Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back home and feeling blessed

Okay, so my last post indicated that we would be staying in town for Ike. There was a change of plans on Friday morning when we woke up to see the storm surge already flooding Galveston Island more than 12 hours before the storm made landfall. The pictures were scary enough to us that we weren't willing to take a change on staying with Elise, so we packed up and drove to Nacogdoches to stay with Jamie's cousin Richard, his wife Sarah, and their 2 boys, Cade and Tanner. They were so kind to take us in on a moment's notice. We are incredibly grateful!

We rode out the storm there, getting frequent text messages from mom and dad who stayed behind. Ike made landfall in the very early hours of Saturday morning, and the worst was over by around noon on Saturday. The high winds were far-reaching, and the power went out in Nacogdoches early Saturday morning. At that point, we decided to head back to our house to assess the damages. If we were going to be without power either way, it didn't make sense to stay at Richard & Sarah's any longer. Plus, I was very anxious to check on the house.

We were fortunate beyond words. We did lose parts of our fence, and there was some pretty extensive debris to clean (a lot of broken limbs and fallen trees). However, our house did not sustain any structural damage, and there was no flooding on our street. Our electricty was restored on Sunday evening. This was a HUGE blessing, because over half of Houson is still without power even this evening.

We really felt like God was looking out for us throughout the whole ordeal. My parents did not get power until yesterday, however a very kind friend and old neighbor loaned them a generator so they could keep their refridgerator and some fans running in their house. Perhaps the biggest blessings are those that are less tangible. We have met neighbors that we had previously never spoken to. We have joined together to help one another clean our yards. And best of all, Elise has been totally unphased by the whole thing! She had a wonderful time playing with Cade and Tanner in Nacogdoches (I think she thought she was on another vacation!), and when we got home, she was able to spend some time at her dad's with a generator running her TV set! She never missed a beat. Jamie also got to take us for a quick but fun tour of Stephen F. Austin State University, his alma mater, while we were in Nacogdoches. It was neat to see where he used to live and go to school. Someday I'd like to take him to Southwestern.

We are still having some issues finding a grocery store that is well stocked and gasoline. But in the big scheme of things, these are very minor inconveniences. We are just giving thanks and also praying for those who were not as fortunate. I am looking forward to seeing our streets cleaned and things getting back to normal. This experience has made me realize how much I take the simple things in life, such as running through the McDonald's drive thru, flipping on the light switch, and filling up with gas for granted. We are definitely pausing to be more thankful for the small things in life.

I put together a slide show of some pictures I took both before and after the storm.


Catie said...

so glad you made it through with so little damage. I was checking for updates to see how you guys were. I have family in Baytown that literally had their house swept away...so I am so grateful yours was spared! what a blessing!

Melanie said...

That is terrible, Catie. I am so sad to hear it. Let us know if we can do anything to help them.