Monday, September 01, 2008

Cautiously optimistic, and another update

Thanks for all of your prayers and kind words.

Landfall was near Houma, LA - and our prayers go out to the people at ground zero. Fortunately, Gustav weakened as it got near the coast, and seems to be moving at a pretty good clip - which should limit the amount of damage and floods in any one place.

The City of New Orleans is hanging in there as the levees are holding so far, though all eyes are on the water surging and coming over the top of the levee at the Industrial Canal in the Upper Ninth Ward. Hopefully, the surge will begin to subside soon, and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

The West Bank, where we live, seems to have been spared any bad flooding, though there is wind damage and debris everywhere according to local reports. It sure could have been a lot worse! But, until it's completely over, I can't say that we've dodged the bullet - but things are looking up.

On a personal note, we were able to extend our stay here in Texarkana - which is good, because we hope we'll be able to return home before too long, and we weren't looking forward to another road trip today.

Many thanks to my cousin Curt and his wife Tammy in Tulsa, who kindly offered to put us all up - as well as our friends Dennis and Syler in Eustace, TX and our friends Justin and Whitney in Austin (with whom we evacuated for Katrina). We are blessed to have so many people looking out for us.

Kitties are all doing very well - even in spite of being in close quarters. They sure like the king-sized bed. Lion Boy is getting a little stir crazy, but unfortunately, there are no McDonalds' with a playground around here. But, there is the ubiquitous WalMart. Sigh.

Fortunately, the folks with the scary intact male pit bull ("ghetto pony" a.k.a. the Breed of Peace(tm)) in the back of their truck with the tail gate down located five feet from our front door have moved on. There were children walking back and forth, as well as a lot of people with small dogs and cats. It sure made entry into our room a little nerve-racking, as the ever curious Rex (our kitten) was always peering through the opening. We also weren't too keen on Leo, the Friend of All Animals, deciding to "pet the puppy." One of the owners, a teenaged girl, was smacking him around as well. Great. One can only think of the famous last redneck words: "Hey, y'all, watch this!" But like I said, the ghetto pony and his pets have moved on...

In the lobby at breakfast, we ran into a Gretna family. They live near our church, and their son was a volunteer at our VBS this past summer. I was going to make use of a cliché about the lack of immensity of the terrestrial globe, but on second thought, I decided against it.

The staff at La Quinta has been wonderful! We've always had pretty good experiences at this chain, especially since they allow animals at their motels.

We also got a phone call out of the blue from an old friend in Pennsylvania, Yvonne, with whom we'd not spoken in maybe almost a decade! She called an old number, which, I have to presume, Vonage still has being forwarded to our home number, which in turn is being forwarded to my cell. Technology has really changed our lives, hasn't it? Ironically, Yvonne still has neither a computer nor an answering machine (or voicemail) - which we were nagging her about 15 years ago.

Just an observation: the Weather Channel should be renamed The Dope Channel - as it seems like every three minutes the weather reports are interrupted by drug commercials. Also, the personnel don't seem to know what they're talking about half the time. Fortunately, we were more or less able to stream Bob Breck (our local weather man) on the internet. It is virtually impossible for someone outside of New Orleans to cover this story - as the West Bank is south, the East Bank is north, the city is surrounded by Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi River, and a network of levees that are simply impossible to understand without knowing the lay of the land. Breck has been coving the hurricanes in New Orleans for thirty years. But enough hurricane news for now.

Anyway, thanks again, everyone!


Rosko said...

I love Bob Breck, my second favorite weatherman in history. First is Nash 'the Flash' Roberts. I'm glad y'all are safe, and I continue to pray for you.


Steven said...

Check Lion Boy in his Spidey gear! Why do cats always have to show off?! I am glad to hear that it looks like Gustav wasn't as bad as predicted.

Past Elder said...

I'm just hoping the fact that Gustav turned out to be less than feared doesn't lull people into a false sense of security next time, because there will be a next time.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

When next you reach Tulsa, let me know - I'm only 2 hours west of there.

Father Hollywood said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all.

Eric, I'm afraid a trip to Tulsa is not in the works. We were able to extend out motel stay, and considering the price of gas and the time involved, we decided to stay put.

But, with Ike brewing out there, you never know...