Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rita Wrap-Up

So, as most of you already know, Rita's wrath was not near the blow as predicted (at least in our area). So, there is no bang-up ending to my blog story of this hurricane ordeal. And, thank GOODNESS for that! So, in honor of this:
Don't cry for me Hurricane Rita,
The truth is I barely felt you
All through the windy nights,
The traffic jammed so tight,
I stayed and took my chance,
Thank God, you kept your distance...
I ended up being very glad that I turned around and came home, rather than face being stuck and eventually stalled out in gridlock. My family and I huddled together and got ready for the storm that was never to be. We got some rain, and lots of heavy wind, and had a 12-hour power outage, but in this area Rita was no worse than a bad thunderstorm.

Still, our house did experience one casualty, sadly. The only pre-existing tree (not planted by us) from before our house was built, bit the dust during the high winds. I am sad about that, but even that wasn't that traumatic. The tree fell onto the gutter at the top of our house and then was stopped by another tree before it crashed into any wood or windows. So, at the most, we'll pay a few hundred dollars to fix the gutters, have the tree stump removed and possibly get a new tree.

It was a bit eerie, walking around outside the day after the storm hit. Our normally humid, boggy Houston air was completely different. A steady breeze blew the trees, making you feel almost as if you were at the ocean. Very bizarre...

There are some interesting things that I've learned out of this experience though.

1. The evacuation of millions from a major metropolitan area CAN happen. The mass exodus may have been snarled and ugly, and the log jam it created a nightmare, but people DID get out. The officials in this city did their jobs, even if there were big hiccups in the plan. Everyone eventually got out and away from the danger, and that's what is most important. Now I hope someone was taking notes and makes improvements should this ever happen again.

2. I can count on my neighbors, even if I don't see or talk to them as much anymore. Our neighbors all pulled together this week. The following day during the power outage, everyone was out in the streets visiting with one another--something that hasn't gone on as much for a few years now. We're all reconnecting now and that's so wonderful.

3. When I'm faced with a difficult and scary decision, I should always trust my gut...even if others may think I'm crazy. That's what I did in coming back, and I'm darn glad I did it!

4. My son is entirely too addicted to all things electrical. Most of that "powerless" day, my son kept asking, "Can I play Playstation?" No, it's not working. "Can I play on the computer?" No, the power is out. Can we eat this-and-that for dinner?" The POWER is out. Note to MomCat: Start weaning oldest child off of the power outlet and back to playdates outside, reading, and craft projects for fun.

5. Most importantly, I have a whole lot to be thankful for in this life. This message was sent to me after Katrina, but echoed again and more closely with Rita. I realized how very fortunate I am to have what we have, live where I live, and be blessed in so many ways. I hope that I never take all of this for granted again. And I hope I can keep the spirit of giving to those who have less alive and instill it in my kids, because I feel I really have too much to NOT give to those who need.

Finally, the support I've gotten on this blog over the past few weeks has just been amazing. I really appreciate all the kind words. Now, it's time for this MomCat to refocus on things and get back on track with everyday life. That is, if I can remember what that is like again!


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