Hurricane Ike, YIKES!

Many people along the Gulf Coast, and further inland, were affected by Hurricane Ike. Everyone affected by the hurricane has a story to tell. Here’s ours. Fortunately, we left on Wednesday afternoon, two days before the storm hit Houston early Saturday morning. (I received a heads-up phone call from a dear friend with access, through his work, to the most reliable storm track. Originally, most of the news media had it going South of Houston at the time he called, but he said their particular track showed a direct hit on Galveston and Houston. We’re so grateful he called.)

Previously (with Hurricane Rita), like thousands of fellow Texans, we experienced the difficulty of what would normally be a two hour drive becoming a twelve hour one; no thanks! Those of you who know me best are also aware that my MS does not tolerate “heat” or “stress”, so we drove about 250 miles north to Ft. Worth, Texas to find safe lodging…and air! Traffic was light and we made the trip in normal time.

Wednesday Afternoon the 10th. Paula and I, along with two adult children, one child, my sister-in-law (my brother-in-law met us a few days later after completing some work), and their 6 month old (my precious niece who loves her Uncle Forrest!), and Grandma (my mother-in-law, and yes, we love each other and get along), all packed light and headed north. My friend Scott, who I once worked with, secured and PAID for two rooms in Ft. Worth. What a blessing. It was so nice arriving in north Texas knowing that there was a place which had already been secured. Thank you, brother Scott.

Thursday the 11th. The next day we relocated to another Hotel in Ft. Worth and remained there until Monday morning. During our four day stay, Josh, my oldest son who recently took a position at a church in the Dallas area (currently staying with a friend I’ll speak of later), brought dinner for everyone and visited some. It’s always good to see Josh. He is such a blessing to our family. (You’re going to be a great husband and dad, Josh!) On another night, Brother Scott and one of his girls, brought pizza for the whole group.

Monday the 15th. We headed over to the Sackett’s home. Steve and Olga live about 50 miles east of Dallas in the country on ten acres. It was a haven of rest with lots of good fellowship. They opened their home with loving arms and gave us free rein.

Sarah really enjoyed herself. She had the delight of feeding their two bulls, of all things, bread. Each morning and afternoon she would toss several pieces of bread on the ground and they’d come running; quickly gobbling up all of the pieces. I’ve never seen bulls devour bread before. It was so funny.

Grandma, of course, took over the kitchen duties and made herself at home. Although Steve and Olga’s home was spotless, Jo Mama busied herself cleaning counter tops, floors, the stove and any other surface she could put her hands on. She washed clothes. Vacuumed. Cooked. Made coffee, yes! Grandma Jo was in her zone. If she can’t be working and serving with her hands, she’s miserable. So we’re glad she had a place to serve. (Sorry Sister Olga, if your dishes are located in different cabinets.)

Steve and Olga, the Scripture says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Romans 12:10). Thank you guys for loving and honoring us!

Thursday the 18th . On this day we relocated to Donnie and Sheryl Pages beautiful home, south of Dallas. (This is where my eldest son Josh, is temporarily staying.) Brother Donnie was our youth director, and my Best Man, 25 years ago. The funny thing is that Donnie seemed so much older back in those days. (He is only four years older than I am.) Through the years I guess I’ve “gained” on him!

God used Donnie to disciple me as a young Christian. He is an exhorter and teacher, and God, in His goodness, put us together those formable years of my early Christian life. Thank you, Brother Donnie, for being a usable vessel. Sheryl is still the gentle, kind, soft spoken, and loving woman I remember. Their home is so warm and inviting as a result of her talents and creativity, and it made our stay so relaxing and refreshing.

Another highlight of our stay with the Page’s was when Paula and Erin were able to go hear the “Singing Men of Texas” on Thursday night. This group is comprised of music directors who know how to sing praises to the Lord! (Brother Donnie played in their orchestra.) You can only imagine the responsibility Paula had as my primary caregiver during our exodus from Houston. I’m so thankful she had a break and a time of refreshing. (I love you, Sweetheart.)

Friday the 19th . We found out on Thursday that our electricity was back on. After ten days we were more than ready to get home. So Friday, we packed up and made the trip back home. We are grateful that there was no structural damage to our home, just a lot of downed tree limbs. It’s all cleaned-up now and things are getting back to “normal.” Please continue to pray for so many people who have incurred severe damage to their property, and especially for those who have no home to return to. We are so thankful and grateful for God’s undeserved mercy.

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One Response to “Hurricane Ike, YIKES!”

  1. Erin Says:

    Wow, what a trip!!!!! :) Makes me tired again just reading it. :P So thankful for wonderful friends and I’m glad to be home!!!