Monday, August 4, 2008

Imminent Eduoard

Yesterday was a lot better than the previous few days have been for me. Travis and I slept in and slowly got up and ready for the day. Sunday was our friend Kai's birthday, so we made plans to meet up with him in the afternoon. We ran a few errands beforehand, including dropping off the camera AGAIN to get fixed (this time it wasn't my fault) and spending a small fortune at PetCo, despite my 10% off coupon (what does that cover anyway? Tax?). We got to Kai's house five minutes before he got there and then went inside to check out a few of the new updates to his home. Our friend Chris R. is a painter and he made a couple really great paintings for Kai. A little while later, Kai's girlfriend Melinda showed up with a strawberry cheesecake and candles. Good timing on Travis and my part!

After cake, we went over to Melinda's and ended up hanging out for a while to watch a movie (entertaining, but not worth buying). For dinner we went to a hibachi grill near Kai's house. We got there a little early so we sat at the bar to have a drink and appetizers. The appetizers were a bad idea because I did not have any room for the main course. That just means that I have a HUGE lunch waiting for me in a styrofoam box. Yummy. Chris and Alexa met us there with little Blair. He is getting so big! I cannot believe how aware of his surroundings he is. Alexa surprised us with a new do - she cut her hair up to her chin!!! It looks really cute, and VERY healthy.

While we were waiting for the show to begin, we noticed the palm trees and boats outside were getting knocked around quite a bit. We knew there was supposed to be some rain, but we didn't know to what extent. Chris looked up the weather on his phone and it turns out there was some serious weather heading our way. We got a taste of what Tropical Storm Edouard is sending in our direction. It looks like we are almost dead on in the path of this storm.

Awesome. Somehow this little guy popped up out of nowhere. I am not looking forward to this at all. Travis and I were here for the evacuation during Hurricane Rita, and let me tell you that was one of the most stressful things I've been through so far in my lifetime. We were living on the third floor in an apartment at the time, so the good news was we didn't have to worry about losing EVERYTHING. But we still boarded up our windows to conserve what we could. We pushed everything away from the windows, just in case, packed up everything that was important to us in our two cars and headed north. Travis didn't have air conditioning in his car, which meant I got stuck with three cats meowing their heads off as we finagled the roads of Houston. The drive was the worst. They hadn't quite got the concept of contra-flow yet, so traffic was backed up FOREVER. It took us eight hours to make a drive that usually took us under two.

About halfway through the drive I started to panic about gas. I realized that it would add at least an hour to our drive to get off the interstate to get gas, and even then I wouldn't be sure that the gas stations at that exit even had gas anymore. Needless to say, we spent the majority of that "trip" drinking the time away and keeping our eyes on the TV for any news about our area disappearing. When we tried to buy food for the house, our options were limited as everything had pretty much been bought out already. Thankfully, the storm turned away from us before it hit. A few days later we were back home, checking out the damage. The building across the street from ours had caught on fire and burnt almost completely down. One of our windows (in the closet) got completely sucked out, which let in tons of soot from the fire. Our place was covered in crap and everything in our fridge had gone bad from the power being out for days. The marshmallows in our Rocky Road had floated to the top when the ice cream melted and it had refrozen that way.

It turned out to be a very expensive evacuation. Between the cost of gas, eating out for three days and then completely restocking our fridge, we were running a little thin in the wallet for a while. Fortunately, at the time our friend David's parents lived just north of Houston, so we had a place to go that was not horribly far away. This time we are not so lucky. We have decided to only evacuate if we are sure it is going to be really bad. We stopped at Walmart last night to buy some more canned goods and water to add to our hurricane kit. And this morning we both filled up the tanks on our trucks. At least if we have to go this time, we both have AC and a lot more space to pack and carry our belongings. It's a little more stressful this time because I worry about our home. We are a little farther from the coast, so that gives me hope. I hated the storm shutters on our house when we first moved in, but now I have a little more peace of mind knowing that all we have to do is close those suckers and head out if need be. It may only be a tropical storm at the moment, but the stress is already building...

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