After the storm, once you realize you’ve lived through another, your awareness of your surroundings is contracted. You begin by wandering around just your own little space surrounding your home…Checking for damage, fixing the immediate needs if possible.
Then you begin to expand your awareness to your neighbors. First you check out those immediately around you, followed by brief inspections of what has happened up and down the road. With Ike, you became aware almost at once that you weren’t going to be venturing too far too quickly…The roads were full of debris. The amazing thing about this storm was the amount of wood on the ground…
The next thing you notice is the quite. After the hours and hours of listening to the roar of the storm, even the normal background noise has been muffled. Keep in mind that we are already into early afternoon…And running on little or no real sleep at this point. After looking at the pile of wires and other assorted infrastructure lying across the road out front you know power won’t be returning soon. It’s time to open up the house. Uncover the windows, put the screens up and let some light and air in. This is where the fun really starts…
After making a run around town to see that we were not in any worse shape than anyone else in town, we settled in on the front porch to wait out the cool of the evening. Then it was time to break out the camp stove we had not used in probably ten years and the propane bottles that were stored with it and think about cooking up some supper. Then off to bed to try and get a good nights sleep (the operative word here is try).
Day two found us cooking up all of our bacon and eggs and biscuits before they warmed up and became nothing but more landfill. Then we started digging out…Car first, then gradually the rest of the house (a job that will probably go on into the future, though the worst is now cut up).
It was on this second evening that fortune decided to smile on the millions of people in the Houston area without power as a “cool” front eased through the area. Dry cool air slowly filtered in from the northwest and made life without power livable. Sitting on the front porch with the family was actually quite pleasant, even with all of the problems around us.
Morning coffee on the porch the next morning was just as pleasant as we planned out what we would do to if we could find the supplies we needed. As the days would go by that would become the primary question…Could we find a store that had what we needed?
More to follow….