10:04 a.m. - 2005-09-22
See, my mom, my stepfather, and my brother all live in Houston. My mom and stepfather live in Galveston County (although it’s northern Galveston County, probably 20 or so miles inland). My brother lives north and west of there.
My mother called me at work yesterday, crying. Not just crying a little…the kind of crying where you are heaving sobs and cannot catch your breath. My stepfather is disabled, which makes evacuation more difficult. She has plywood for her windows, but can’t find the drawing showing which one goes where. And she cannot find a hotel room anywhere.
I try to calm her down by explaining that the guy who is going to put up the plywood will figure out which sheet goes on which window, and that surely there have to be some hotel rooms somewhere. I start looking online and getting “nothing available.” She didn’t want to drive all the way here, but unfortunately…there is no choice.
I make reservations for her at a hotel nearby. I call her back. She’s calmed down some.
They left this morning.
In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what’s up with my brother. We’ve e-mailed back & forth, but can’t get through on cell phones to really discuss. He has tickets to Austin City Limits for the weekend…and the only place he can stay is with a friend with whom he has only recently reconnected after three years of not speaking. He decides to head there, because the tickets were expensive.
Once we finally connected via land-line, he also said that my mother had called him with the same freakout about the plywood. He told her he was sure the installer would have a tape measure. Plus, he was telling me that he waited in line for 45 minutes to get gas…and “dude, it’s only Wednesday.” Today, he was going to drop the psycho-kitty off at the vet, and head out of town.
My mom sent us an e-mail this morning, saying they were leaving before 7:30. She also encouraged my brother to get over his issues with religion and pray.
I’m sure my brother is still laughing his ass off.
News articles say that they’re opening all the freeway lanes from Houston to go north. Hopefully, my mom and
Here is a photo looking at I-45 Northbound, at the exit near my mom's house:
I’m on edge. I’m restless. I barely slept last night, and I can’t put down the coffee. I want to be anywhere but at work, but of course, I just started this job and can’t be ditching it.
Send out good vibes to DK and the other homies in Houston...but I hope they're on their way somewhere else.
I think I’ll go take a smoke break. That’s what I need. More stimulants.
UPDATE. The brother is still only 12 miles from his home, and has been on the road for 6 hours, 25 minutes. Thankfully, he is able to upload photos. The mommy is about 45 miles from home, and has been in line to get gas for 30 minutes. Apparently, the other lanes on the freeway are just now being opened. Maybe. The rumor is circulating, at any rate.
Thanks for all of the good wishes. I may update this page some more instead of posting new entries, at least until the family has arrived safely somewhere.
UPDATE. 7:48 pm, CDT. The mom is still not out of Houston, but reports that traffic appears to be less "stop" and more "go" as time goes on. The brother is on a secondary highway, moving toward Austin at a speedy 35-ish. BFRB2's niece and her boyfriend are also on the way, and are somewhere near Conroe.
Everyone is safe, but tempers are running very short. I heard the stepmonster in one of his freakouts while I was talking to my mom. Grrrr. Yeah, he's disabled and has a degenerative disease, and at some level, yeah, I feel sorry for him. My sympathy is tempered, however, by the knowledge that he has been a complete asshat for most of his life, and he's fucking with my mom's head. I may bitch about my family and friends...but NO ONE ELSE CAN FUCK WITH THEM, or I will descend upon them with great vengeance and furious anger. Or just a big dose of snark.
UPDATE: 12:59 a.m., CDT. My mom turned around and went home. They drove almost 13 hours and didn't get out of Houston. Apparently many others are joining them. My mom's house is in Area C, which means that they don't HAVE to evacuate. The storm seems to be headed the other way...for now.
The brother is still en route to Austin, although getting closer.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers. And I hope that everyone on the Gulf coast can stay safe during the storm.