Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Packetless

A minor victory. Our warehouse is untouched. No wind damage. Thankfully no water damage, either. Cindy will be relieved. Everything that wasn’t in my basement is now in these two spaces. Beds, furniture, the kitchen and garage. All of the children's items. And they’re still safe.

My Father-in-law, Robert, lives close to our storage lot. I check on his place and discover he faired well. His house doesn’t have any visible damage. The trees in the neighborhood took a beating, though. Quick estimate: one in four are lost. But few houses appear to have suffered. Mostly shingles missing.

They're all okay, Buddy.

Maybe they are, after all.

Heading south on HW49, I drive past Robert’s business. It is intact, too. I’ve been on this road for half an hour. After exiting HW11, it has been a near-speed-limit journey. Fewer trees across the road. Very few cars going south with me. Still took three hours to make a 60 mile trip. Just dawned on me that I haven’t seen a traffic light in two days. Everything is a four-way stop, now. Probably stay this way for several weeks.

Police out in full force. Patrolling some of the not-yet-looted locations. Some of them acting as traffic signals at major intersections. All of them sweating like a faucet. As I pass each officer, I roll down the window and thank them. I’m sure they haven’t slept in two days. (Not that I have, either, but I’m not wearing Kevlar.) They refuse the cold bottles of water I offer. I figure they have to. Don’t want any unexpected surprises in their water.

Waiting to turn off the highway, I flip on my PDA. Search for a wireless connection. Nothing. Search for a cellular connection from T-Mobile. Nothing. Dead air. All the packets swept up and displaced by Katrina.

We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto.
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