If you're reading this, you've got some sort of electricity... hopefully you're working off grid power and not a generator (if you're in the Houston area). Hurricane Ike certainly did not spare us-- I've spent the past couple of days at my mom's house (our evacuation destination) cleaning up and hauling debris from the yard out to the curb for pickup, and evenings in the living room huddled around the tv and one lamp that were running off the generator. Thankfully, our dear friends Marc and Stacy were able to help us out with gasoline from their ranch's reserve tank; otherwise we aren't sure where we'd have gotten it.
Cell phones have been sporadically available for making/receiving calls, and even text messaging has been unpredictable. If you've tried to contact us and haven't been able to get through, we apologize. Things seem to be getting better each day.
I'm happy to report that no serious damage occurred to our home or to the home we've evacuated to-- most everyone we know is safe and that's the best news we could hope for. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those who are still missing family members, or who have suffered great loss as a result of this storm... even to those who are still without electricity and/or water or are unable to return home. Power was restored to my mom's home late this afternoon. I have never jumped for joy at the sight of a ceiling fan beginning to turn, but I definitely did today!
Our home/my office in the Clear Lake area is still without power, and nearby municipalities are still under "boil water before consumption" warnings, so I'll continue to work out of the Cypress area for the time being. For those of you waiting on edited photos, I'm working as much as I can and will contact you by phone when I've got something for you. Now that we are back on grid power and not relying on the generator, I'm more able to get things done. I am unsure as to how frequently I'll have internet access (and/or be able to check e-mail).
Before I go, I'd like to also send out some thank-you's...
Our local governments have really done a stellar job of keeping us all informed (I suppose some praise should also go out to our local media and their outstanding coverage before, during, and after the storm). I can't even begin to imagine how difficult a job this must be-- coordinating efforts of all sorts of government agencies to assist the millions of people in need.
At the end of the day whether you are a mayor, a rescue worker, a police officer, a volunteer at a "POD", or simply the person who made it a priority to get yourself into work this morning at McDonald's so that others could have a little something hot and fresh to start our day with, thank you.
Thank you to Danny Goodale for being a kind neighbor and bringing your resources to our front yard, lighting a fire under all of us to stop wondering what on earth we were going to do, and start cleaning up the mess. Thank you to Connor and Andrew for putting down the XBOX controllers, stepping up to the plate, circling their wagons (literally-- kids' wagons really make great brush-haulers in a pinch), and moving thousands of tree branches and logs to the curb. Thank you, Jack, for all of the millions of little things (and dozens of big things) you have done to make this week so much more bearable... I wish everyone could have a husband like you.