LISTENING TO KATRINA
PAGES IN THIS BLOG ARE RATED 'R' AND DO CONTAIN
PROFANITY, VULGARITY, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, NUDITY,
SCENES OF HUMAN EMOTION, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, MAYHEM, AND VARIOUS
EVENT - Hello Sugar Land!
Timeline: Monday, August 29, 2005, 12:00 NOON CDT
Location: Sugar Land, Texas, USA
I keep saying that we went to Houston, but Houston is just the locale. We were technically in Sugar Land, Texas. I'm not going to say anything bad about Houston, but Sugar Land is a real fine place. The public relations blurb goes, "Located 20 miles southwest of Houston, the City of Sugar Land sets new standards for livability for its 77,982 residents and the many businesses based there."
I had been to Sugar Land before, but I had never really paid much attention to the area. It's neat and clean, and the people seemed like people. I just never had any real opportunity to interact with them. The most important thing on my list at the time is that I needed to find a Wal-Mart, and lo-and-behold, there's one right there in Sugar Land. Sweet. (Yes, I know that Wal-Mart is the Devil, but any port in a storm...)
So off we go to Wal-Mart, and without much trouble we pick up a few things. A notebook, some pens, and some other supplies. I didn't have a list to go by, but we didn't spend much money. We picked up a few basics to get us through the next three or four days.
After Wal-Mart we had to find some place to eat, and McDonald's was convenient - and cheap. Cheap being operative when all the money you have in your pocket is all the money you're likely to have for awhile. It also gave the kids a distraction - although Madeline being only 3 months old, you can distract her with anything shiny.
I have eaten in many McDonald's restaurants - and I use that term loosely - and it is always the same. You sit down to your inexpensive death sentence and eat your poor excuse for a hamburger while drinking sugared poison out of a wax paper cup that makes environmentalist's eyes twitch. Other strangers, all consuming the same fare, are in the restaurant with you but everyone pretends like nobody else exists and the social poverty just about equals the nutritional poverty.
This McDonalds was somehow different. These Sugar Land people aren't the usual march of humanity. They notice things like Louisiana license plates, and total strangers came up to us to offer whatever assistance we might need. Someone brought the girls some toys - nothing fancy, but the gesture was appreciated. In the middle of this attention I managed to scribble an action plan in the notebook we picked up at Wal-Mart.
This action plan was fairly brief, but you have to start somewhere.
1. Establish Communications with Everyone
2. Determine the condition of my house.
3. Determine my immediate financial condition.
4. Determine, establish, and avail myself of public and private assistance.
While this action plan was created in a state of ignorance, it was actually spot on. Two pages from now I will detail each one and goes into the problems and pitfalls. For now, though, it's high noon on Monday, August 29, 2005. It's time to see what's gong on at Ground Zero.