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!