs could be worse, but we’re thinking positively.  No word on when they will allow people back into Beaumont.  Still sounds like atleast a week.  Probably longer.

Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine.

We decided to go ahead with the Housewarming on Saturday.  Already had all the food and drinks bought, and it was a nice distraction from the events of the last several days.  I wasn’t sure, with it being an afternoon event and mostly coworkers in attendance, whether or not it was appropriate to serve wine.  But just in case, I picked up a few of the BIG bottles from the store.  In an attempt to mix it up and have some variety, I had some chardonnay, a merlot, and something I had never heard of:  white merlot.  I also had plenty of soft drinks and bottled water available. 

Several of my coworkers called that morning to check in on whether or not my family ever made it here.  And most I think assumed the party was cancelled or atleast postponed.  I told them we were still having it.  It was better than being glued to the news all day. 

Since I expected a smaller turnout due to all of this, I called up a few of my friends and told them to come over, too, if they wanted.  They are accustomed to drinking (a lot) for parties at my house, but knew the crowd that was attending so it would be a little more “civilized.”

Initially, people were opting for water and snacks and stuff.  Most people were just stopping by to see the house and stuff and couldn’t stay too long.  When the first of my friends arrived, I offered her a drink, knowing that she’d go for a glass of wine.  It had been such a rollercoaster the last few days, so I really wanted a drink.  So yay!  I can open the first bottle and have a drink without being the lone drinker.  Another friend, more wine. 

So there I am, with more guests trickling in, my parents here (who, btw, do NOT drink.  AT ALL.), and me trying to give tours of my house without sounding like a rambling drunk.  Granted, I wasn’t drunk.  Just feeling good.  People I work with probably think I’m a lush now. 

Within an hour, 3 of us had emptied the first giant bottle and decided to give the white merlot a try.  I’ve never been a big fan of red wine.  Most are too heavy for me.  I like a lot of the whites though (does that make me a racist wine drinker??).  All I can say is I WILL be buying more of this stuff.  It was soooo good and light and fruity. 

After most everyone else had gone, the friends and brother and I sat outside and three of us finished off the THIRD bottle.  Yes, I was drunk at that point.  And my brother, Duckie, mentioned Mom & Dad making snide remarks about how chatty I was.

But you know what?  I didn’t care.  I had been an emotional wreck and stressed and had little to no sleep in days and it was nice to just forget all of that and enjoy the company of friends, one that I hadn’t seen in ages even!  I feel so adult (at almost 31…how sad is that?) for finally drinking in front of my parents.  Although, I’m not exactly going to break out the Wild Turkey in front of them or anything.  They would be appalled.  Atleast wine seems like a feminine drink, not that of an alcoholic (their big fear, having grown up with them). 

I slept like a baby that night.

RIP, Mamie.

I don’t even have what it takes to write down everything I’m feeling right now.  Here’s the tip of the iceberg. 

My parents made it safely here around 3am Friday morning.  What should have been a 5-hour drive took 18 hours.

My brother, Red Baron, driving their motorhome with sis-in-law’s grandmothers on board and towing their jeep, his wife and kids in their other car, and her parents following in their car were not able to follow the roads my parents took.  They were diverted again and again betwenn 146 and 69 and essentially forced to stay right in the path of the storm on little country roads.  Which is complete and utter BULLSHIT. 

After more than 24 hours on the road, the furthest they were able to get was Lufkin.  Barely 100 miles north of Beaumont.    And were out of gas in 2 of the 3 vehicles.  And there was no gas to be found within 70 miles.  So they were forced to ride out the 100 mph winds in their motorhome.

We got a call from them at 7am today, before the hurricane had even reached them.  My sis-in-law’s grandmother, who was in bad health to begin with, had passed away.  I guess the stop and go travelling to NOWHERE was just too much for her.  The paramedics had just picked up her body.  And they still had the storm to deal with. 

We got word from them later this afternoon, after what they think was the worst of the weather, and they had found a pavillion to park under and seemed to have done ok.

We heard my sis-in-law’s parent’s house had lost most of the shingles off the roof and had a lot of fallen trees, but no structrual damage.

We still have no idea what kind of shape my parents and brother’s houses and rent houses are in. 

