Today my parents (and their beloved pets) drove off to return to Houston. It is very quiet now. They took refuge from Ike up here as their town near Galveston usually floods at the drop of a rainfall-filled hat. They came worried about all that was left behind - including my brother and sister-in-law who opted to stay it out. But Bailey the dog (geez. now I have to vacuum - that dog is a virtual hoover with crumbs!), Hidey the cat (who fulfilled her name and hid in the garage), and the brand new unnamed canary (Piper? Curly? Moe? what a singer! what a weird hairdo!) added to our family menagerie.
It was a relief to have them here. At the very least - they were here! THEY were safe. It was hard to watch the storm unfurl at TV's length and not wonder and worry.
With great sighs of relief, news from friends and my brother came in - my parent's house was intact, our friends were okay. The hated hackberry tree in the back took down the fence, blocked the road and was also in the pool. These were expected. But there is a lot of work to do cleaning up and clearing out. It will still be pretty sad. My mother's garden is a place of quiet delight. Little clumps of flowers, even some "wildings" (you and I know them as weeds) are enjoyed. She works so hard at it, loving it. It is different every time I come to visit. Will it ever look like this again?