Well, I’ve been out of town secure in the deluded thought that I had posted that I would be evacuating and returned home to find the last entry was still in draft form:
I’ve been busy making arrangements for my dogs, etc. due to the storm that may be bearing down on us soon here in Houston, but I wanted to let you know that I’m supposed to do an INTERNET radio interview tonight at 10:00 pm Eastern time (9:00 pm Central) on Jewel’s Way radio program. Internet radio means that you MUST use your computer to listen. (9/21/05)
A few hours after I wrote those words my parents agreed to evacuate and the race was on. By then I had a 3-phase evacuation plan in place. In the midst of having to gather up what few belongings I could take and try in some feeble way to make my home and belongings somewhat safe from what appeared to be a category 5 hurricane heading straight for my area, I received a call from the vet saying my newest dog, recently adopted, was critically ill and would not make it. When I left town Wednesday I really didn’t expect to have a home when I returned and worried that my other dogs might be in danger of coming down with the same illness, despite the vet’s assurances that they probably would not, and losing them, too.
By the next morning, I had managed to rack up 2-3 hours sleep in the previous 48 hours. I managed to work across Houston without getting on any of the freeways to pick up my parents, then drove back across town–straight across the evacuation paths–and somehow managed to get back home and follow my daughter and son-in-law out of Houston and headed west and never got on the main evacuation routes. Although I ended up spending nearly 10 hours in the car, only about two hours were in heavy, stop-and-go traffic. The rest of the drive kept moving, even when we hit high trafficked areas. It was a very long, long drive but not nearly as long or as frustrating as the hundreds of thousands of others fleeing the city had. Our stay remained uneventful, thankfully, and on the return we once again stayed far away from the major evacuation routes and made it home in good time.
Despite the obvious good fortune, the experience was exhausting and left me drained and disoriented. The long hours of driving combined with the high stress of the event played havoc with me physically. Since my return I’ve felt as though I’ve been picking up the threads of my life, strand by strand. And tonight it’s the gnarled and tangled blog line that has finally caught my attention.
As for writing, well, I hope that the radio interview will be rescheduled to a later date this year. In the meantime I have to put my home back together and take the antique pitcher and bowl out of the dryer and out of the towels pushed inside the pitcher and wrapped around bowl in a clumsy attempt to beat the high winds and falling trees that would have wrought havoc upon my place had Rita maintained her pace and direction. Pictures and art must be rehung, computers and electronics rewired, and furniture and items put back in their original position. And all during that time, my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and remembrances will be noodling around seeking to grow, gain weight, and sink into my fertile imagination, only to lay in wait for the time when the writer within rises once more to pluck an image, a phrase, a fragment of this experience to enhance, suggest or even be the genesis of a new work.