There was a little rain and a little more wind on the northwest side of Houston yesterday morning, early, and the lights flickered a couple of times and went off once for about five seconds about 5 a.m.
That was it. Not even any tree limbs down. Just a little trash blown around.
So by 8 a.m. I was reduced to watching the news and worrying about my folks. I just had to hope in my father's case, that the sheriff's department had evacuated RV parks to a safe place -- a shelter, a high school gymnasium, something -- somewhere the previous day (Jasper County had announced a mandatory evac Friday morning).
At lunchtime I finally laid my head down to rest, after reading some of my FIL's book of Yiddish meditations, entitled "Bringing Heaven Down to Earth". I highly recommend it, incidentally.
Mid-afternoon I had had enough of the news, and I couldn't watch the Astros or college football, and the freeways were starting to build with returning evacuees, so I piled up the car and decided to head back to my house. SH 290 inbound at 4:30 p.m. had the normal Saturday afternoon traffic; busy but moving at posted speeds (which translates into 75-80 mph).
I came home to a cool house and some flashing 12:00 appliances, so I lost power but apparently not for long. I showered, fixed dinner, and was starting to fall asleep about 7 p.m. when I heard from my brother that Pop had made it through OK.
They had "a rough ride", and once the worst passed them in the afternoon, walked into 'downtown' Jasper and found a working land line to let us all know they were OK.
It just wasn't their time, I suppose.
No word from Mom yet, but she did make it safely to Nacogdoches Thursday night and was ensconsed in a private guest house with a few friends there, and by news accounts that area was comparatively spared. I'm guessing she can't get to a land line, so I'm choosing not to worry. My neighbor knocked on my door this morning at 7:30 to tell me he was OK, and my friends in Livingston called and said they're safe.
I still think that TxDOT's contraflow plan (under the auspices of our good-haired God-fearing Governor) was a colossal mal-execution, and had Rita come in on top of us, could've been catastrophic. He'll probably attempt to advance his mega-toll road agenda now as a result.
But for now I'm headed out to drink some beer, shoot some pool, and watch some football.
How was your weekend?