Thursday, September 22, 2005

checking in (on Rita from Rita's)

After hearing horror stories from friends about what
evacuees are experiencing trying to get through
Houston or Dallas, I feel petty and selfish about not
being more chipper. My gal pal's aunts have been on
the road for 24 hours! (If I understand correctly,
they were only trying to get from Lake Jackson to
Houston – usually a one hour trip that turned into
20??) They lost their dog after they had to turn off
the a/c so that the car would not over-heat. The dog
died from the heat. (That's Houston) I’m hearing the
same thing about people trying to get to or through
Dallas! People having blow-outs and ditching cars?
Stations being out of gas! One family went from
Victoria up 77 and it took them twelve hours to get
from Hallettsville to Waco??? Once they hit I35
traffic picked up to 40mph? It only took me four and
a half hours to get to my destination - usually a 2 -
2 1/2 hour drive. We had it easy! (Victoria to San

At one point, a girl ran by our car and then ran back
by with some cokes (pops? for you Yankees). I jokingly
told the children, "Look! That lady is out-running all
of these cars and the speed limit here is 70 mph!" Of
course, those of us not-on-foot were only going about
2 miles per hour, at the time... I've heard of
families (in Houston) that waited until evening to
evacuate and were told to go back home, because of the
grid-lock on the interstate. They will be heading to
the VICTORIA area - where I drove FROM. So I might
just go back home tomorrow!

Rita (the hurricane, not my mother in law) is
projected to hit Beaumont. If people from Houston are
going to the Victoria-area, then I think I can go back
home! RIGHT?

My husband stayed behind. He was told that if he
didn’t show up for work that it was “his butt.” Now,
all the stores are closed in Victoria because people
had to leave town by 7:00pm and there is a curfew. He
works in a town RIGHT on the coast. He called the
police station and they told him that he would get
pulled over but if he was going to work, it would be
ok. I’m thinking, and don’t get any ideas, that
anyone could SAY that they were going to work??? I
took the food from the refrigerator so that it
wouldn’t spoil! Good thing we are a family that “opens
cans, we open cans…”

Oh, my car is acting up! That’s not a big deal to me,
but to my husband, it is. I’m thinking, “So it makes
a subtle grinding noise when I hit the breaks?” “So
what if it is having a tough time getting into the
next gear when I accelerate, I’m patient.” I’m hoping
that these problems are ONLY because of having to stop
and start for 4 ½ hours….. The car will cool down and
be ok tomorrow? So, you guys who were planning on
toughing it out back home in Victoria, give me your
phone numbers in case we get stranded and you need to
come and get us??? Surely I can make it home

How are the evacuees who end up grid-locked in Houston
able to sit in traffic for 20 hours?????? I wonder
what percentage of cars are breaking down trying to
evacuate there! I heard Rick Perry say, “I’d rather
people be in their cars, than experiencing the winds
of the hurricane…” (Something like that) and I’m
thinking, “Why would it be safer to sit in the Texas
sun all day, on black tar and asphalt, breathing
everyone’s car exhausts!?!?!” When the winds hit
them, will they fare better in their cars?” They’ll
be ok. Has anyone else heard from friends or family
stuck in grid-lock?

Were we so scared of the complaints over the ‘lack of
preparation’ during Katrina that we overcompensated
and experienced the flip side of the coin - panic?

Just thinking…. I wish I didn’t leave Victoria! I’ve
never missed my town. I was just starting to wish I
could escape it, but then I had to evacuate it.
Nothing like being told, “You CANT” that makes you
say, “I WANT TO.”

Too often we give children answers to remember rather
than problems to solve. -Roger Lewin

Homeschool Victoria

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

FW: Mandatory Vacation (evacuation)

We are getting ready for a mandatory road trip!  I had to wait in line to ‘top off’ my gas tank for the first time in my life, today!  My husband stood in line for over three hours to get some plywood so that we could board up our windows.  He was lucky!  We’ve never done that in all of my life, and I grew up right on the gulf.  RIGHT on the gulf; we had a pier in our backyard.  Now that I live 30 miles up coast, I find myself boarding up windows? 


The children loaded up the car today with toys and clothes.  I caught Kelsey walking by with an armful of clothes and she was just walking up to the car and throwing them in!  So, we had to clean the car out…  My mom said that when we evacuated for a hurricane when I was a child that she told me to pack only what I couldn’t live without.  When she looked at the car, I had filled up the back seat with all of my plush toys (stuffed animals.) 


Some of my family members in Port Lavaca are going to stay and tough it out.  They stayed through Carla.  Older people are harder to convince to leave!  My cousin drove down from San Antonio to try to talk them into going back with her, even though she already has 15 people at her house!  The city officials in Port Lavaca said, “If you refuse to leave, please write your name and social security number in permanent marker on your body so that you can be easily identified.”   (I think it was PL)


My gal pal tried all day to find a hotel to stay at and everything in Texas was booked!  Their word of advice, “Try Oklahoma.”  


Anyway, I thought I would keep you guys up to date on what we are going through over here….  I’ll have access to my e mail at my mother-in-law’s house, coincidentally named, Rita.  Hee hee


Oh, on our homeschool group’s webpage I put some links to our local news station, newspaper, and a few local web cams, just in case you want to take a peek in where the hurricane is projected to slap down.



Hurricane Rita

Headline Stories - Wednesday, September 21st 2005

Golden Crescent Hurricane Preparations
Newscenter 25Web posted on: September 20th, 2005 - 10:43 pm
**All Golden Crescent residents are urged to make hurricane evacuation plans now -- just in case mandatory evacuations are issued in the coming days.**As of Tuesday night, only Jackson and Refugio counties have issued voluntary evacuations.

Victoria County: A hotline has been set up for Hurricane Rita Information. Call 485-3600 or 572-2711. Full Story