We decided to watch and wait. Watch and wait. Watch and leave. We originally booked rooms “just in case” in Lafayette, LA. Turns out that was right in the path of Gustav. Scratch that plan. We got rooms in Birmingham, AL. Saturday I was still on the fence. I really didn’t want to leave when G was still not even in the Gulf. Ivan taught us about that. I come from a family of “stayers.” Ivan and Katrina are the only times I’ve ever left in my life. Ivan… well that was a waste of 34 hours in a car with a 9 week old. Katrina… well we all know how that turned out. 22 days in 2 states and 2 hotel rooms with 5 people, including a cat and a just-turned 1 year old. So, call me stubborn, but unless I KNEW I had to leave I was a bit reticent to do so.
We woke up Sunday morning and decided we should go. I convinced my sister-in-law, whom I love dearly, to call my brother-in-law, who…not so much, to see if we could just go to his house since he lives just outside of Baton Rouge. It’s closer in case of an Ivan fiasco and cheaper in case of a Katrina ordeal. He agreed and we cancelled the B’Ham reservations. We left at noon on Sunday. With contraflow in full effect we made great time (considering the 34 hours for Ivan and 28 for Katrina) of 2 1/2 hours! We got to the house and immediately brought our five cats, in their kennels, into the house. Our two choc. labs we brought into the fenced back yard. SIL’s two dogs went to the back yard. Our niece’s two lap dogs came inside in their kennel and her cat did likewise. We were greeted with, “What’s that stench?” Ummm, that would be a kitten that got sick on the car ride??? We’re going to clean the cage as soon as we get a chance to breathe. Mind if we pee first? Well, we brought the cats outside to clean out the cage and they were never allowed back in the house! Nor any of the dogs, or my niece’s cat. We were told where we could eat and drink and were told we were using too many of our OWN towels.
When power went out on day two… the generator was hooked up. The tv and fridge were hooked to it, along with a couple of fans for the den and garage (for our poor indoor pets!) Little did we know that they had a window unit cranked up in their bedroom!!
My kids were ridiculed for how much they ate (too much for the youngest, not enough for the boy, and just comments on how skinny my oldest was.)
I brought a book along for when the power went out. Of course, that choice was questioned too, as it was a Katrina memoir.
I was even criticized (without even talking about it myself… I guess it was the bumper sticker on my car) for voting for a n*#%&!!!! Well, let’s just say, I started drinking to keep my sanity then. And of course, my Edge network went out about the same time, so my link to people with common sense, my Twitter folks, was gone.
The first they mentioned about coming home- we were on a mission. Hubs and SIL went out at the crack of dawn and bought supplies for the trip home and we were off. Home to find a house cold with a/c and my Direct TV working just fine. Twittering non-stop now. Boy, I missed NOLA.
People, remind me next time to head for Birmingham, please!