Friday, September 26, 2008

Craving Normalcy

It has been 2 weeks since Hurricane Ike blew thru here, and life is slowly returning to normal. Slowly being the key word. Here in my house we have electricity, we have water, we have food, we have cable and internet. But not everyone around here does. Hubby's work still doesn't have power, and he is running that car dealership's service department as much as he can on generators. There is no air conditioning there, and ya'll, it's NOT fall here in Houston! The weathermen are saying we're getting our "first taste of fall" because the temperature didn't quite make it to 90 today. This afternoon it was 87. I think I'll get out my sweaters.

The kids are still out of school - they return Monday. Some of the schools still have damage, but the district has done everything they can so these kids can get back in class. They have missed 11 days of instruction that we do not yet know how will be made up. They have now missed the same number of days they have attended this year. It'll be like starting over when they get back!

There are still traffic lights out everywhere. Even at major intersections they are either facing the wrong direction, dangling by the wires, or just completely dark. A few have blinking red lights. It makes getting anywhere around here a nightmare, because the traffic backs up fast. And at night? It's downright dangerous. Sometimes people just don't pay attention and blaze right thru the intersection without so much as a tap on the brakes. Scary stuff.

Piles of branches, cut up trees, trash bags, and other debris line the streets. BIG piles. They're saying it may be Christmas before they can get everything picked up. Some of it is creating additional hazards on the roads. Everything is a big ol' mess. And that's just in the neighborhoods around me - further down the road by the lake and the bay, there are boats scattered about. In one water-front neighborhood, 50- and 60-foot yachts sit in people's houses. I have no idea how they're going to get them out. Galveston Island and other beach-side communities are in utter ruin. The pictures are heartbreaking.

So, yeah. Not exactly "normal" around here yet. We're trying. But it's gonna be a while.

I'll end with a cute e-mail I got today from a local friend - we're all trying to keep our spirits up!


Things Ike Has Taught Me
  • Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.
  • Hot pockets taste pretty good deep fried on the outdoor cooker!
  • My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY (you can ask the people in line who helped me push it).
  • He who has the biggest generator wins.
  • A new method of non-lethal torture -- showers without hot water.
  • TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.
  • Flood plain drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong.
  • People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
  • Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.
  • If I had a store that sold only ice, chainsaws, gas and generators... I'd be rich.
  • Waterfront property can quickly become someone else's fishing hole.
  • Tree service companies are underappreciated.
  • MATH 101: 30 days in month, minus 10 days without power equals 30% higher electric bill??
  • I can walk a lot farther than I thought.
  • Heat makes you be brutally honest!!!!
  • You can never have too many gas cans!
  • Suddenly you realize you DO have neighbors!
  • Neighbors are much more sociable when your trees are being removed from their houses.
  • That neighbor who knows how to use a chainsaw is your new best friend.
  • What looks acceptable by candlelight in your bathroom will scare you when you look at yourself in the mirror at the office.
  • Coffee is NOT a luxury - it's a staple! And withdrawal is hell!
  • Rather than campfires, you find families huddled about tiny battery-operated televisions to watch The Simpsons.
  • Peanut butter and jelly is a perfectly acceptable meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same day.
  • Ice is a form of currency.
  • Coming home from work with a pizza and a charged-up laptop so the kids can watch a DVD makes you a hero.
  • You run out of things to barbecue after Day 3.
  • Hair can dry without a blow dryer, but it may not look the way you planned.
  • Baseball caps go with any post-hurricane ensemble.
  • You can't train yourself not to flip on light switches when entering a room.
  • Lukewarm is the new cold.
  • It's easier to ignore a dirty house when you can't see it.
  • A new opening phrase when seeing someone: 'Got lights yet?'
  • Daydreaming consists of thinking about what you will do when the freak'n power comes back on!
  • and Finally*****
    Ike showed many of us who our true friends are!!!!

D... has another good one up at her place.....check it out!

10 comments:

D... said...

It's good for the soul & spirits to laugh and make lemonade out of lemons. Or, as I prefer, limeade out of limes. With a splash of Cherry, please.

But, yes, slowly is the key word. Things will be better, routine wise, once school is back in session. As for the other stuff? It'll come in time. Sigh.

forgetfulone said...

As an employee of the district, I have to agree that they have done a great job getting our schools ready for the students. My school has MAJOR damage, but we have plans in place, and we're ready to roll Monday. My room was flooded, so today was like cramming the whole first-of-the-year routine into a few hours. I'm so tired. I will be glad to get back to a routine, though.

Did you know that in Deer Park and League City they've already picked up all the trees and fence pickets? Not here in our "great" city, though. I guess there's just so much.

Traffic sure is horrible still because of all the lights out. I'm surprised there haven't been more accidents.

Sigh. We will get back to normal. Soon, I hope.

forgetfulone said...

As an employee of the district, I have to agree that they have done a great job getting our schools ready for the students. My school has MAJOR damage, but we have plans in place, and we're ready to roll Monday. My room was flooded, so today was like cramming the whole first-of-the-year routine into a few hours. I'm so tired. I will be glad to get back to a routine, though.

Did you know that in Deer Park and League City they've already picked up all the trees and fence pickets? Not here in our "great" city, though. I guess there's just so much.

Traffic sure is horrible still because of all the lights out. I'm surprised there haven't been more accidents.

Sigh. We will get back to normal. Soon, I hope.

StaceyG said...

Here in Pearland I hear the state is going to waive the days we lost from the storm so the kids won't have to make it up. THANK GOD. Ours went back today...mine was not a happy camper at 6:45 this morning.

I'm gonna steal your funny to go with my "Ike, Ike Baby."

forgetfulone said...

I'm so stupid! I left my comment twice. Oh well.

On the bright side, I have an award and a tag for you on my blog.

crazy working mom said...

I'm sorry I've not been around much. There doesn't seem to be as much free time for blogging as what there once was around here. *LOL* I should really be sleeping right now, actually. I have been thinking about you, though. I hope things get back to normal (if there is such) for you guys very soon!

Patois said...

Humor always seems to help. It's a damn good thing you've got a good sense of humor and can laugh, laugh, laugh before crying.

Misty Dawn said...

I can't imagine what you and D went through! My heart goes out to you... I know you went through a lot, but I am truly thankful you and your family are OK! I luv ya B/S!!!

Jeanne said...

Awesome post :-) I have so much respect for people with the strength to see the humour during rough times. I hope all is back to normal soon.

jennyonthespot said...

Golly - way over here... we have no idea. I swear the media gives us nothing as far as information... I am just amazed at what is (or isn't!) happening there now!