The morning after in our backyard
Houston, Tuesday September 16th, 2008
It takes so little to disrupt the flow of daily life. I think we have a tendency to consider only the major occurrences as existence disruptors, a sudden death, ill health, these kinds of events. And of course they do, they disrupt everything in one fell swoop but the small things? They too can unbalance life in a major way. They start out like little dominoes all lined up until one falls. And that’s all it takes sometimes… one little domino falling in a certain way…
We came through Ike in great shape. I’ll tell you that right off the bat so you won’t wonder any longer. The structure of our home suffered no damage and that was great luck considering the number of trees we have on our property. The day after Ike hit, we ventured out on the car. Curiosity prompting us to weave through the downed trunks and torn branches that chaotically redrew the landscape of our once manicured neighborhood. We didn’t have to go far to see the caved-in roofs of houses, the massive oaks several meters tall that had sliced through ceilings like so much butter under a knife. There were such a large number of homes in similar or worse shape that, I marveled yet again at how unscathed our own property was by comparison.
The night of the hurricane, we watched the news almost until midnight. Anderson Cooper waited in front of the CNN cameras for the windows of skyscrapers in downtown Houston to start shattering. In Galveston we saw the wind do its hurricane-best to suck all it could into the violent sea. There came a point however when the subtle shift from spectator to participant overtook us, when the hissing of the air grew very loud and the branches outside our windows swayed in such frenzied patterns that we had no desire to watch what was happening to others because, those others were ourselves.
Lying together, my husband and I cocooned our son until uneasy sleep extinguished the adrenaline rush of the previous hours. While waiting for Ike to arrive, we had exhausted ourselves beyond what our bodies could sustain and so we slept until the electricity went, taking away the coolness of our home, eliminating that final padding of machine made sound so that all the dissonance that was Ike in its fury, could take center stage.
M found me shining my flashlight out the windows of our master bedroom, captivated by the train wreck that was unfolding. “Move away from the windows!” And I minded his warning only to see him ignore it himself. It was hard not to watch. I daresay you would not have been able to move away either. Nature in a passion commands an audience, and we obliged her by staying. For the rest of the night in between short sleeps, we kept vigil around the rooms of our home to better take in the tableaus that Ike had set. It was gleeful destruction; a damaging hand that fell determinedly, intent on leaving its mark before the morning could come, all leaden and pale, to show what the darkness had hidden. About a third of our trees had fallen in patterns that had wrecked every inch of our half acre yard but that like dominos set in just a certain way, had mercifully, incredibly, spared us.
My husband is doing me the enormous favor of posting this from his workplace. As yet, I have no Internet access from our home. For that reason, I include neither photographs nor links here but will add them later when I can. When you all read this, it will already be the 17th of September. Today is the birthday of my beloved cousin Ayleen (Féliz Cumple mi niña), my good friend Ron's - Happy Birthday Ron! and MINE! Yes, I turn 39 having survived my first hurricane. May it be the last one I have to ever experience… I mean the hurricane, not the 39. I’d stay 39 forever if I could.
Until next I post, I trust you all find yourselves well and before I go, I’d like to say thank you to my fellow bloggers and friends Nona, Thomas, Ron, Michel, Who’s B, Dr. Jay, Chesca, Barb, Andy, Robyn and Dori. Also to Beverly who is not yet a blogger, though we mean to rectify that. Thank you guys for thinking about me and mine. Finally, to Dr. Joseph Stirt, whom you will find at bookofjoe, a most sincere thank you for single-handedly keeping my blog statistics growing at a gigantic pace EVEN without my posting a thing. I owe you much Joe…
Goodnight from here in Houston.
The morning after in our backyard
Posted by Gypsy at Heart at 10:25 AM