Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Second Round of 'Rita(s)

On Sunday nobody had even heard of Rita, but by Monday morning she was the talk of water cooler set. Monday night the decision to stay and ride out the storm meant careful planning was required. This involved the inevitably long list of items a family of five can't live without - water, batteries, TP and peanut butter, cash, cheese in a can, crackers, tampons and booze. Tuesday I joined thousands of my fellow Katycans at Sam's, where we stood in long lines and congratulated ourselves on our bravery and disaster preparedness.

By Tuesday night it became clear that Rita was not something to be trifled with. A quick change in plans called for our three daughters (plus dog and bunny) to drive to their grandparent's house in Dallas, Thursday morning. My husband and I left early Wednesday for Seabrook to secure our 30' sailboat and strip her of expensive electronics just in case - hope for the best, plan for the worst. We finished at 1pm and finally made it home at 6pm. Bumper to bumper traffic on the Beltway turned our typical hour drive into a 5 hour purgatory.

4:50 this morning (Thursday) the kids and pets packed into the 19-year-old's car and set off for Dallas down I10 to Brookshire, 359 to Hwy 6, Hwy 6 to Waco and up the 35E. Or at least that was the plan. 2 1/2 hours later they were still on the Katy feeder, having not moved more than 50 feet. Luckily, they managed to find a back road home so the 2 mile round trip only took three hours.

So we are all staying, battening down the hatches, enjoying a last few hours of air-conditioning, TV and computer time, before all H-town breaks loose. Tonight we will join friends for that time honored tradition - a hurricane party. Tomorrow, who knows...