Ok, last week was quite a doozy! It's a bit of a blur and hard to even remember where it all began. It started off that Ryan was gone a biz trip to Chicago Tuesday thru very late Thursday. Then Hurricane Rita began to brew. On Monday, my mom was planning to head up here on Thursday to evacuate (she lives near Freeport, TX and was forecast to be a near-direct hit). By the next day, she was heading up on Wednesday. My brother and his family, who live just south of Houston, were going to head to College Station with his in-laws. On Wednesday, Rita was looking like it was going to bring total catastrophe to both my mom and brother's homes, and the locals were all heading out of town right then! My mom left at about 11:00 am on Wednesday, and what normally would be a 4 hour drive took 7 hours. My brother, though, left at about 9:30 pm, and his trip wound up being THIRTY hours. It is such a long story, but ya know all of the pictures you saw on TV of the horrible gridlock coming out of Houston?? He was right in there. At about Hour 16, my mother's fiance left our house with gas, food, water, and maps of all of the back roads between Austin and Houston to perform a rescue. By the time it was all over, everyone was back at my house and emotionally and physically wiped out. We wound up with 6 guests and a dog, and at one point I thought we were going to have 9 guests and two dogs! Luckily, Rita pooped out a little bit and changed course, so MY loved ones were spared, although parts of Texas and Louisiana were destroyed.
THEN there was the return trip home, and the fear of hitting traffic again. So Saturday at about noon, the caravan left here, only to make it between San Marcos and Luling before turning back. They had no sooner left than I went inside and turned the news on to discover all kinds of press conferences urging people not to return yet, plus they were already running into severe traffic before getting very far. I guess this is an example of the roller coaster the entire week was. Full of big, important decisions to make and having to make them quickly. Trying to read up on the internet or news and calling around to tell everyone so that they can decide and call you back. Not very much sleep!
After the last decision was made to rest up and stay here until Monday, we managed to enjoy the last day or so, and even got in a trip to an IMAX movie for the kids and the usual Scrabble game with the big kids. I didn't take too many pictures, because frankly, I'd rather not remember much of this particular family get-together, except that the Lord blessed us immensely in many ways, and you can't get that on film. Here are a couple I did take, though.