Rita has come and gone, leaving us relatively unscathed. The past few days have been one big blur. When I decided to board up the house on Wednesday, I knew I'd have to get lucky finding enough plywood anywhere. I had been watching the news and listening to the radio but nothing prepared me for the level of shear panic that was in the air. When I got to Lowe's there was a line of pickup trucks, SUV's, and compact cars out to the parking lot. There was a tension in the air that I can't really describe. I knew I wasn't going to find any wood but I was hoping to get lucky and find a pack or two of batteries for the radio. Walking into Lowe's was like going into Walmart after five. All the plywood was gone and the place was packed. People were buying prime oak and cedar, sheetrock, and wall paneling to cover their windows. There was a feeling of urgency and the verge of becoming o tright panic. I got out of there pretty quick after a man did everything but threaten me when I looked at his pile of paneling. When I got home, we listened to th news most of the day and I knew I'd have to do something other than just hope the house would be okay. I went to Walmart for bottled water, some canned goods and the hope of finding batteries. I found nails at our local Ace Hardware and used the poker roll to pay since I knew my card wouldn't work. I sacrificed the two sheets of plywood I was going to use for a new poker table, I tore out the shelving in the garage, the shelves in the shed, the frame from the futon that was in my bus, and busted out a few shelves in Lana's office. Lana came home from her New York trip to find me boarding up the upstairs bedrooms with the scrapwood from around the house. It was an uneasy feeling to see my house boarded up but I was relieved she was finally home after watching the news of all the traffic as over two million people tried to leave town.
I spent the first night Lana was home boarding up the office windows talking and hammering nails until four in the morning. It was surprisingly nice in an odd way. We spent the next few days with friends who decided to stick it out with us, watching the news, talking all night, playing poker and just catching up. We stayed up late into the early morning hours mostly just talking. It felt like old times back at Barbs house when we'd get together in her living room.
We got lucky and I only have some branches to pick up from my yard. I was stunned and horrified when I watched the news coverage on the aftermath. All I could think about was how lucky we got. While I'd never wish something so horrible onto others I can't help but let out a sigh of relief that it didn't hit us as bad as we thought it was.
Now I'm just exhausted. Tomorrow I've got to pull down the rest of the boards and clean the yard. Life is almost back to normal if you don't count the fact that Domino's Pizza isn't delivering, gas is still hard to find, and it takes twenty minutes to get food from the Taco Bell drive through. Well, I should get in bed and try to sleep despite not being sleepy at all.
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