Saturday, September 13, 2008

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'...

Sometimes you need perspective. Spent a lot of last night awake partly because of stress over my financial troubles. I finally got to sleep late, and would probably still be asleep now, but for the fact that someone's loud alarm clock began going off a few hours ago, and I can hear it through my window....and it's still going off. Irritating.

But: I don't live in Galveston. I did watch some of the coverage of hurricane Ike hitting the Texas coast last night, and turned it on again this morning. Although most of the coverage now seems to be focusing on Houston, it's Galveston that seems to me to have borne the worst of it, with the storm surge coming over the sea wall (and parts of the town not covered by the sea wall), and with the eye of the storm having passed right overhead, just off the sea, where the storm is still at nearly full strength. When I went to bed, it was being reported that 911 operators were reaching frantic calls from people who had decided not to evacuate and were now realizing their mistake, asking to be rescued...and being told that it was too dangerous for rescue operations and they were on their own. It's easy to shake your head and figure it's what they get for ignoring the mandatory evacuation order -- including being told they faced certain death if they stayed behind -- but when you hear one guy was calling from waste-deep water on the second floor of his house....well, it's hard not to shiver.

Not that Houston hasn't had it bad. Even if you just consider the millions of people who are without power, and may remain that way for weeks, the hardship is considerable. When you add the flooding, the damage to homes and businesses, the debris all over the roads -- well, it's quite a mess, to say the least.

So suddenly, being short of cash and sleep ain't all that bad.

And meantime, as I've been writing this post, that friggin' alarm clock stopped going off. So at least I'll be able to get a nap in later on. And I have a working television, power, an internet connection, a cell phone, and no water on the floor. Yup, life is looking pretty good today.

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