Well, Weds. the 21st, my Mom and I became Rita evacuees-- fleeing from a storm which on that day was rated as a Category 5 that was supposed to come in at Port Lavaca or Matagorda on the Texas Coast.
We decided to get out that morning. My idea was to get to Austin , Texas, but I quickly found out that most hotels/motels in Texas were all ready booked because of Katrina evacuees, and others fleeing from Rita.
We ended up leaving Rosenberg, at 7:15pm , on Sept 21st.
It took us 5 hours to go from Rosenberg to Eagle Lake, Texas. At that time Rita looked to be a Category 5, with 165 mph winds. I packed my stuff, and then Mom packed the family photo albums, her clothes, and we left thinking 145mph winds might wipe out our house, because we are just 55 miles inland from the gulf. Burnet , Texas was our destination, as that was the only room I could get on short notice.
So there we were traveling about 3 mph in a stream of cars. At one point I got very worried that if all the roads were like this, we would run out of gas,and we would be stuck at 12;30 at night, with my Mom with a pacemaker, plus hot weather is hard when you are old and used to air conditioning. Well , it was totally frustrating and also scary, as you could feel some panic in the air. I hope I never experience anything like it again.
But then , THEN, once we got thru and past Eagle Lake,then we took alt 90 to Gonzales , no problem ,had the road to ourselves,and then 183 up thru Luling, Lockhardt, then I35 Austin, then to Burnet. Got there at 4:40 am the morning of Sept.22nd. I drove from 7:15pm til that 4:40 am.
All that we could figure out , was there had been some sort of accident in Eagle Lake, but it was strange as when we finally got to Eagle Lake, it was just a 4 way stop , with a guy with a red flashlight directing 4 way traffic, that was backed up on both of this farm to market 2 lane roads.
As we waited some people cheated by using the opposite lane to go foward.
So we got to Burnet , Texas, totally wiped out.
We made it up to my brothers in Mckinney, yesterday. I am glad we did come here, as at the time there was no way to know Rita was going to shift and go in near Sabine Pass.
Both of us needed it. My sister in Sugarland, was going to escape to Brenham , Texas, but traffic gridlocked in Houston, and they could not even get out of Sugarland! They are okay though, as Rita went further east, and down to a Cat 3.
Though awful, it could have been much worse.
Maybe the Dalai Lama, who was in Austin, last Tuesday did powerful prayers, and got the magnitude of the karma reduced. Hard to say, but as I say, at least my Mom and I have a home to drive back to. People in Slidell, LA, had it much worse.
So I give thanks, for getting out of there, and being safe here with family.
It shakes you up, but makes you realize how precious our time here on earth is.
My Mom and I became 2 out of 1 million evacuees for a while, but I feel even more sorry for Louisiana, that has been hit twice in 4 weeks.
I brought my laptop with me, and one of the things I grabbed, was a box with most of the negatives of all the photos I have taken over the years. It is funny what you grab, when, you leave a house, and think it may get blown away. Some physical items can be replaced, but once blown in a hurricane, photos are gone. I am afraid my energy is still a bit in an uproar. Or stressed.
My Mom called a neighbor, who says our house is okay, so we will likely go back down this coming Tuesday. I am sure tree branchs are down.
In all it has been a strange and scary week.