And they are being told to NOT return home until told they can do so….which is supposedly atleast 72 hours.  It’s the waiting and not knowing that is so bad.  We’ve seen pictures of areas around Beaumont that are under water and buildings with all the windows blown out and stuff.  But like Mom says, atleast, for the most part, all of our family is safe.  And the damage is less than expected.  Thank heavens for the downgrade. 

And it’s Red Baron’s birthday tomorrow.  Sigh.

Slow Going

My parents got on the road out of Beaumont around 9am.  The last time I talked to them, about 9:30pm, they had only gotten about 100 miles…in TWELVE HOURS!   They had Mom’s van loaded up with everything they could fit in it.  Dad was following behind her in another car.  And then the transmission went out in the van, so they had to leave it in Jasper and are riding together now.

My middle brother, Red Baron, and his family, in caravan consisting of a motorhome towing a jeep and two more vehicles, where a few hours behind them.  Apparently they had been diverted twice in a 6-hour time period and had managed to get to West Hardin by around 6pm.  That’s about 20 miles, tops.  That’s insane! 

I have no idea where my brother’s family is now and am just hoping they didn’t turn around out of frustration and head back home.  Latest news says Beaumont is directly in the path of this thing now. 

Hopefully the traffic will start moving soon.  I hate to think of all those people being stranded on the roadways when Rita hits.  And I’d feel much better if my family could get here between now and then!

Another female hurricane.

They’re bitches, I tell you.

My parents were already planning to come visit this weekend, but now, with the threat of Rita drawing near, and the recommended evacuation of the Gulf Coast cities, their travel plans have changed somewhat.  Now, rather than flying (perks of having a pilot for a son), they will have to drive.  And apparently traffic headed north is a nightmare.  I talked to Mom & Dad earlier and they said all roads leading north looked like a parking lot. 

Mom joked about leaving at midnight, but I haven’t heard from them so don’t know if they did that or not.  I guess if someone walks in my door in the next couple of hours, I’ll know.

The really pathetic thing is, had we not just seen the wrath of Katrina, I doubt anyone would be making as much of a big deal out of Hurricane Rita.  Sounds like a party drink if you ask me.  But this girl is packing a hell of a punch!
 

From CNN.com: 

“Hurricane Rita’s winds were at 175 mph early today as it spun closer to the Texas coast — where it is projected to make landfall early Saturday — and as thousands of residents began streaming from the Gulf Coast. The storm, which now is history’s third most intense, “could be worse than Katrina,” which devastated southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi a little over three weeks ago, said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center.”

Yikes.  Yeah, get the hell out of Dodge.  Or atleast southeast Texas.  

What a day!

I went over to the hotel around noon to volunteer.   It’s amazing what word of mouth and the internet can do.  What they didn’t expect was the TONS of people who would hear about it and the TONS of items that would be donated.  It was absolutely incredible.

The hotel was overflowing, the parking lot, the side of the road in front of the hotel, the front of the office building next store, the entire 6th floor of that building….if there was ever any doubt about the kindness and generosity of people, this should restore your faith in mankind.

There were so many amazing stories and so much gratitude from those in need of the most basic of things. I really would have loved to have taken pictures, but just couldn’t make myself do it. These people have been through so much. And have so much more to go through. It just didn’t seem right to be flashing my camera in their faces. Yet another reason why I could never be a photojournalist.

By 9pm, I didn’t have an ounce of energy left, and even though there was still more to be done, I had to call it a night and go home.  It was a great experience though, and I’m glad I went. 

Afternoon plans

A hotel in the area is having a free garage sale today and Tuesday for guests at their hotel and any others displaced by Katrina (they are estimating we will have atleast 20,000 evacuees in our area by the weekend).  They’ve apparently received an overwhelming amount of donations so far (so much so that they are taking over a floor of the office building next door) and are in need of volunteers to sort everything.  They had people helping all through the night.  I’m taking off this afternoon so am going to head over there to pitch in and do whatever I can to be of use. 

I would really like to bring my camera(s), because I think this is the kind of thing to be captured.  But I don’t want to offend anyone either.  I’ll leave them in my car until I see how things go.

I’ve just recently learned about “Stuff Portrait Friday.”  It sounds like fun, so I’m going to start playing.  It will be a little later today before I have a chance to do the assigned photos, but I’ll get them up as soon as I can.