Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hurricanes Blow

No pun intended.

So Hurricane Ike hit the Galveston area (and thus the Houston area) two weeks ago as of this coming Saturday morning. Hubby and I were in a mandatory evac zone, so we went up to my parents' house (Dad has a generator, had boarded up the house, and they have a gas stove and water heater=cooked food and hot showers!). I left school early on Thursday (b/c for some reason my district thought it would be a great idea to only call school on Friday...stupidity), because of the whole mandatory evac thing, and headed home to help Bryan finish packing up the essentials and getting the apartment as secured as possible. Then, we loaded up the pups and everything important we could fit in my car (pics, important papers, etc) and left. Little did we know it would be a full week before we brought it all back. Really though we were among the fortunate.

The power was out until Tuesday/Wednesday at my parents house, and until Friday here at home. The neighbor's tree fell over my parents' fence, but that part of the fence held up...of course, the side fence blew down, but whatcha gonna do? There's already a replacement. Hubby and I went walking around the neighborhood after the storm, and saw more of the same: trees down, fences demolished. The neighborhood as a whole was lucky too: only a few houses had trees actually fall ON them. Our apartment was completely fine...well the complex's fence fell down, but our apartment was fine. Of course, when we got back we realized we had forgotten something very important:

We left the fish in the freezer.

Yep, the freezer that had no power for a week. Mmmm did our apartment smell GREAT! (please, please note the sarcasm)

So for the past week, we've been using coffee grinds to absorb the smell...actually works pretty well. The fish smell is gone, but now we're trying to get the slightly funky old-coffee-mixing-with cooked-meals smell gone. At least now we might be able to light the candle and get coffee-vanilla scent instead of fishy coffee or vanilla fish, both of which are deeply disturbing not to mention icky. Hubby started back to work on Monday (they're superbusy and he actually has to work all night tonite :-( ), and I went back today. Granted, today and tomorrow are "cleaning/planning days" for teachers, and the kids don't come back til Monday, but it is nice to get back into a routine. Oh! And I've gotten back into a workout routine this week! Mon, Tues, and today I rode the stationary bike at workload 5, over 100 rpms for 30 mins., and then did my crunch routines! It's nice to have that routine back into my overall routine.

Well, that's my update on life. I'd like to ask those of y'all who read this to keep the folks who lost everything in y'all's thoughts over the next months...the devastation down here is fairly overwhelming and extensive. Like I said, we were lucky, both here and at my parents' house. It's actually pretty sobering, seeing the footage of places we've been within the last year totally torn apart or even completely gone. Kemah is in shambles, Bolivar is more or less wiped out (thankfully our friend's parents' beach house is still standing, though noone has actually been down to see it in person), and there are still many, many people without power or a place to live. Places filled with memories--pleasant and otherwise--are now forever changed and that leaves me feeling disconcerted. All of the memories have made me who I am, and for that I mourn the loss of these places and the very physical connection to these memories that they embody. At the same time, with the unpleasant memories, a small part of me is glad those places will never look exactly as they did.

Don't misunderstand me: I hope for the quick rebuilding and healing of this entire area, so that people's lives may resume and new memories can be made. But that part of me feels relieved that there is no longer the exact physical connection with the negative memories, even as I mourn the physical connection with the positive memories.

Like I said...disconcerting.

I know I'm not the only one feeling disconcerted, and that my own inner queasiness will settle in time...mostly, I think, by accepting the conflict for what it is and acknowledging the validity of both feelings, even though the relief is undoubtedly a selfish relief. One thing I've learned, feelings can be many, many things, but they are all valid.

For those others who are feeling disconcerted, and who's imbalance arises from a deep pain and sense of loss, I hope for nothing more nor less than peace. I hope they find their balance again, and that their lives continue the journey towards healing and rebuilding. If anyone badly affected by Hurricane Ike ever reads this, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

On that note, I'm gonna go to bed! I get to go back to work tomorrow! And then to the Aggie game this weekend!


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