Sunday, September 14, 2008

My date with Ike

Well, I made it.

I opted to rough it out at home. I live in the Heights, called such because it is on higher ground than most of Houston. I believe we are 20' higher than downtown Houston. I'm on the ground floor of a duplex and my building is up another 2-3' above ground. So, I wasn't as worried about flooding as members of my family who did not live in Houston.

The national news did a really bad job reporting this. They are too lazy to understand Houston. They don't get that Houston is 600 sq miles. We are not a densely populated city. We grow by gobbling up neighboring communities and expanding our city limits. So when CNN and others were talking about storm surges and flooding in Houston, they made it sound like all of Houston was in danger. They were evacuating only certain zip codes in Houston. My zip code was not one of those. So my sister and my brother were both very worried about me. I would be, too, if the role was reversed.

This building is solid. I felt it shake just a little bit during the highest intensity. I did not board up any windows. And interestingly, neither did the restaurant, The Glass Wall. I was surprised. But they didn't get any broken windows and neither did I. I had to leave my car outside. It didn't get any damage, either.

My electricity went out at 2:45 a.m. I'm impressed that my satellite never went out. I was able to watch the news up to the moment I lost power and the winds had picked up quite a bit at that point. I thought the eye was going to go over me which told me I would have gotten a break from the winds and would have been able to sleep. But unfortunately, it didn't start to slow down until about 7:00. They were still strong winds but I knew the worst was over and could sleep.

I would say that the most difficult part of this was the sinus headache I got when it started. I think it had to do with the pressure. For 24 hours I was popping everything I could get my hands on for relief. It wasn't until this morning, when the rain hit, that my headache went away.

My power came back on yesterday at about 7:00. So, I was one of the very lucky ones to have power so quickly. As a matter of fact no one across the street from me had any power. I'm curious if they will have power this evening.

My friend, John, is still without power. But he does have a gas stove and he's motivated to cook his food before it goes bad. Everyone should have a friend like John in their life. He isn't just a guy who can cook, he's a guy who can really cook well. He hangs out with chefs, writes cookbooks and reviews restaurants. So, when he whips something up, it's like eating out. YUMMY. So, I let him use my couch last night so he could sleep with some air conditioning.

The rain this morning managed to flood some of the streets and he was stuck here for several hours this morning. He finally made it home. He just called. He has stuff he needs to cook from his freezer. Wants to know if he can come over and cook here. Looks like I'm going to be eating quite well this evening.

Everyone in my family has been accounted for. I can't receive or place any phone calls from my cell phone but I have a fax line and a crappy phone I can plug into it. I've been able to place calls and check voice mail going that route.

But here is the really really good part of this. Whenever I take a vacation, it's really hard because my clients aren't on vacation. Just because it's my time off doesn't mean real estate stops. But right now, no one is thinking real estate. So my phone isn't ringing and the roads are a mess. So, this really is a true break for me. I've been organizing my office, listening to music and I watched a movie. Ahh, I do like this break.


SunWolf said...

Don't forget that I did live in Houston. And experienced flooding exactly the same kind of flooding that was happening I-59 North today. I was afraid because of your proximity to the bayous. The fact that you did not get flood damage this time makes me feel like you will probably be safe in the future, too. I'm glad you have power.

Speaking of eating out, H says that the cold soup I made tonight was like fine restaurant eating. It was a red pepper soup, made by blending one red pepper, one yellow, thin slice of onion (all of these sauted), Greek Yogurt, paprika, pine nuts, and chilled in the fridge...I sort of made it up after I had some at La Refuge in Alexandria. I'll make it for you some time (without the pine nuts, of course).

I think your break will be short-lived. Some people will probably be needing housing, and they will come to you.

I'm so glad you are safe. Enjoy your dinner!

Cathy said...

I'm glad to hear you are safe and that the silver lining in all that bad weather is a little break from work for you.

Enjoy it because sunwolf is right. There are going to be plenty of people looking for somewhere to live shortly.

Don't you just love those high pressure sinsu headaches? Every time it clouds up around here I'm hit with one. I get no relief until the rains come.

ranger said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time and never realized how nearby you live. We're up on the north side of 11th, near proctor plaza park. Still waiting for power, unfortunately.

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