Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adventures with Ike


I'm a north Texas kind of gal. In the parlance of natural disasters: I speak tornado, not hurricane. Tornadoes come hard, fast, and unannounced.

Hurricanes do not.

Hurricanes come after a week (or more) of conjecture, doom, and foreboding which builds to a crescendo of hysteria.

News of the impending hurricane sent citizens in droves to their local megamarts in search of supplies. My hurricane preparedness list failed to include ice or batteries, but chocolate soymilk made it to the top of the list. It's good to know that in an emergency type situation, I tend toward junk food and perishables.

Ike closed in on Houston and as the wind picked up the power at home flickered before finally shutting off completely.

Power was not restored until 82 sweat-soaked hours later.

It was so hot during the outage that I courted mental collapse.

So hot that I went through the 5 stages of grief:

Denial - "It's not so bad! I'll just step outside or stop moving around so much, maybe splash a little water on my face."
Anger - "I cannot f@#$ing believe how hot it is in here!It's hot. I'm hot. So hot."
Bargaining - "I would give up television for a year if the air conditioner would just come back on.Television and Netflix for one year. And going to the movies. Ooh, it's always so nice and cool at the movie theater..."
Depression - "Whatever. I don't care about the heat anymore, it doesn't matter. Nothing does."
Acceptance - "So that's it then. Electricity is gone forever and we the survivors are left to rebuild humanity lest we slide back into prehistoric darkness."

Once Ike passed, it was time for damage assessment. Apart from the lime tree in the backyard flung on it's side, a few missing shingles, and a fence now resembling a mouthful of crooked teeth, the homestead was unscathed.

Not so for some of our neighbors. A walk around the neighborhood revealed many downed trees, damaged roofs, and missing fences.

The best and most unexpected thing about hurricane aftermath was how my neighborhood came alive. In the absence of the usual creature comforts, my neighbors were walking outside, talking to each other, helping each other.

It gave me some small measure of hope that we aren't on a crash course to hell with every man out for himself. That even without cell phones and satellite television, we can still connect with each other.

And then power was restored and the people went back inside and the windows were closed and the street was quiet again.

The errant shingles and tree branches have finally made it into the trash and the lime tree was replanted. Should the tree make it, we'll call him Ike. Then maybe in the spring we'll buy a lemon tree and name it Dick or Tina.

1 comment:

Sean said...

hee-hee, i like your 5 stages of grief! glad you made it through with your house and sanity intact.