The continuing story of Ike...
The worse part of the storm wasn't the storm. We saw little damage. We were lucky. The hotel lost some siding. There were downed trees. We had no power so we were uncomfortably hot. We had little food supplies so we were hungry. My brother also had no power but he was ok. His apartment complex saw similar damage to our hotel.
We didn't stock up on gas before the storm, so we tried to conserve what little we had. We had bought water but little food before the storm. The room was so hot that we took turns sleeping so someone could always watch the door which we kept open for air.
Saturday night I heard that the Kroger a few miles away might be open in the morning with food. I told Tai who recommended that we be there at 6am. So a little before 6am Sunday am, Tai and I drove in the dark to find the Kroger. Unfortunately the store was closed but the gas station was open. We filled up the tank with gas and talked to some of the others about what they knew. We found out the Kroger would indeed open at noon with food. So we planned to come back at noon.
Before noon, Dad, Tai, and I drove to the Kroger in the hopes that there would be food. The line for gas stretched more than a mile and the parking lot for Kroger was full. We stood in line for over almost 2 hours to get inside the Kroger. They let 10 families in at a time. We bought soups and stews hoping that the generator at the hotel would work the next day. We bought canned chicken and mayo to make chicken salad. I bought 10 kiwis because I needed some fruit. Three hundred dollars later we left feeling very proud of ourselves. But once we got back to the hotel we were even more overjoyed to see the power back on. We were incredibly lucky to get our power back so quick. As I write this over a million people in the Houston area are still without power.
We charged up our phones, ate hot food, sat in a cool air conditioned room. I called my brother to see if he wanted to share in our food and cool air, but his side of the freeway also gained power so he was set.
The storm hadn't been the worse part. Sitting around in a hot, muggy room with no food was the worse part. I was scared that my Dad would need to go to the hospital. As a diabetic I was sure that he wasn't eating enough. Plus the heat and humidity effects his balance in a bad way. I felt so helpless and scared. Probably better planning would have helped but I was overconfident in the hotel's ability to keep us safe and comfortable. Those 2 days were dark and bleak for me. I don't feel have not suffered as much as those who lived in Galveston which is still under water. There are people waiting in line for gas, water and food today in Houston, less than a mile from where I sit. I am lucky. I can leave and go to my comfortable home. I do not have to wait and hope power gets restored quickly. I am comfortable.
I'm not asking you do anything here. If you live in a hurricane region, my heart goes out to you. I could not live with the possibility of doing this a couple times a year. If you have the basic necessities tonight, consider yourself very lucky. Hug your loved ones and enjoy your meal. You honestly deserve to feel this comfortable. I will never take my comfort for granted again. I am so lucky. And I hope you are too.