Many of you have been anxious to know how I fared as I was
under a mandatory evacuation order. Well, since I'm not typing
this from Heaven or Hell, you are right in assuming that reports
of my impending death have been greatly exaggerated (mostly
by the morbid stuff I've been posting online).
The continuous news coverage, especially by CNN has put
all of my friends worldwide on the same page, except as to my
actual treatment by Rita.
So here are the facts :
I decided to take up my sister's offer to get the hell out of Dodge
a.k.a. Houston, with her family early on in the situation and so
avoided the largest mandatory evacuation and traffic tie-up in
Since there were no hotel rooms available online and calls to
nearby hotels proved fruitless, we found ourselves at a neat little
Best Western in Abilene, Texas. 7 hours NW of Houston, a small
clean, orderly town that is home to Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene
is part historic Frontier town and part contemporary hip college town,
with restaurant chains like the Olive Garden and Golden Corral, plus
a bunch of Italian, Mexican and Southwest Barbecue places.
The first hotel to bear the Hilton name still stands here, only it's under
restoration and goes by the name Windsor.
Rather than get upset by the distressing news reports, we made a
family vacation out of the whole trip once we knew that Rita had passed
through Houston with minimal damage to our own towns and none to our
residences.We spent some quality time together and had plenty of laughs.
When Monday rolled around and we were allowed to return to Houston by
the authorities, it was with a slightly heavy heart, knowing that the trip
home would bring us back to the big-city humdrum, noise, smog and
rat race. Not to mention the eternal prospect of being evacuated again
at the slightest mention of a Hurricane. Nov.30th marks the end of Hurricane
season for us, but only until next year when the new Hurricane season begins
and we get to relive this nightmare all over again
Next time, I'll try not to be so dramatic and show a little more empathy for
the REAL evacuees, some of who had already been evacuated from Louisiana.
For now, a big Thank You to the friendly folks of Abilene, and a quote
from Jack Kerouac writing in 'On The Road' :
"Imagine living in this town a thousand miles from cities. Whoop, whoop,
whoop, over there by the tracks, old town Abilene where they shipped the
cows and shot it up for gumshoes and drank red-eye. Look out there!' yelled
Dean out the window with his mouth"