When Jonas began calming down a bit (July and August), we had big ideas to go somewhere. Anywhere. But mostly south. Instead, we have actually spent our weekends with pop-in visitors. Having house guests is always a bit straining on valuable resources such as time, money, bottled water, and canned goods, so imagine our surprise that we've spent 4 different weekends in 2 months entertaining said pop-ins (and the rest getting ready for them in one way or another):
July 23: Dolly
Aug 5: Edouard
Sep 1: Gustav
Sep 12-13: Ike
At the last minute, Dolly actually decided to visit the Valley instead. We were ready for her and she brought some rain to us here in Houston, but most inconveniently postponed our trip to South Padre Island indefinitely due to flooding.
Edouard was actually a great visitor (except for a Galveston postponement). We both took a day off from work and spent the long weekend sitting on the porch and watching movies, all to the soothing melodies of a slight drizzle.
Gustav postponed our annual Labor Day trip but punked out on us at the last minute, deciding to visit Louisiana instead. He sent his regards via a few gales of wind, but mostly stayed east. We ended up watching The Manchurian Candidate (Sinatra) and then having a surprise visit with Uncle Michael (a welcome visitor)
And then there's Ike. Talk about a bad guest! He spent 12 hours relentlessly pounding on our walls and windows. He was so awful we actually had to board up and/or tape our windows to prevent him from coming inside. He shut off our power at 8 pm on Friday and 41 hours later (Sunday afternoon) our heroes at CenterPoint Energy got it up and running again. He tore off a few shingles from our roof and when we wouldn't let him in, ran around the neighborhood wreaking havoc (unfortunately tearing up our neighbor's home--thank goodness they were out of town). He was so awful that even my brother in Utah heard about him on the news and called me at 4:15 am to see if we were holding up okay. Oh yes, that was when Ike had not yet cut off my phone. We're still waiting for that feature to be restored.
And when he finally tired of running amok, the thank you he left behind was a slew of freak thunderstorms the next evening that left Katy more flooded than the hurricane itself. The audacity!
It was quite frightening to be terrified of your own visitors so if another Ike heads our way, I think I might take a vacation to Dallas instead of waiting him/her out again. Ike was never on my to-do list and I sure hope we don't weather another guest like him. Ever.
PS To any potential pop-ins: If you must visit, will you consider coming in the middle of the week? We're sort of tired of spending all of our weekends checking our 72 hour kits.
Documentation of Little Category 2 Ikey-Poo
The entire neighborhood watch was outside anticipating the arrival of Ike.
This little guy was trying to hide too
Sleeping in the same bed with a baby (and pacifier), flashlight, cell phone, and hand-crank radio. A first for us.
After the hurricane let up (a LOT), we braved stepping onto our porch.
Our sad little oleander.
When will this end, Dad?
Really? You wanted to protect your windows, but you created eye slits? Seems a little counterproductive. Many of the houses in the neighborhood did this (to every single window), so maybe they know something we don't.
Waiting for power to be restored. Jonas put his hand on his knee and kept kicking to the music--something new. We also learned he has great taste in music.
After 25 hours of no power, we were motivated by our sweaty infant that it was time to seek respite from the stifling humidity. We showed up at this door like vagabonds. We didn't call because the phones were down and were just hoping they would have power. Luckily they took us in graciously.
Men from the ward cleaning up some of the aftermath.
After spending the night (and day) with the McClures, they came over for dinner and introduced us to Sweet Baby Ray. How did we ever grill without him?
We learned a lot from this hurricane, not least of which is the true value of comfort food. Oh how a bag of Doritos would have soothed my trembling heart! If we get a do-over, the chips aisle will be empty.