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

Wednesday, September 3, 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. im glad this hurricane passed through quickly and didn't destroy your house.

  2. *sniff* You didn't reply to me on my blog! In fact... I haven't gotten a comment from you in a while. *sniff*

    I am glad you are safe!

  3. Ah well, we shall meet someday! I think it's interesting you said that about my school (that you're Catholic), because there are two people in my Honors College who are Catholic and didn't think this is where they'd end up, but they did...and yes I know A&M - I lived in College Station for a year.

  4. Um, I'm confused. Does your family own a family-run business?


  5. Thank so much MJ; I'm very glad too. ;)

    *gasps and hugs her Mamma* O Mamma, I'm so sorry! Truely I am...everytime I get on, I have to get off! Grr... But I shall head over to visit with you right now! :) Hee hee...I'm glad I'm safe too! Thank you for praying for us.

    Edge~ Yes, someday. :) Hopefully Judi will be there too! That would be soo much fun. Ha, really? Interesting. My mom would NEVER let me go to college in Houston though. I'm not sure I'd want to be by myself in the city either, what with the crime rate. ;)

    Oh, that's right. My twelve yrd brother got to tour their...Visual Arts department, and we got to go to a presentation by Pixar which was totally sweet. The guy who spoke was pretty young, in his early thirties and had worked on Wall-E. His wife had too!

    Vicki, yes, my dad owns a's a really good fast-food place. :)

  6. Oh my you're safe! Thank God... love you!

  7. You wear glasses??? What color are yours???

  8. I did it. I dedicated something to you on my blog. :D

  9. Grace- I'm glad that you're doing okay and that your family is all safe. It's fun to read about your preparations- though I'm sure it would be rather scary to actually be there.

  10. I was glad to dedicate something I worked so hard on to you. :)
    You're nice.

    But, you might be sitting and waiting for awhile. Endings are real hard for me to do sometimes.

    I saw your picture, I can't believe you're only fifteen. You're soooo pretty..I wish I had hair like yours. My hair is blonde and kinda short. And if I put in a ponytail, then take it down, I look like a poodle that was stuck in a dryer. :D
    The only place that you could find a pic of me online would be my Facebook, but you can't get into that unless you have one.

    Your mom thinks you should only do the 'blog thing' once a week.....
    :( :( :( :(
    But, you're my favorite commenter (if that's a word). Try begging, I'll be sad if I only hear from you once a week. Hearing from a person only once a week is like the time before Instant messaging. I do that a lot. :D

    I'm glad we're friends, too. You're special. :)

    Love ya,

  11. Yes, dearest Jo, I'm safe. :) Thank you so much for your prayers...I can't tell you how much all this means to me. All the support and love... ;)Love you too!

    Elena, Oh thanks

    Judi~ Yep. Brown are the colour, slighty round/oval-ish.

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!! Thank you, thank you! *squeals* :D *feels important*

    Eeehhh! Lol...thanks! I'm glad you dedicated something you worked so hard on to me! And you're very nice too. ;)

    Hehehe...another thing we have in commen. Endings can be difficult. Sometimes thoug, I have the perfect ending...I just have to fill out the actual story. :)

    Really? I look younger, right? I had this one guy tell me once, "I'm sorry, but you look like you're SEVEN!" Haha...I guess I look eleven or twelve. I love shocking people when I tell them how old I am. It'll be even more fun when I learn how to drive.

    Police officer: "Excuse me, do you know can't be driving?"

    Me: "Er, I'm sixteen."

    Officer: "Miss, I'm not joking."

    Me: (thinks: 'neither am I'. Silently and meekly hands over license)


    Officer: (staightens up) "Have a good day, Ma'am."


    *blushes* Oh, thank you, but it's a real pain most days. When I go to work, I have to pull it back, so after I get off work, 60 percent of the time it ends up looking dirty (even though I JUST WASHED IT!!) and hangs like a dead thing. Gah!

    Gotta go! I'll talk/beg with my mom about more then 'once a week' thing!

  12. My old glasses were brown and oval-ish..Now I have black glasses that are kind of rectangle a bit, I guess. :)

    What kind of stories do you write???

