Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trip to Houston

Last night I had to make a run to my apartment in Houston to clean it up and get it ready for a friend to use. I cannot really describe how strange the trip was, but I'm going to try. I stopped by my sister's house on the way to drop off a cd for my nephew. Most of the trip was uneventful and I saw little evidence of a storm of any kind until I was 30 miles from her house.

Even the places that were hit really hard could not be described as "total destruction" but rather as "random" or "spotty" destruction. I saw a place that sells those inexpensive little metal garden sheds in Alvin. Of the 20 or so set up on their lot, 80% of them had no visible damage while the rest looked like they had been hit by a freight train. Seeing a perfect line of electrical poles with one in the center snapped off in the middle was another example. Of course, I did see places where pole after pole was laying on the ground or on the road. However, most of this was what I saw today. Yesterday involved a nightmare of a different kind.

By the time I left Sis' house it was just starting to get dark. No problem. But when I got to Alvin, I found no electricity anywhere. Do you know how weird it is to drive into a familiar place and find no street lights, no working traffic lights? Again, I thought it was no big deal at first, just follow the rules and treat every traffic light as if it is a 4-way stop. Well, that's a lot easier said than done. I've driven that route a good number of times and I still missed a couple of intersections. Thankfully, no one was coming the other way. I just couldn't see the intersections coming in the dark! Then a couple of times I stopped at intersections only to realize that they were new, and the lights weren't yet working. I got a nice little honk at one of these to let me know my mistake.

I got closer and closer to the apartment, and still could see no one with electricity. I thought for sure my trip had been wasted and I would have to head back to sis' house. But when I came up to I-45, I could see that although the stores were without power and the traffic lights were without power, my apartment complex was lit up. Yippee!

It was a long hard day getting things cleaned up and packed up, but I got a LOT of help from my two nephews!! I also made sure I left in early afternoon to get home at a reasonable time. I just can't begin to describe all the sights I saw along the way, but you'll have to trust me when I say I saw things I wish I never had. Things are really tough out there and I am SO THANKFUL that I am a casual observer rather than an active participant. I feel for all of you that have to deal with it right now! You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers!!

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