I’ll remember this weekend for a long time. Ike truly disrupted and changed live. We were very fortunate, both my family and our community! I am thankful for God’s provision.
All last week we watched Ike. It crossed Cuba moving into the Gulf with his sights on the Texas coast. The next couple of days tracked a course more east and north. We debated about what to do. Do we leave or do we stay? What’s in the best interest for the kids? Mom went to Austin with a friend. My mother-in-law was already out of town on vacation. As of Thursday night, our plan was to stay. Friday morning brought a new plan. After gathering more information, we decided to go west and at least ride out the storm on the west side. We found a hotel where we could stay with the dogs. Did you know the La Quinta is pet friendly? There was actually a family with seven dogs staying a few rooms down from us. I didn’t feel so bad with just two dogs! We sat around the hotel waiting for the storm. The kids took a dip in the pool and then we ordered pizza. The kids and Jo watched a movie while I conversed on Facebook. We enjoyed the luxury of electricity and air conditioning until almost 5:00 a.m. – then the lights finally went out.
We went down to the lobby to have breakfast – they’d made coffee just before the lights went out. We sat in the dark eating our meal. We ran into a snag at the hotel. Once the lights went out, there was no plumbing available. The restrooms were equipped with power flush commodes. These toilets are great on conserving water, but when there is no power there’s no flush. By noon, the rain and the wind had subsided and we made the decision to return to the house. After and interesting drive home, we arrived in Baytown about two hours later. As we drove into Devinwood, we were pleasantly pleased to find the condition of our house.
The stories are many. We have friends that lost everything and others who incurred minimal damage. Our dependence on electricity is a definitely reality. We are so geared to a lifestyle sustained by technology and communication. There is minimal power available. At last count, 2.2 million customers are without power. There are many who only have a commitment of restored power within the next 30 days. School districts are closed indefinitely. Stores, banks, shopping, restaurants, and business are closed. Supplies are at a minimum, but there is hope as supplies are coming in daily.
Here’s the interesting thing to note. Our community is pulling together. Without electricity, the typical boundaries of communication aren’t available. People are outside; helping, talking and gathering with neighbors. There’s been an increase in personal communication and relational building with people. We’ve witnessed kind acts by others for others. Even in the midst of disaster, God is working. I’m confident He’ll do a great work in the days ahead.