Saturday, September 24, 2005

Here's an update on Hurricane Rita from my little corner of the world:

There are so many evacuees here in Austin. My neighborhood has increased by about 200 people. My next door neighbor has between 25 and 50 people squeezed into her place. Grocery stores in the area are running out of food. No bread, no bottled water, no meat, no grocery carts.

My friend drove around trying to find gas until she remembered a tiny gas station tucked behind Walgreens. She said there were police in front of and inside her local grocery store. Some guy was screaming because there was no bread. He said, "How am I supposed to make sandwiches for my family if there's no **** bread?" My friend said he was totally freaked out and the police took him away.

My husband Rick struck up a conversation with a guy in line at 7-11. The guy said on the way from Houston they were charging five bucks to use the restroom. Rick said, "No way!" The guy said he paid five dollars for a gallon of bottled water plus the five for the toilet. Talk about price gouging!

My childhood friend who lives in Corpus Christi has already evacuated with her family. I'm glad she's safe. I wanted to warn the elderly, homeless lady who lives behind Burger King about the upcoming storm. Traffic was so bad that I didn't make it over there. I hope she'll be okay.

I've tried calling my brother in Houston but all the circuits are busy. He told me yesterday that he was staying with his home because of possible looting. If it was me, I would've evacuated as soon as I heard about the storm. There's no way on earth I'd put my son Sean at risk!

Rick has been so kind and helpful to all the evacuees milling around here. He gave out cookies and candy to the kids who played with Sean this evening. He helped a pregnant lady load and unload her laundry. He carried in suitcases for an elderly lady. What a sweet guy. There's nothing like a really kind man to inspire love!

Here's something disturbing: Rick talked to some of the evacuees and found out they were from Houston. He mentioned that my brother was still there. The men crossed themselves and said, "Dios mio!" Then they asked if my brother was "loco." I almost burst into tears. Now I'm really worried about his family. I told them to come here to Austin but baby brother can be a stubborn idiot!

We're fine, just huddling in for the weekend. Rick bought food, bottled water, and gas so we're prepared for bad weather, if we get any. All of the flashlights are working and I wanted to post this evening just in case we lose power (which is not likely, but still possible according to the local news).

Until next time...


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