Friday, September 19, 2008

We're back...sort of

It's good to finally be able to write this. I'm sure that some of you have been waiting patiently for word on how our family is doing in the aftermath of the hurricane, and in all honesty, we are fine. The hurricane was a neat and frightening experience, but one that I don't really want to live through again anytime soon.

As far as the hurricane goes, it hit our area around 1:30 in the morning and finally passed us around noon, so about 11 hours. There was a lot of rain and lots of wind, as you can imagine. I was awake most of the night, mostly because I was nervous. Like many of you, I've seen the footage of major hurricanes on the news, so each time a 100 mph gust of wind hit our house, I was worred our roof would go with it. Luckily that never happened, but it was a long night to say the least. I did manage to get some sleep, but about 5:30 I woke up because something didn't sound right. For several hours, the wind had been howling around us and the rain had been pounding on the windows, etc. but at that moment, everything was completely quiet. I got up from bed and went to the window and sure enough, there was no wind and the rain had let up to a very slow drizzle. It was then that I realized that the eye of the storm was right on top of us. It was a very neat experience, and to say it was surreal would be an understatement. Of course, the heavy wind and rain started again about an hour later and lasted for another 6 hours or so.

Once the storm passed, we decided to take a drive to see my in-laws house (they were out of town at the time) and the scene around us was scary. I've never seen so many trees, some of which had trunks to large to get your arms around, just snapped in half. The streets were literally littered with tree branches, leaves, etc. and in some areas, the roads were more of an obstacle course, as we had to weave around different obstructions. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures, but even then I don't think they would do the scene justice. What was even more impressive was to think that this was a catagory 2 hurricane, one of the weakest.

There has been some good from this hurricane however. We have seen the goodness of people in the worst of situations, we have finally met our neighbors after almost a year, and we have made strengthened some relationships within our ward, and we have learned the importance of food storage and emergency preparedness, as we have been without power for almost a week.

We know that many of you have been thinking of us and have kept us in your prayers, and for that we are grateful. We look forward to actually talking with you soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike Watch: D-day

Today is the day!! In case you haven't been following the news still, the hurricane is forecast to make landfall sometime this evening. As you can imagine, we've been busy preparing our house, etc. We didn't board up our windows or anything like that, which you might think is crazy, but as I've discovered, the news only shows you what will make the hardest hitting impact. I think I've counted a dozen houses in our whole sub-division that have boards on their windows. Apparently, not many people think it's going to be that bad. I guess we'll have to see. We did move everything out of our backyard and into the garage though. I would hate for one of Connor's toys to come flying through the house if the winds get REAL bad. We also filled a bunch of old water bottles and stuck them in the freezer, with the intent that when we loose power, we can try and use those to keep some of our perishable food cold in coolers. Plus when it melts, we can always drink those.

As of right now, the weather has gotten cloudy and a small breeze has begun to blow; an ominous sign of things to come. It was kind of strange yesterday because the weather was beautiful. It was really sunny, warm, and just a gorgeous day all around. It was weird to think that there was a major storm 300 miles away and heading straight toward us because you never would have guessed it based on the weather. I guess I have some insight as to why the Galveston Hurricane in the early 1900's was so devastating.

Thanks for all of your concern. I've spoken to several of you on the phone, as well as through email, and comments on the blog. We'll keep you updated, although it might be several days before you hear from us again. I imagine we'll lose power, and I'm almost certain that the cell phone towers are going to get blown down too, and we don't have a land line. I'll do my best to keep everyone up to date.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike Watch

For those of you who haven't been following the news at all lately, Houston is officially on hurricane watch as Hurricane Ike churns in the gulf. I've got to be honest that this is a completely new experience for me, having grown up in the desert. Part of me is nervous; yet another part of me, the naive part of me, is kind of excited. I know that sounds pretty stupid, I mean who actually wants to experience things like hurricanes or tornados, but it's true. There is something kind of exciting about the unknown.

Anyway, life here has kind of been put on hold as everyone waits to see exactly what the hurricane is going to do. People everywhere are talking about it, and every where you go, there are flashing signs that read "Hurricane forming in the gulf. Fill your gas tanks." As if we really needed to be reminded.

As far as our plans are concerned, Rachael and I have not talked about evacuation. Humble, where we are located, is about 80 miles or so from the coast, so I don't think we need to worry about flooding. I am worried about wind damage however. We live in an area that has a lot of trees, and my neighbor has a large tree in his back yard that, if it decides to go down, there is nothing between it and my roof. I guess we'll see.

We'll definitely keep you updated as things unfold. I am providing a link to a weather page that I have been using to track the hurricane, just in case you get bored and want to see the action unfold for yourself. It's actually a neat web it is totally interactive, so you can use it to see the historical track of Ike, as well as projected paths based on different computer models. Enjoy, and we'll talk again soon.