Yup...the bayou had overflowed and made its way all the way to my apartment complex.
While I didn't have power or water (still don't), I was instantly thankful that I was up on the top floor. At least I didn't have flooding, and the view was kind of pretty in a scary sort of way.
There I was, hunkering down in my apartment in the dark. I had my stash of food, my car was full of gas, and I had even filled my tub with water. I was ready for Ike - or so I thought.
You see, I had never been in a hurricane before, but working in the news, I had heard all of the horror stories of windows blowing out, stop signs whipping through the air and striking people while walking, and living weeks on end without power. So even though I had worked a 14 hour day at the station, I wasn't sleepy. And once my windows started rattling at 4:00 am, I was wide awake.
I don't know what I thought 100 mph winds would sound like, but I never imagined it being so loud. It was as if a jet engine was going off in my apartment. Plus, rain was pelting against the glass and leaking though the cracks. And then, when something crashed against the window, I lost it.
There was no way I was going to take this lying down in bed. Nope...I was going to take it like the girl I am - or at least the girl I was when I was in kindergarten.
So what did I do? Well, I got up and hid in the closet -- literally. It was not my bravest moment, but I laid out an exercise mat on the floor, grabbed my pillow and a blanket and curled up on the floor with the door closed. Yes, I am pathetic, but I slept like a baby.
DID SANTA COME?
The next day was a little like Christmas morning, except instead of rushing to see what Santa had brought me, I ran to my window to check out the damage. It was amazing.
In just a couple of hours, Ike had come in and rearranged all of Houston. Nothing looked the same. My apartment was an island surrounded by water.
But what was really surprising was that all the Texans were down on street hanging out. I guess they were done hunkering down (I've never used this word before living here - very cool), and ready to get out. They were biking through the puddles, walking their dogs along the edge of water and taking pictures. Some had even set up lawn chairs like they were at the beach!
Naturally, I had to join them. And you know what? It was fun.