Anniversary Surprise

Photo of Ike by Coreburn

Friday, 8:42 pm, Houston


Outside, I can hear the wind beginning to blow harder. Everything here has been secured to the degree we could keep it as stationary as possible. I've been glued to the television for the past few hours even though I had said I wouldn't. It is impossible to stop watching the images all our local stations transmit. About 90% of our neighborhood has remained here in Houston. On this street in particular, all but one family heeded the stay at home recommendations from our local authorities. There is bumper to bumper traffic out on the 1-10 freeway which is about 5 minutes away from my home. I worry about those people stuck in their cars, not moving at all, not going anywhere, at the mercy of these winds. The electricity might go sometime during the night and so I write this brief update thanking all of you who have written to me. I will answer your e-mails individually when I can. Thank you for worrying and for caring enough to let me know. I appreciate your prayers and concerns for me and mine. For the moment, we ride out the beginnings of this storm.


So there's a hurricane coming to Houston and authorities here keep telling us to "hunker down" in situ. I know, I know, I could have said in place rather than in situ but, hunker down is the kind of Texan expression that could use some Latin class, and so here you have me doing my shoe-shining bit. But I digress...

Anyway, a hurricane is coming and we are staying. There's something very macho about staying don't you think? That or, something very stupid. As it happens it is neither. We're just following instructions given by those who supposedly know better (I'm really hoping they do). The thing to remember is that we are safer staying home where projectile-like flying objects may smash against the sturdier home structure, than we would be if we were stuck in a flimsy car out on Houston's highways.

Our neighborhood thankfully is not in one of the zip codes that have been told to evacuate. Though we're in Harris County proper, our home is on higher ground and not prone to flooding. We've done some preparing however. I have tons of candles and batteries, flashlights, water and ice. Yesterday we filled up the gas tanks of both our cars just in case and, I did give in to the madness that reigns at times like these, by joining those who were buying the kinds of non-perishables I'd never otherwise buy.

Chili for example. I now have twelve cans of Chili bought at Costco even though I have never even tasted canned Chili before but, it is a non-perishable item and therefore, in case the electricity should fail, and all my lovely frozen foodstuffs - the cornish hens and the organic quails, the shrimps and scallops, the beautiful leg of lamb and the 4lbs of filet mignon all end up rotting then, the chili will help us to survive. Not in style perhaps but whoever said surviving had to be done any other way than just the plain ole surviving way?

You should have seen the checkout lines! As long as the supermarket was long and people shopping like mad up and down the aisles. There was an older gentleman who looked like he'd seen more than most. There he was standing with a whole load of wine bottles in his cart. No food, no ice, no candles, no batteries. Just wine bottles. He stood there staring everyone down with an obviously practiced "I don't give a fig what y'all think" look. Can't say I question his sanity. If my roof starts blowing off, I'd like to be in a high state of inebriation myself.

The skies have just begun to darken now. Not because of the storm but because night is beginning to fall. Tomorrow the television tells us the winds will pick up around noon time. It goes without saying that this is not the kind of anniversary weather I had envisioned for myself and M but things seldom go as we envision them going. For all that, I feel very much in a bit of a cocoon here. A nice, safe little place. With my husband and my kid close to me. That is something I wanted to have, this sense of closeness.

For tomorrow I'd planned the final installment of how I met, fell in love and married M but I hope you won't hold me to to that promise if I don't post. As to the hurricane, I'll update as possible.



  1. Wow...that meteorological photo's pretty trippy...yeah, I know, it's not, alas, a storm of psychedelia bearing down. Hope all goes well. Have you really never had canned chili before?! I mean, that's been like a major staple in major periods of my life. Then, you're in Texas, where such might be blasphemy except in case of emergency....

  2. It would truly take a natural disaster for me to eat canned chili!

    Seriously though, you and your family take care and be safe.

  3. Milena, I will be watching and hoping that all is well in your corner of the world after the storm passes.

  4. Where we live the power goes out every time the wind blows, so we've got plenty of provisions and are hunkering down, too, even though we're far from floodwaters.

    I used to love a good thunderstorm. I can remember sitting on the front porch with my grandfather when I was just a little guy, oohing and ahing over the lightening and thunder as if it was a fireworks show.

    Many years later I remember holding a friend close during thunderstorms. She had come to this country as a Viet Nam refugee, and to her the thunder sounded like artillery, and brought back nightmares.

    Thunderstorms bring up very mixed feelings in me.

  5. Take care and stay safe. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I hope that everything survived "Ike" passing and that things are going well for you all now.

  7. I am sending good thoughts and good energy your way and holding space that all will be well for you.

  8. Oh my goodness!!! I guess cursing my double chins on my photo and second guessing my clothing choices are a bit shallow compared to weathering Ike... sorry. I have been keenly watching your plight and keeping you in my thoughts. I have other friends in Houston also. But we don't have to know someone to care, worry and fret (that word goes along with hunkering down) about them... glad the storm is over and you and yours are safe now

  9. Hoep you weathered the storm okay... :)Missing you....

  10. This is how you create suspense. You post on Friday and then days past ... no update. I hope you are well or, if not, have found the guy with the grocery cart full of wine and he is generous enough to help to take an edge off of your stress.

  11. Hi there. I found you via your Entrecard. Spiffy place you have here. Love, love, LOVE your music selections there on the sidebar.

    I hope you and your family made it through the storm unscathed. And, if you're without power, please tell us someone gifted you a generator to at least save all that wonderful food in your fridge. I have a close friend in Pearland who's been without power since early Friday evening. He says it's a non-stop block party with everyone hanging out on their front lawns. Great way to finally meet the neighbors.

  12. I didn't have much news on the hurricane because I was out of town and away from my usual media sources. I hope that your family came through it okay and you with another story to tell about the time you rode out Ike while hunkering down in situ.


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