The good news after Ike

All friends and family know we're doing good, even though it's been hard to communicate. The other piece of good news is that the Dossier made it to Kiev today. I think it's been good that I tried to rush and get it mailed before the hurricane knocked on our door!

It's been an eventful few days. I'm not much of a "gardner", but I put in more work these past few days than I normally dedicate during an entire year! Friday morning we cleared up the back yard to make sure there are no loose items and shocked the pool really well. In the afternoon Lori and a couple of her workmates came by and we had a "pizza party" while waiting for the storm. Cynthia stayed the night with us as the storm moved over. It was pretty scary seeing the sky flash green as transformers blew up and tress fell over power lines. The noise outside was remarkable and it sounded like a jet plane getting ready to land. However, it never seemed to make the landing, with this noise being generated by the wind as it hit anything in its path: from roofs, to trees, to power lines and anything in its path.

The exterior wall on the North-West side of the house shook with every gust and I felt quite uneasy to say the least! We did not lose any roof shingles. The shared fences both collapsed and a neighbor's tree is resting over the pool equipment, stuck in what remains of the fence. It does not appear to have damaged the house. Yesterday, my neighbor Hellen and I cleaned the front of the house and helped out some other neighbors while Lori went to work to get their Wal-Mart store back up and running. We took one fence line down yesterday and we're now enjoying much larger backyards! We were joking about telling any of our guests that each other's house is their "guest house". The weather was very nice yesterday and by morning we were actually cold since we opened all first floor windows. Yes, COLD! Houston can be weird at times.

We grilled some food before it went bad on Sunday and today we'll have to clean out the fridge and freezer. I emptied about 2 wheel-barrows full of leaves, branches and twigs from the pool, which now resembles a lake and is all murky green and brown. I did jump in to cool off anyway =) Yesterday after 4pm I was aching all over so I decided to power-wash the ground with the little gasoline I had left from a year ago. It took a while to get the motor running properly but once it got to temperature, I was able to finish it and then rested while chatting with our neighbor over a nice dinner from Johnny Carinos.

Now that we know what an experience this can be, we know for sure that once we have kids, there's no way we're staying to weather out a storm, especially if it's tracking so close to us. You get back to living essentials with no TV or internet. By 8:30pm, you're pretty much ready to go to bed! The positive side is that at least you get to socialize with some of the neighbors that you haven't talked to before. I wish that atmosphere would last and occur more frequently.

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