Friday, September 19, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

We're off this weekend to Danny (Jeff's brother) and Tricia's wedding in Houston. Before anyone gets all worried or anything it's actually northwest of Houston proper in The Woodlands, and before anyone continues to worry they have electricity now, never lost gas or water service, the streets are clear and the traffic signals are working.

Now, you wouldn't know any of this from talking to Jeff's mother. Despite the fact that she is going today to get flowers from a Costco in the Houston area, she wants us to get desserts to bring from the Costco by us in Austin. To quote her hysteria, "Jeff, you just don't understand what it's like down here, it's just...." apparently too bad to put into words? Except that I know that the area she's in isn't that bad. And if it were that bad, why the F- would we want to go? I mean every highway in Austin has signs up telling me "Do not go to Houston or Beaumont". I only wish I could obey.

I'm not trying to make light of the situation that many across Texas have found themselves in. Everyone who's turned on a tv, or opened a paper or blog knows that Galveston was almost wiped off the map. And there are tons of other towns that were also hit hard. Some areas had surge flooding, others just too much rain, and there was plenty of wind damage. Many small towns lost utility services, and are seeing even longer wait times to get them restored. A co-worker has a daughter-in-law who lives in a town that gets power from Beaumont. In a situation like that power has to be restored in Beaumont first, and then you get to fix the mess between the two towns, before little podunk gets electricity. At least the DIL still has a home, there are people that fared much worse, people that lost friends or loved ones, and many that have no home to return to.

I just wish Jean would get a little perspective. It does no justice to the areas that really are devastated to act like she's in the middle of a war zone. She has the luxury of maybe having to wait in line for gas, and pay around $5/gal, then drive to a Costco that has electricity so that she can get flowers to decorate for a wedding rehearsal dinner. That's not chaos, that's not anarchy or rioting, that's minor inconvenience.

To be fair I've only received reports from others in the area, and have not seen it myself yet. I'll let you know after we get there what my opinion is, for what it's worth. I am not some fearless journalist though, and I will not be exploring to see what sort of damage was done to other parts of Houston. Don't expect a full report on conditions across Harris county, I'm staying to the north so that's all you'll hear about from me.

No comments: