Hurricane Update: Then: Safe in Texas and watching from afar. Now: Safely Home

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello everyone! I'm back, and safe thanks to your prayers. Thank you so much!

This first part was typed up on Sunday, after we evacuated safely to Texas. My grandfather's laptop wouldn't show the comment box, so all I could do was publish comments, and reply on your blogs, but I was forced to get off several times. Also, we left Tuesday morning, spent the night in Houston and arrived home in the afternoon today.

Part One: Safe in the Rio Grande Valley, in my grandparent's house, I type this on my grandfather's laptop.

Yesterday (Saturday) began with my previous post, and then rushing off to the mall to work. We were giving away a free entree (I didn't realise entrees were, say, a sandwich, nuggets or strips - I thought they were sides, like fries or fruit!) per person. I had taken maybe six orders at the most when mall security came rushing up and asked us to stop taking orders. They were closing the mall immediately.

In the back our workers were cooking as much food as they could as fast they could. Last time with Rita, my dad came back and found all the food rotted and yucky, so this time we tried to cook and give away as much as we could. A lady from Women and Children's (a local hospital) came up to the counter and asked us if we would donate any food. We gave about two big bags of food and were going to give her another one, but she had already left.

More food was given to one of the mall workers, who was overseeing men boarding up the mall, so they got hot food. :) It was a proud feeling giving food to these people, and one that felt good. Charity never bruises but rather lifts the spirit.

We came in at noon, and the mall probably closed around 12:20. We didn't leave until four o'clock at least. We had to count everything: sauces, lids, bags, for inventory which is done at the end of each month and would have been done yesterday but for the hurricane. We also had to prepare for the hurricane. I covered all the registers with trash bags to protect them if rain should come in through the ceiling.

We cleaned everything as much as we could, cramming our fresh produce (lettuce, vegetables) in to ice chests with bags of ice to keep them cold. We lugged everything we could to our storeroom into our big refrigerators. Our salads, cheesecakes, brownies, carrot-and-raisin salad, coleslaw, fruit cups, lemon pie slices and cool wraps were pulled out and put into bags. We let our employees take food home with them so they had something to eat later.

Everyone stayed as long as they could, and helped us close. The last two to leave was one of our teamleaders, Jessie and our manager, Tony. Both are quite young, in their twenties, and are just really awesome. :)

The Great American Cookie Company is right next to us and they were giving away cookies, so we had two boxes and two bags of cookies in the store. Then, Jessie told us her sister wanted to give us cookies at the other cookie company, down at the other side of the mall.

She walked my little sister, Fey and I down there. Her sister Denise is really nice, and let us take whatever we wanted, because as she said, "I have to get rid of it all and I'd rather give it away then throw it away!"

When we first walked up, Denise looked up and grinned. "You have food, I have cookies and Mama has Piccadilly's!" Jessie had fruit and soup from the store, and their mother works at Piccadilly's so she got to take home food from there. So they had a variety to munch on in the car. ;)

Fey and I went back to the store, Tony left and we followed half a hour later. At home we packed, ran around pulling at our hair, and well...tried to figure out what to do. Around ten, the football game my dad had been keeping a eye on, between weather reports, was paused for a important message. We were told the latest of the storm, and that the Mayor of New Orleans was getting everybody out, so we were advised to bump up evacuating by a few hours as the roads would be packed/jammed in a little while.

We left at 11:30 p.m., with mini mattresses on the floor and our car crammed. I had stuffed as many of our 'good' books into a closet in the middle of the house away from windows, taken down all the pictures in my room, moved stuff away from the windows and put what I wasn't taking on my closet shelves.

Arrived at the Valley early Sunday afternoon, relaxed, visited with family and kept a close eye on the tv. Monday was lots of fun. My mom and I made dinner for all our cousins, aunts and uncles. My mom made homemade gumbo and cooked a whole red fish for my grandpa who's vegetarian. I made fish cakes, smashed potatoes, (pictures soon!) and homemade rolls. It was a great dinner and everyone was so nice and complimented me afterwards.

Part Two: Early Tuesday morning we left, and stayed the night at a fellow operator's house with his lovely family. I had hoped to meet fellow blogger and Texan, Edge (!!!) in Houston, as she goes to college there, but my dad ended up making up his mind to leave early so he could get back to the store.

So... no Edge. *tear* I really wanted to meet her, but I know we'll go to Houston again in the near future. There's a homeschool store my mom gets a bunch of our school stuff from. Plus we just miss Texan food so. ;)

We got back home at 10:00 (a.m.), having left Houston at 5:30 in the morning. Came home to check the house. It was exactly as we had left it. It was almost impossible to believe a hurricane had been so near a few days ago for today was hot and sunny. I went to work, therefore, further cut off from the computer and you dear friends.

But I'm home and safe, so thank you, thank you for all of your prayers. I know it was your prayers that kept us safe and our home and town unscathed. :)

And now I must bid you all a quick adieu, for Mommy is calling, and I must go if I hope to be back tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. YAY!!!!! I get to leave the first comment on your post.
    I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE OKAY!!!!! I was worried. :)
    *cyber hug*
    I missed you...i looked like this :(
    But, i'm okay, now...because you're back...and that means you'll be updating a lot more, right???
    Lady Rose is awesome..I like her blog...
    Which reminds me, can I link your blog to mine????
    I would love to meet you and edge at the same time. That would be so awesome. All I need is a learner's permit, a job, and some money. How hard to you think those three things are to get??? :D