Sunday

The Night the Lights Went Out in Houston

The rule was: Run from the water, hide from the wind. We are the last evacuation zone & we were not called for a mandatory evacuation so we hid from the wind. Friday afternoon, my mom, my brother, & their dog came over around noon to hunker down. At first, I was a little put out that they came over so dang early. No knowing how their dog would react to our animals, I wasn't ready for a zoo yet. But, my mom jumped right in the kitchen & started cooking up a storm. And the dogs loved each other and ignored the cat. So, I didn't have a zoo (well, in that sense) and I was getting to eat good food. I was happy.

It honestly felt like Christmas time. My mom was making sausage balls, part of our Christmas breakfast food. And games were being played. Uncle is great with entertaining the bored.








The winds had started earlier in the day but they were gentle. As the day wore on, they increased in speed. Our power would flicker off then immediately come back on. While Ty did not care for that, he was much better than I could have imagined. So was our guest dog, Cocoa Gizmo Dog Shadow. Cleo? She was the clingy one.












By 8pm, the wind was really strong and the rain was a sprinkle. And that's when we lost cable too.

I'm not sure what time I headed to bed. We had done everything we could, prepared ourselves the best way we knew how. I was trying to keep some sort of routine for the kids. Probably for myself too. All I know is that at 1am, the power went out for good. And it got hot fast. The wind was howling. You could hear it whistle between our house and our neighbor's. At times it did sound like a train barreling on top of us and it had enough force to shake the house. The rain sounded just as bad. It would slap across one window like something was banging on it. At my other window, it sounded like someone dumped a whole box of firecrackers right outside or like a thousand plastic bags shaking. The lightning was an emerald green which made me fear tornadoes. I would check on the kids, sound asleep. I would check on Big D. SOUND ASLEEP! How on earth?

I thanked God for my cell phone that night. At 2:40am, my friend, Bear's 4th grade teacher, sent me a text message. We texted back & forth sporadically. It was a comfort to me & I hope to her too. At 4am, Big D was awake. He informed me that our back fence was knocked down. Our little oak, which was our main lawn concern, was bowed to the ground. We laid there and wondered if Ike would ever end. Big D was worried about roof damage. I was worried that something would come hurling through the windows. We are that family that doesn't have boards for our windows. The kids slept on. Ty was a nervous wreck. My mom's dog was doing ok. Cleo wasn't as clingy but she wasn't sleeping either. Every so often, she would let out a growl.

5:30am brought on some action for us. Our back storm door started banging. Not wanting it to fly off, we tried to tie it down to the back door handle. Big D walked off with my flashlight so I was using my cell phone. As I turned the corner from my bedroom, I ran right into a metal dog kennel. I think I broke my toe.Please forgive the nekkid & unkept toes. I was going through a hurricane! The wind was strong, but we prevailed and secured the storm door. And still we wondered when it would end.

By 8am, the kids were awake, the wind was dying down, and all that was left was torrential rain.

We were finally able to get outside to assess the damage later in the morning. It wasn't as bad as we feared. We don't have a fence enclosing our backyard anymore, our solar screens are gone, we have some water damage inside from where the rain came in through ventilations, and we lost some shingles. Our neighborhood was fortunate compared to others.







If that gutter had been vertical, rather than horizontal, it could have gone through the window. I think that fence was what I heard hitting the window?wall? But for the grace of God...

Our power came back on around 1pm. My family was happy because I don't do well when I'm tired. And I don't do well when I'm hot. Double jeopardy for them. Sadly, there are still over 2 million people without power. Some of them just a mile down the road from us. I've heard rumors that it might take a month to reconnect everyone. A month!

Last night when cable came back, I was able to finally see some pictures of the surrounding area. It's devastating. People have lost loved ones, homes, and sources of income. I am so grateful that we were spared but feel guilty that others were not as fortunate. Survival guilt. Why were those I care about and I spared? But I am blessed that we were.

