Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Survived Hurricane Ike!

The storm is over. The rain has stopped and the air is finally still. What a week this has been for our family! Living in Houston we often hear of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that could potentially come our way but they usually blow over or move a different direction so we didn't stop to listen much when they started talking about Ike. But the talking just kept getting louder and louder until we decided we better start listening. Especially since Ryan and Marielle were flying out to Seattle on Thursday and I would have to brave the storm by myself. We watched weather forecasts and storm path predictions and debated back and forth if Ryan should even go. About two hours before his flight he decided it would be an awful weekend for both of us if we were apart, so he decided to stay. He got to come home early on Thursday and take Friday off to prepare for the storm which was scheduled to arrive around midnight on Friday. It was an eerie thing to prepare for disaster. The grocery store was packed with lines all the way to the back of the store. As I walked in there was literally one cart available and probably only because it had a bad front wheel. I bought lots of pantry items since we were told we could be out of power for a week or two. Ryan cleaned out our rain gutters and found a wasp nest. I think he had fun annihilating them. We opted not to board up windows, but did create a storm shelter in our walk in closet, and updated our 72 hour kits in case we wanted to leave after the storm.
We also found time to play Guitar Hero. All in all it was interesting day of watching, waiting, and trying to get ready for the unknown. By around 8:00pm we were ready to get our minds off of things and watch a movie. We watched Step Up which upon reflection the following morning, would have been a very embarrassing last night on earth activity if we had died during the hurricane.
We went to bed around 11:30 listening to the winds that were starting to pick up. Ryan fell right asleep in accordance with his "sleep anywhere, anytime Mullen genes" and I tossed and turned and fretted about the thuds of pine cones hitting our roof. Around 2:30 our power shut off, and by 3:30 we decided to move into the closet to get away from any windows. The closet was cramped and very hot, but it muted the sounds of the storm better than the rest of the house and we felt very protected and secure. Marielle, unfortunately, woke up in the move and would not go back to sleep. She cried when we turned off the light and started saying "turn on fan! turn on fan!" Sorry Marielle! She fussed for a while and then gave a nice big yawn and just when I thought she was drifting off, we hear in a very chipper voice,"momma, fli flaw?" (Translation: why else would we be in the closet than to put on flip flops?) After about a half an hour, we gave up on getting her back to sleep and turned on our flashlight and just hung out for a while. Marielle read books, played with toys, watched some videos on Ryan's palm and Ryan and I talked about life.
By about 5:30 the three of us got back to sleep with the aid of Ryan fanning Marielle and I with a big book. The little breeze made a huge difference and I drifted off to sleep until 7:30 or so. By 8:00 I couldn't stand the hot, dark, closet anymore so I woke Ryan up and made him stand up so I could open the door and escape. We listened to the radio reports and decided that the worst of storm had passed us and we could go see how our house fared. When we looked out at the yard, Marielle exclaimed, "Wet!"
Marielle lined her animals up to see outside of the ark The yard was a crazy mess of tree limbs, pine cones, leaves, and puddles from the rain but our house had no damage. We'll check the roof later, but for now we think everything is ok. We also thought it was funny when Marielle dragged a chair over to the light switch to turn on some lights since apparently her parents were lazy and wouldn't turn them on. Funny how she couldn't get them to turn on either...
We don't know yet how our friends in other areas of Houston fared, but our area did pretty well. Lots of trees and fences are down, but there appears to be no major structural damages to homes or windows blown out. Our gas and water were intact after the storm and our power came back on around 3pm. So all in all, we felt very grateful that we were safe and without too many inconveniences. Let's just hope that life is not like Super Mario Brothers in which passing level one means you move on to level two.


Anonymous said...

Mary- We're glad to hear you guys are okay. We were thinking about you guys, and I told Michael to call you, but he said no, and called mom instead. So we were concerned about you guys :)


christy said...

I'm glad you're okay. I was thinking about you and Ike. Oh I mean, you and Ryan and Marielle...and Ike. Hopefully the rest of the season isn't so severe.

Stacey said...

What a weekend, glad to hear you guys are ok. Mary Karlee, I'm glad you didn't have to be alone all weekend. I would have freaked out if I had to be alone during a hurricane. Or alone with the kids... yikes!

RonJohn said...

glad to hear you guys are safe without too much damage.