Part One: Tranquility in the tempest
A synonym for hurricane is tempest. The antonym for tempest is tranquility or serenity. I like being able to combine tranquility and tempest. I think it says something important about your core.
Another synonym for tempest is brouhaha. I like “brouhaha” because you can’t really say it without laughing, and you can’t really live through a hurricane without being able to laugh, as well. I wish I could find a “b” word that means the same as tranquility to combine with brouhaha, so I could use the word brouhaha and alliterate the title of this post, but I can’t find one. We can try “Bradycardia in the Brouhaha.” Bradycardia is a medical term for a very slow heartbeat, which in our case would mean we were absolutely very very tranquil…
In the early morning hours of Saturday, September 13, Hurricane Ike, a Catagory 2 hurricane, made a direct hit on Galveston, Texas. Though we are in Northwest Houston, we are only 62 miles from Galveston. The winds came through Houston at breakneck speed. We lost power about 1:30 a.m. We didn’t wake up until we started hearing the roof creaking and moaning at about 2:30. I got up and looked out at the trees whipping around in the wind, but since neither Duane or I have a spirit of fear, I crawled back in bed next to him and went back to sleep. Once he mentioned something sounded like doors slamming, but we decided it was just limbs hitting the roof and rolling off.
I don’t think Duane ever got up, what could he do, after all? Neither the winds nor the waves obey him… so at first light, about 6ish, we crawled out of bed to see what was still standing.
Since we’ve been without power or internet for ten days, the next few days I will catch you up on life in the city, post- Ike. But first, we want to give honor to the Father for the mercies He showered on us through the storm. Let’s just call them Hurricane Mercies:
1. We lost power, but we never lost water. You can handle a lot, if you can still flush the toilet and take a shower at night.
2. There was no damage to the house, except maybe a little leak in the breakfast room. All the trees fell away from the house.
3. We were kept safe.
4. Sunday afternoon, one day into “no power”, our neighbor’s dad came from Austin with the last two gas generators in town. We had $760 cash on hand to purchase the generator off his truck.
5. With no power, even if there is gas you are unable to pump it. Gas lines were long because so few stations had power and were open. But we were always able to find gas when we needed it.
6. Duane had cold milk even after two days without power. (he loves his cold milk.)
7. We didn’t lose the muscadine juice I had frozen for future batches of muscadine jelly.
8. We were kept from fear.
9. Our phone worked all day Saturday, during the storm and for 24 hours afterwards before it died. We were able to touch base with and check on our friends/family.
10. We could always text, even if cell phones didn’t work.
11. The first cool front of the season came through the day after Ike, so we didn’t have the usual September temperatures in the 90’s. It was in the high 70’s all week, from Sunday until the next Saturday. People would have gotten hostile, if it had been hot.
12. There were no mosquitoes from the Saturday Ike hit til the next Sunday. NO MOSQUITOES. And I mean no mosquitoes, in Houston, in September, after a hurricane.
13. Talked to, worked alongside, broke bread, and visited with neighbors, previously unknown.
14. We were still able to minister to those around us. Duane felt led to start an ICE ministry in the neighborhood. He got people with generators to freeze ice for people without generators. Every day at 5:00 he went around and picked up ice from neighbors to deliver to other neighbors so they could keep the remaining food in their ice chests cold.
That's it for now. I've gotten used to going to bed when it gets dark, and it's waaaay past my bedtime now!