    I'm glad you feel important because that was a tough one to write. I don't know why, either. I think it's because I'm getting so close to the end. :D

    You looked about fourteen in the picture, I don't think you look like you're seven or eight. I think that guy was teasing...boys are weird. :D

    I'm taller than my sisters so people tend to the think I'm about my age sometimes a year younger or older. :)

    I'm sooo tired. I got back from church a little while ago, and I'm ready to fall asleep, but I'm not going to. :)

    PS: Update.

  13. My mom thinks those kind of glasses would look good on me, but I'm perfectly fine with mine. As if there's not enough change going on. I do like change, but I also love the comfort of familarity. :)

    Hm, my main one is fantasy, but I've got so many odds and ends floating around. I have a lot of unwritten film scrips which mainly exist in my head. I love drama, romance and thriller stuff - I'm a very angsty kind of person. ;)

    And then I've got one or two simple little pieces. I'm kind of like C. S. Lewis. I get a lot of images/pictures in my head and then just roll with it. But yeah, lots and LOTS of angst!

    Really? I'm glad that you're glad I'm glad. :D Ha... does that make sense?

    Aw... *pouts* The end? Nooo! More Man in Uniform - more! ;) No, I get it. Sometimes you just can't go past a cetain part, when you end something. I mean it is THE end...

    I might have been fourteen when I took that picture... ;) No, I think I was fifteen. That's good to know - the guy was ordering from me at work, he's pretty older: late twenties, I should think. I like being so short and looking young; it's fun.

    Yes. Boys are so weird. But that's why we love them, isn't it? ;)

    You're tall? I'm very short! Ha! Well that must be fun sometimes, if sisters are older but people think you're older.

    I got back from church recently too; we went to a ten o'clock Mass. Haha, yes don't fall asleep yet! I have a present for you!

    I'm typing out a post right now! Thanks for pushing me to update, Judi... you always to tell me to when I need to!

  14. Dang... I just realized I posted 'Hurricane Update: Part Two' twice. *hits head* Oy ve.

  15. I'm so glad you're home and safe, Grace!!!!!! I was praying for you!

    I wear glasses, too. I'm getting new frames :)

  16. I'm very glad you and you're family are safe!

    G- you have a wonderful, inspiring and well written blog.

    I also like your blogroll :)

  17. ooooooookay, update.

  18. Okay, Grace....
    We need your help with something....and since you love me so much, I know you won't mind helping me. :D
    Me and some other bloggers are trying to get another girl to update her blog. She's working on a mystery story and she left us hanging....:( so, we need your help. All you have to do is go to her comments page and leave a few comments that say Update or whatever. Okay? Here's her blog:

    Please help us!!!

  19. That's it, update or i'll send all of my fellow bloggers over here to comment all over this post unless you update. >:)

  20. Elena, Oh my, I am so sorry. My last comment replying to you looks so rude! Eeep! I was going to type out more, but I had to get off suddenly, so I (very stupidly) clicked publish with out thinking, and when I came back and re-read it. "Elena, Oh, thanks." *winces* Aahhh, I sound so arupt and rude and horrible!

    Hehe, what I meant to say was, "Oh, thanks for all your prayers and best wishes! I think we were all too busy running around and going mad to be scared.

    It was funny though, because while I was frantically packing and throwing everything into a closet I mentally writing a blog post in my head...haha. ;) So once more, I'm sorry; I'll definitely re-read all my comments before I hit "Post". :)

    Thanks, Lanta! *hugs her* I know it was all y'all's prayers that got us and our house through safely. Haha, really? Cool, what color are yours?

    Thank you so much, Helen! I was delighted to see your comment, so my thanks for stopping by!

    *turns pink* Ah, well, thank you. That means a lot coming from you. I'm glad you like it. :)

    Heehee. *whispers* I like it too; it gets longer and longer as I meet new friends!

    Judi~ Haha, got it. Aw, you know I love you, and of course I'll do it! ;) Ooh, mystery... I LOVE mystery stories!

    Haha, really? Lol...don't worry.