Please continue the prayers for those who need it. And thank you again for all the prayers and concern. It was a frightening night. They helped more than you'll ever know. Bless ya'll.

*Update: Bubba's Sis and her mom's homes are ok! Praise God!

16 comments:

RACHELIZABETH said...

Glad you're ok (and that you have electricity)! I've been praying for your family!

jennyonthespot said...

Yay! For the minimal damage and your return of power. I do not do well in the heat either. And yer nekkid toes are excused - not too shapbby for hurricane toes :)

Hey - thanks for the email about Bubba's Sis. You ladies had me worried :)

If I can help from way over here on the West Coast - lemme know :)

Stacey said...

Oooh that toe looks painful, D! I'm sorry. I'm so glad you're safe and sound and thanks for the update on B/S too!!!

Thank goodness you have power, so many don't and I cannot EVEN imagine how hot it is. xoxoxo

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Gosh it sounds so scary. I'm glad you are all okay and you had his teacher to text with.

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Gosh it sounds so scary. I'm glad you are all okay and you had his teacher to text with.

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Gosh it sounds so scary. I'm glad you are all okay and you had his teacher to text with.

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Gosh it sounds so scary. I'm glad you are all okay and you had his teacher to text with.

MeadowLark said...

Ouch! And there's so much to do that I'm sure you don't have time to milk the "oh honey, my toe is broken... would you be a dear and bring me my book and tea while I rest my poor little piggies?" So sorry to hear about the poor timing.

Glad you made it through safe and sound.

jenny said...

Glad to hear you're doing well---and have power! People on the TV really don't give me the info I want---like what parts of Houston they're actually showing me, or where in Houston has power and where does not. Give me some maps, people! The texting---who knew that would be such a good thing? I texted with my hubby when he was apart from us this weekend.

Love your son's arguing with the ump. And I agree--not Neutral!!!

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

What an experience!!
Hope your toe is better soon!

What sticks out to me is how families connect during this kind of storm. Glad everyone is okay!

Jenny 865-53oh9 said...

Phew...glad you guys made it. I would've been a wreck. Your toe looks so painful! I hate broken toes....

kris said...

sorry about your toe! we lost almost everything, I updated my blog. as for today, we are alive and together, so we are blessed...
hang in there and glad you didn't have too much damage!
kris

forgetfulone said...

I'm going to post my photos later. Not too different than yours. I feel so awful for Kris. Glad Bubba's Sis made it home. Waiting to hear from another bloggy friend. A FIRL lost her home to a fire. Relatives were staying with her, and they were careless with candles, and now her home is gone, even though it made it through the hurricane. Insurance has put her on the back burner till actual hurricane victims get taken care of.

I want to post about the good time I've had with my family and neighbors the past few days, but I know there are so many people hurting, and I don't want to seem like I'm being unfeeling. The hurricane did bring us together like nothing else, though.

Hope your toe's better!

Library Girl said...

This is a great post. I am SO GLAD y'all are ok, I say again. :) And your toe looks horrible - hopefully it's better now. I texted through the storm w/ the BFF from 2:00 - 5:00ish... it brought me comfort, too... that must have been the really scary time - most people I talked to were up and restless in those hours. Thoughts your way. :)

Library Girl said...

This is a great post. I am SO GLAD y'all are ok, I say again. :) And your toe looks horrible - hopefully it's better now. I texted through the storm w/ the BFF from 2:00 - 5:00ish... it brought me comfort, too... that must have been the really scary time - most people I talked to were up and restless in those hours. Thoughts your way. :)

Jennifer said...

I am glad that you made it through safely. Our fence fell over as well. However, we are fortunate that is all that happened. Yesterday (Sep 24th) we went to the children's museum in a mall in the Woodlands and one mom said that they were at the mall because they didn't have any power and it was much cooler in the mall. My heart went out to her. It is terrible that they had to live that way for so long.