Ike managed to miss us completely here in Austin, though we are still feeling the effects by proxy. Many of our TX neighbors have fled here to Austin. Three of our district's schools are being used for shelters. I spent my afternoon yesterday at the Home Depot with many of those evacuees. Their stories tugged at my heart.
Why was I at the Home Depot you may ask? Why getting a generator like the rest of the masses. No, I don't think the world is going to end, no, the generator is not for me. I got a phone call yesterday from my cousin (from Houston) who is here in Austin managing FEMA's satellite communications. Seems my great aunt who didn't evacuate is now powerless (and more importantly in Houston - A/C-less) at her home for possibly 3 weeks. This is not good, Auntie is on the older side and has had some medical issues this past year. I was hoping she would evacuate to my house, but the drive would have been too much. Luckily Cuz had found a shipment of generators coming into a nearby town and put his name on the list. The hitch was, you had to be there to claim it. FEMA had him occupied all day and he needed a stand in. Of course I was more than happy to do the job. Whatever it took. Even if it meant speeding to the HD and nearly getting a ticket. A kind Deputy took pity on a local ER Charge nurse trying to help her poor hot auntie in Houston. He did tell me to "SLOW DOWN." Got it. I did the speed limit the rest of the way there.
While I sat the 4.5 hours with the rest of the folks I heard stories, so many stories. I was moved by how positive these people seemed to be. Some of them didn't know if they would be returning to homes or swimming pools. And yet, here they were, smiling, supporting one another. I heard a lot of, "Good luck, God bless!" Home Depot was giving everyone cold drinks and free car washing things. The manager said, "It's not much but it's on HD and we hope that things are looking brighter for y'all." Gulp. I love Texans...
I am happy to report that I got the generator and a little A/C. I received the phone call right after church today letting me know that it did indeed make it to Houston care of a gentleman named "Pedro" and is now safely on it's way to Auntie. Yesterday was a day well spent. I know that Cuz would do it for me if I ever needed it. He said he was so glad I moved to TX. So am I. I would do it again in a heart beat. God bless y'all out there who were affected.