Thoughts on my mind before Ike

The city of Houston has asked non-essential employees not to go to work today and that includes me and R. We are at home today - a Friday and waiting for Ike. The latest news updates about the hurricane predict a direct hit at Galveston - just 45 miles away from home.

This morning, we sat down at our patio to enjoy a cuppa before bringing all patio furniture in. The day outside is so beautiful - a slight breeze, warm, blue skies, puffy white clouds, peek-a-boo sun, chirping birds - in short perfect.

The roads are quiet strange on a Friday morning, there is an eerie silence and it makes me want to pack a picnic - crusty bread, heirloom tomatoes, potato salad and ice tea and hit our favorite picnic spot near the lake. Or do an impulsive drive down to the coast and enjoy the spray of the sea and the gritty sand on my bare toes....Feel the breeze tousling my hair, enjoy the sunshine on my face. That is what I want to do.

But bringing be back to reality is the continues newscast on local channel 11 we are following. Warnings get scarier by the minute. I try to ignore them and rationalize. I do not live in the mandatory evacuation zone, there will be winds and rains but nothing more I reassure myself. But images from Katrina are burned in my mind.

I worry, a lot. About people who did not evacuate, people who need help, the friend who had a baby day before and riding the storm out, the pets, and above all about our home. This is the first hurricane we face as home-owners. In spite of the insurances we hold, the rational it is just bricks and stone (or rather wood and more wood) it is home. It is not an apartment. It is a testament of our times together as a couple. Our dream home, our joy, our haven and our own corner.

I went out last night, checking out what the rest of the city is doing. Partly because I was jobless and worrying about unwanted stuff and partly because I wanted to know what everyone else was feeling. We went around, clicking random pictures, reading hurricane closures and checking out the crowds at the pubs and bars. Most of the non-evacuating people, like us were taking their minds off Ike by hitting the neighborhood watering hole on a weekday. It is then I realized just like me there are millions who worry. Each one of them has family and friends living far-off, who are probably watching CNN and fretting and worrying. Just like our family and friends who have been calling us all day.

I say a small prayer to everyone along Ike's path coz that is all I can do for now. As of now there is still uncertainty over where Ike will hit early tomorrow. Stay safe, stay sheltered and ride it out.

I'll watch the winds blow, the rain fall, the streets flood and hopefully nothing beyond that. I'll keep updated through this blog if I still have power and internet connectivity.

Nature - so powerful, so beautiful, so unpredictable....