Monday, September 15, 2008

In Which We Arrive Home and Discover Something Surprising

We left San Antonio around 10am, after breakfast and a long, hot shower (which we feared would be our last). We drove along the Alt-90, not seeing too much damage until about 50 miles out from our home. First it was small branches down, then larger ones, then signs down, only 50% of the traffic lights working... it didn't look good.

As we neared home, we saw a housing development much like our own. New houses, roughly comparable construction. At least 70% of the wooden fences were down, and almost every house had roof damage. Larger and larger trees were blown over. We figured that's what we were in for.

However, as we crossed I-45 towards home, we noticed some working lights and two operable gas stations without insane lines. On the final overpass heading home we saw that another area of our subdivision had no apparent roof damage. The traffic light at our turn was working, and all the roofs on the way home appeared whole.

We got to our house and noticed two things immediately. 1) The Library window was unbroken. 2) The garage door opened.

In fact, NO windows were broken, there was NO water in the house, we lost NO shingles (that we can see), our wooden fences are WHOLE, and we have POWER, GAS, and WATER (even if it has to be boiled).

To say that we are ecstatic would be an understatement. In our wildest dreams we never imagined life would return to normal so quickly. We are INCREDIBLY lucky. Other parts of our area have much worse damage--certainly the shoreline folks got nailed, the Boardwalk in Kemah may have ceased to exist, and even downtown League City, a little farther inland from us, got hit with some small tornadoes after Ike passed through. Then there's the fact that so many in the greater Houston area still lack power, water and gas.

We want to thank everyone who offered us good wishes and help if needed; while we're mighty glad we didn't need to throw ourselves on anyone's charity, we feel amazingly blessed to have such good friends. If any of you feel like you can, please remember those in Houston who are going to have a much rougher time getting back on their feet. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are a great organizations that are an incredible help in times like these. If you can throw a few bucks their way, it would be a real help.

For us, all's well that ends well. It was a more drama-free experience than I'd expected, and we got incredibly lucky. Thanks everyone!


Anonymous said...

And a voice from the rear: "So's the Salvation Army a pretty good outfit."

-Dad -

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hooray! Glad to hear all is well.

Anonymous said...

Very glad to hear that you're among the lucky ones.


Karen Burnham said...

Thanks everyone! It's mind-boggling to see the damage all around us and to have suffered so little ourselves. League City even declared the water supply safe today, although they're still asking for people to conserve.

Dad - Whoops! Post edited to reflect family history.

Cheryl said...

Much relief there. Now may be a good time to think about making sure the windows can be secured before the next one.

Karen Burnham said...


Oh yeah. As soon as things get back to normal around here (lines less than 30 min long at the gas station; maybe having the gas station on the corner actually open) that's the first call we're making.