Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Aftermath: Day 8

Day 8 and we are still without electrical power. I am posting via battery backup power on my laptop computer. I had the foresight to wash clothes on Friday, September 11, the day before the storm. It's amazing how dirty one's clothes get when there is no electricity to run the washing machine. After six days I was a lucky duck and able to wash a load of my clothes and my grandson's clothes using a friend's restored electrical power. One news article I read yesterday said evacuees in a San Antonio shelter had not been given any change of clothes, not even from a thrift center, and they were still in the clothes they wore as they left Galveston. Transition is never easy and changing overnight from homeowner to homeless has to be a huge shock to the system. Think of the loss ... the grief that must accompany it.

Lucky to have been on the north side of Houston and the west side of the storm's eye, we are still experiencing major power outages and supply shortages. Gasoline lines are shorter now and a few more stations are open, but the traffic is mounting which causes long waits at traffic signals that don't work. I wonder where all these people could be going. More than 50% of electrical power is still down. Businesses are still closed. Perhaps they are sight seeing. Perhaps they are looking for services as I am doing. Grocery stores are running on power supplied by generators. There were lines to get in through a single entry door into Kroger, my preferred supermarket, who had no cold goods, no meat, no ice when I was there two days ago on Thursday. I bought the last can of chopped beef and the last box of instant pancake mix. There were more empty shelves within the store than full ones. There were no lines going into Target, but it was the same on the inside. No cold or frozen goods. "Ice becomes a form of currency," I read in yesterday's Houston Chronicle, "and people everywhere are on Hurrication" since there is no power in office buildings. I empathize with others who face the devastation of having been directly in the path of Ike's eye or on the east side where the winds were strongest and homes and neighborhoods disappeared over night. 

Painting is one thing I can do without electricity or technology, and it's calming ... but I do need a little order in my life first. I am almost there.


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