Gesundheit Houston! Life in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike | Do Try This at Home: Gesundheit Houston! Life in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gesundheit Houston! Life in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

So I’m not one of those people who’s all “God bless this person and God bless that person.” It’s not really my style. Unless someone sneezes, and then I go to town with the “gesundheits” and “God bless you, and devil miss you’s.”

Aside from that though, I’m not sure I even believe in it all that much. ‘Cause why would God listen to us mere mortals on who to bless, after all? Especially those people on the news right before the hurricane who were all out in a field trying to pray Ike away.

Did they think God was going to be all, “Y’know what Houston? You’re right. What with the cockroaches and the heat and the demise of Astroworld, you people really have enough to deal with already. I’ll send the hurricane to Pensacola.”

But on the off chance that God does bless who I say: God bless that one lady who opened her Chinese restaurant on Memorial the day after Ike. She stayed up all night being blown around by a hurricane, got ready for work with no power at home and then OPENED at her restaurant so that we didn’t have to eat cold soup out of a can for dinner that night.

And God bless the people working sixteen hour days for the power company or in conjunction with the power company and the city workers who were fixing the streets.

Here’s the bed of a city pick up truck whose drivers were out repairing street signs:

Most people I know still don’t have power, and just buying the gas to be able to shop for food is a major undertaking. My friend Laurie and I waited 45 minutes in line for gas on Tuesday, and that was AFTER calling around to find out where the fastest lines would be.

Here’s one of the city guys next to his truck:

We asked truck-guy how him and the coworker can even get food if they’re working all day since they  don’t have time to wait in the lines.  And even if they had time to wait in the lines they'd still have to drive around hoping to find an open grocery store first. He more or less said they couldn’t and that they were subsisting on crackers and chips.

So when Laurie and I happened to find out that that her mom had some of those pod-meal-things, we chased down the truck guys and gave them a few.

I told my brother how happy they were to have semi-real food and he was all, “Of course they were happy! It’s not every day two beautiful women pull over their car to sympathize with you and then bring you a meal. It was a red letter day for them!”

Thanks to people like those truck-guys working their butts off, hopefully situations like this will be remedied soon:

Yes, that big ole’ branch is hanging on a power line over a busy boulevard by a little tiny twig the size of…I dunno…maybe my index finger?

So anyway, I know the economy’s going down the tubes and there’s an election and stuff, but just to remind you: it’s still HELL here for lots and lots of people in the fourth largest city in the United States.

My gal wants me to mention the tiger that was on the loose at Crystal Beach, but the situation there and in the areas around Galveston is just so very awful I can’t even talk about it on a silly blog like this. Even though I just did.


Anonymous said...

That was very nice of you! It always makes me smile when I see or hear people doing those small acts of kindness, especially in the midst of hardship.

Bruce Johnson said...

The Branch over the intersection is classic....Says much more than a thousand words.

Jill said...

Derek - Yeah, I truly was surprised at how pleased they were. I mean, it was shrink wrapped food for cryin' out loud. But a little goes a long way when there's no electricity.

Isn't it Lotus? And I took that picture on day FIVE after the hurricane!

ALF said...

Are all your street signs red? I don't believe I've ever seen a red street sign before.

People in the Sun said...

Man... They hardly mention it anymore. It's crazy that people still have to stand in lines but the rest of the country has moved on.

Unknown said...

Tiger? You mean one escaped form a zoo or something?

1. Do you have a very large index finger.

2. What beautiful women (I smugly remind myself that I am in a different continent.)

Jill said...

Alf - Those signs are from Bellaire, which is it's own little city entirely enclosed by Houston. A lot of the different parts of town that got eaten have their own color of street sign. The next neighborhood over from Bellaire which is called West U has blue street signs, even though I think it isn't it's own little city but just part of Houston.

People - Yeah, the country apparently has enough to worry about with the tanking of the businesses and the bombing and the election and all that. My brother said he basically heard Houston was lucky (we WERE compared to New Orleans or Galveston or Crystal Beach) and that was it. It's getting better each day, but it's just amazing that the fourth largest city in the US is basically at a standstill. Still half without power.

SJ - I'll admit my brother is biased when it comes to me (I have a very large index finger after all), but LOOK at my friend Laurie. You might wish you were on this continent after all. :-) :-) :-) (She's halfway down the post in a sepia picture lying on a couch)

Anonymous said...

That is a lot to take on. I am sorry to hear about the struggle. You have a great demeanor about the whole thing.

Beautiful you blessed those dudes with some much needed food.

Great pics.

Jill said...

Thanks UT - Yes, I can afford a good demeanor because I had very minimal damage inside my apartment, the outside is not my responsibility, and I have electricity. If only the rest of the Houston area could be so lucky.

Maureen said...

Jill: So sorry to hear about your woes... but what a great thing to give those guys a much-needed meal!

I hope things improve quickly for you.

Ingrid said...

WOW. I'm just so glad you and the family are okay.

Thank you so much for sharing these pictures, I've never lived through anything like that and it blows my mind to know that giant branches were blown around like matchsticks!

Jill said...

Maureen - Everything's getting better & better in my neighborhood. I never thought I'd be so happy to see the traffic lights ever so slowly coming back to life! After a full week it's actually kind of surprising to have a light instead of a four way stop! And the stores are opening back up, some of them regardless of whether or not they have electricity.

Thanks Ingrid!

Janet said...

I'm late reading this post but I have been thinking about you guys -- what a mess. I'm sure it makes you appreciate the things we usually take for granted!

Jill said...

Thanks Janet! Yes, I am still appreciating the electricity...the mold not so much. I would appreciate going back to work soon...


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