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A Hanker for a Hunker

So, wrapping up the Ike Adventure:

We were advised not to evacuate the area prior to the storm, since we are waaaay far away from the coastal counties (and we’ve been informed that the snappy new motto is “Run from the water, hide from the wind”), but rather to hunker down and shelter in place.

I cannot tell you how many times the word hunker was uttered by the local newspeople. I can only tell you that each and every time, I thought of the old public service cartoon they used to run on ABC. You know, the one  about hankering for a hunk of cheese? [Can’t believe I was able to find that clip.] Yeah, totally unrelated, but there you go. I also had this song running through my head for days and days, pretty much anytime the whole hunker down order was issued.

Shouldn’t have mentioned it; here comes the Speedwagon again.

Anyway, sixteen years I’ve been in Texas and I’m still a little bit scared during the run-of-the-mill thunderstorm. Sitting in the pitch black house, watching the forest that is our front yard whip around? Totally, though quietly, freaked out. Oh, how I longed for the company of the local news team and their talk of hunkering. Here’s a picture of our little cage of a shelter, which is the only interior area of our downstairs that doesn’t have a window:

 Somewhere around 2:30 in the morning, I started to get sleepy and just prayed that God would wake me up in time to get everyone to the closet in case of emergency. And He is faithful! Right before 4, a shower of pine cones (and, man, are those things loud) fell on the roof and woke me up. Right after that, something even louder started to come down and I – again, quietly – freaked out. “Get the baby and get in the closet! GET IN THE CLOSET! GET THE BABY!” (Said baby had been sleeping peacefully in a tent in the middle of the living room. That boy is a champ of a sleeper!) So that’s what we did. We spent the next hour in the coat closet. Joey woke up after about 15 minutes, so we let him play with the flashlight, and he thought we were having big fun. Ahh, to be young. Actually, though, it did feel totally ridiculous and funny to be squashed in the narrowest of all alcoves behind the folding doors. I mean, this is the safe space in our house? But I wasn’t a bit too proud to (once more, for old times sake) hunker down.

Turns out it was only a branch that fell on the roof. I’d wondered if I would know if a tree was falling before it made contact with, say, our heads. Based on the noise created by the cones and the branch, I think I would.

The only other excitement was when I dozed off and woke up again at around six to find a small pond at the back of the living room. This was a little disappointing, but far from shocking, seeing as I’ve mopped up that area about a half dozen times over the past two years. One look out the window revealed the problem: The drains were completely covered with storm debris, and then about 3 inches of water. Mystery solved. Kevin was able to dig them back out again at first light, and we didn’t have any more problems with flooding. Phew!

Come morning, we were more than a little surprised to find that the dreaded trees had acted as kind of a windbreak. The yards were a total mess; it looked like the lawn had been replaced with pine needles and branches. That’s all it was, though: a mess. Even more surprising? Our raggedy eyesore of a fence? Not one board came down. This blasted fence borders with four neighbors, and apparently nobody got together on the design. The back is uneven and slanted, and the sides are just in bad shape. Apparently, it’s good to be insulated by that many neighbors. Who knew?

Can you tell I’ve been a little cooped up and cut off? Yap yap yap. Don’t worry; almost done.


4 responses »

  1. You, friend, are a bright spot in my day!

  2. I’m glad nothing happened and you guys were safe!

  3. WOW. What a scary bizarre mess. Glad you made it through safely in that fortress of a coat closet. I just knew bi-fold doors weren’t useless. 😉

  4. Wow, glad it turned out well! We were in a “run from the water” zone, but thank goodness we didn’t flood. About a mile from our house it’s pretty nasty, finally went out to look. Sailboats in the road, etc. I feel so bad for those folks!


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