Living in Houston brings with it moments of Hurricane season "thrills," keeping us Houstonians diligently and humbly aware of Mother Nature and how her powerful force can change life on a dime.
Here is a glimpse of my life the day before Ike arrived... keeping calm before the storm.
Heading out early (6am) morning to fuel up our cars and buy some bottled water, batteries and a few cans of beans, protein bars and assorted snacks. Our local media is broadcasting round the clock and it can really whip the general population into a panicked frenzy. It is easy to get mesmerized by the continual feed of updates, weather predictions and tips for enduring the storm. Preparing early and turning off the TV and radio for periodic breaks during the day helps me stay unflustered.
While out doing my errands in preparation for Ike - I caught a moment of what I thought would be a great "photo" to capture the general feeling of "preparing for a hurricane"
This is a description of what my photograph would look like-
The marquee above the freeway which normally flashes traffic flow information reads- "Hurricane forming in the gulf- fill your gas tank" while simultaneously two pick-up trucks heading south carrying full loads of ply wood (for boarding up windows) pass a loaded down Suburban (filled with suitcases, two animal carriers, and in addition - strapped by a worn but sturdy bungee cord to it's extended tailgate is an extra large blue cooler and three small red hand-held gas containers) heading north. The sky is perfect blue and the clouds are puffy white cotton balls - this perfect sky feels almost animated- it doesn't seem real. The air feels different too, unlike your normal thunder storm- almost surreal.
As I write this, evening is here and the air is dead still. Mother nature responds to the upcoming storm and sensitive climate conditions. It is made evident in noticing the birds, squirrels and insects are nowhere to be seen. Similar- to what I remember from my years as a kid growing up in the mid-west experiencing a powerful storm. It is an eerie, almost unnatural stillness- for me, best described as the "calm before the storm."
At this point we are not sure if we will stay put in Houston or travel three hours northwest to the Texas hill country.
Published On: September 13, 2008