Whew! We’re home! I meant to blog between packing up as many belongings as I felt that I couldn’t live with while escaping (at that time) a Category 5 hurricane, but I didn’t feel that I had the words within me at that time. I chose to place most of my precious belongings (keepsakes and such) up high on beds and tables and took with me clothes, my cat, my mom’s dog, and my girls. I had plenty of space to pack up other things and Andy asked me if I wanted them with me. My reply was that there were three things that I could not live without – the girls and him. I can survive without anything else because I know that I would have a place to stay until I was able to rebuild and restash but I can never replace them. Still, I cannot describe the feeling of closing the door to my house not knowing if it would be intact when I returned home.
We didn’t reach traffic for two miles and then we were at a stop. I knew that if I was at a dead stop two miles from the freeway I had better start thinking of ways to keep the girls entertained for how ever many hours it would take me to get to my grandparents house 180 miles away. We eventually started moving, very slowly, and I made it to my destination in around 6 hours. I was able to run the A/C the entire time because I drive a 1 ton dually diesel truck. It’s my grandparents’ truck that we’re in the process of buying. It may seem outrageous but it gets a lot better gas mileage than my Chevy Malibu and diesel is cheaper so I’m driving it.
I left my house at noon on Wednesday, September 21st and arrived at my grandparents a little after 6 pm that night. My mom left her home (about 15 minutes normal drive from my house and further north) at 9:30 pm that night and it took her two hours alone to drive two miles. She was finally able to reach a farm road(non-freeway road in Texas) by 3:30 pm the next day which was close enough to cut through to my grandparents. By that time she’d been able to stop once for gas and a bathroom break. She’d been awake for over 30 hours and when I talked to her on the phone she was so emotionally, physically, and particularly mentally drained from her experience that she couldn’t even understand how to write down directions which we were trying to give her to get her away from the traffic. My grandfather and I drove to meet her and I drove her car the rest of the way. She talked my ear off the entire way but she was safe so I only blocked out half of it. ha!
We ended up sitting outside at a family reunion (all of the family congregated at my grandparents’ house) during the rain on Friday and Saturday morning watching the wind blow the rain almost vertically while grilling steak and chicken because power was out in the house. I don’t think I slept until I heard that Rita had finally blown out into the north Atlantic. Bleh.
Okay, weird trivia – Hurricane Alicia (1983) – hit Galveston. Tropical Storm Allison (2001) – hit Houston with record-setting floods. Hurricane Rita (2005) – hit Port Arthur area. Alica, Allison, and Rita – all names of female cousins of mine. Crazy or what?