If you've been with me long, or have know me in "real" life you know that I grew up in Colorado, then moved to Arizona, spent a couple of years up in Oregon, back down to Arizona for a LONG time and ended up in Texas.
Colorado had snow, no big deal as I was a kid when I lived there, only having to drive in the snow for two years before I moved to the desert. We had tornadoes, and I actually had to go UNDER the elementary school for one of them as it tore right through the neighborhood. Again, I was young...I don't remember the fear, just the excitement of being able to go underneath the school.
Arizona, hot. Yep, that about sums it up. Haha, really...we did have monsoons and the forest fires, although they were far away from Phoenix. Really didn't affect me since I was blessed with having air conditioning no matter where I went.
Oregon was perfect in my eyes. Sure, it was cloudy and gray all of the time, but it was beautiful. I suppose they had some land slides when it wouldn't stop raining, but not in my neighborhood. I was oblivious to any kind of weather danger. The biggest threat of living in Oregon is depression from the constant gray and once again I loved it.
Now, moving to Texas has been quite the experience. On the day we arrived (April 9, 2006 - which also happens to be the birthday of one of my favorite people!) Austin had a record 100 degree day. One of the reasons that we wanted to move TO Texas was to get away from the constant heat. Can you guess how ticked off I was? That summer was hot, everyone we met told us that it was unusual and about 10 degrees above normal. Huh...nice. The next year we had record rain, again, everyone told us that it was unusual and the temps were below normal. I think Texas just doesn't have a "normal".
This year has been warm. It started getting warm in April, hot in May. No rain in sight this year. My grass is dying a slow death as Trainer teases it with water only twice a week. Then...we enter hurricane season. First we had Gustav that hit Louisiana pretty hard. We got a little rain, but I think that was just a system and unrelated. But then...we got Ike. He knocked on the great door of Texas...oh my.
No one knew for sure where this giant was going to strike or how hard until just the day before. It was heading straight for Galveston and then right up through Houston. Now, I have loved ones in both S. Houston and N. Houston so I was pretty freaked out.
Legs is in N. Houston and her husband was away on business. She also happens to be pregnant with my next nephew and of course little Boo is there with her. I bug her starting on Wednesday, then Thursday...being the overbearing, overly concerned auntie/sister that I am. Her husband was trying to get on an early flight so he could help her get the house ready. The only thing she couldn't do was board up the upstairs windows. (That's because she's an independent kick-ass diva) However, I requested that she call me if her husband didn't make it home and insisted that I would drive down there to ride out the storm with her. Of course I have NO idea what it would be like to ride out a storm like that, but I would do it...in a heartbeat. Well...hubby made it home so I didn't go down to keep her company...too bad because I was TOTALLY going to break into her wine fridge and open up a good bottle. :)
My redneck cousins are in S. Houston, very close to Galveston and I emailed them as well, offering up my house as shelter, but they wanted to ride it out. Trainer and I had the weather channel on most of the three days up to Saturday am.
Here is the "funny" part of my story, and I apologize for this being so long...however, Austin had to be involved. "See how Ike is going to affect Austin!" on at 9pm. We were told to prepare for strong tropical force winds and a TON of rain. Selfishly all of us Austinites wanted the hurricane to extend it's horrible arm all the way to Austin, just so we could get more than the sprinkle of rain that only makes your car look dirty because it mixes with the coating of dust. That was the top story. Now granted we ARE the capital city, but the hurricane was no where near us! On Friday morning we were all watching the news. Most of the schools in our area had early release and some were even cancelled so that the gyms could be used as shelters. Again, Austin HAS to be involved in some kind of effort. Reminded me of the times when AZ had it's monsoon season, that was always the top story..."Monsoon 2004!" I mean, come on...we get the storm every.single.year. It's not like it was something new????
Anyway, we were prepared for some severe thunderstorms here in Austin. We were supposed to get rain and wind, thunder, lightning...BIG time storm. Well, we all slept through the night, and woke up to calm skies....muggy...but calm. No wind, no rain...no anything.
Of course the same could not be said for the people in Houston. My cousins lost a big chunk of their roof, luckily it's over one of the spare bedrooms and they were in a different part of the house. Legs and Co. made it through the night as well. She emailed us at 4am, as she was awake listening to the radio with one kitty, waiting for the worst part of the storm to pass over their house. I still haven't heard from her so I don't know if their house sustained any damage. I do know that her husband and Boo and the other kitty slept through it all. Not surprising.
Our first threat of a hurricane has come and gone. *sigh*
In other news my toaster oven is getting a workout. I've even made a roast chicken in it. I know...impressive. AND I didn't have any chocolate Tuesday through Friday. Sorry Slick, that means no chocolate for you either. :)