Monday, October 03, 2005

the end of the (Rita) story . . .

Just So You Know . . .

One of the sets of steps leading to my classrooms.

The second set . . .

and the third . . .

and at the top of these is my classroom building. If you want to come to my office, another four flights are waiting . . .

The steps up to my apartment buildling.

Remember my friend who evacuated her husband, cat, and herself to Austin? I thought you might like to hear the followup . . .
As you know, we evacuated Wednesday night, amid my rising panic and a surreal atmosphere of pending anarchy...

During the following four exhausting days, I learned several important things about my relationship with my husband. I’ll not bore you, gentle reader, with the more tawdry details, but I will tell you this: my husband does not like to sleep on the floor. He can tolerate children, dogs, politicians and televangelists, but he does not camp. Carpet, foam or air mattress matter not, he does not like the floor.

And, because fish and houseguests both stink after three days, we left my sister's lovely home and moved to the Four Seasons in Austin.

Now my sister was very kind to shelter us in her lovely home, but my cat and her dog . . . after four days, it just wasn’t funny anymore.

As for that bottle of Dom I brought to keep from the looters, I kept it cold and cracked it the moment the bellman slammed the door shut behind him. In fact, almost all of the costly wine was enjoyed last week, between arguing over which source was more accurate, CNN or BBC. Turns out, neither was.

We finally drove home after a restful couple of days of luxurious dining and reclining. The road was open and easy.

I hate to admit it, but after such a thorough evacuation and return, my house, desk closet and pantry are much more organized than they have been since I moved into this old house. Perhaps I should do this once every three months.

Given that our friends lost three of their family’s four homes in the NO area, I have no regrets about the scramble, the drama, the pain in the ass, and the denouement. Pooh-pooh it if you like, but I am glad we left, I am glad we came home to safety, and I am greatful our losses are nominal. We will evacuate again, but next time, I want to go to the Volcano Lodge on the Big Island.

Our property loss is limited to landscaping and some minor fence damage. My parents were not so lucky. Part of their roof will have to be replaced, and though the shingles were all over the street, the house took no water damage. They are still on rolling blackouts, which will continue for up to a month. My dad, who is eighty, was unhappy about the blackouts until I pointed out that it really isn’t bad. After all, he isn’t on a respirator.

It could have been so much worse. A friend of mine has had her in-laws move from Beaumont to live with her indefinitely. A tree crushed their car. The walls of their house blew out. They have lost everything.

Finally, we are all able to laugh in spite of the fact that Kroger has steak
in their sale flier, but they haven't received a shipment in 12 days. It's
the first time I have been this happy since the first hurricane hit. Next
time we evacuate, we have come up with many more desirable locations than my
sister's floor:

Any island in Hawaii, the more exotic the hotel the better
Photo safari Kenya National Game Reserve
Diamond mine tours in South Africa
Best shoe store in London
The original Morton's, Chicago
Any pizza joint north of the Mason Dixon line
Denali - it's cool there, you know
Any Museum in Boston
You get the idea . . .


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