Sunday, September 25, 2005

Correction & an Update

I need to correct an error that I made in an earlier posting and give credit where credit is due. The Texas State Guard is providing assistance to the evacuees at Tyler Junior College, NOT the National Guard. One of the guardsmen corrected me on that point, and it's important that I correctly identify the people who are helping us. They are doing a great job.

During the day a guardsmen is usually stationed by each of the doors to the big gymnasium where most of the evacuees are housed. They are there to make sure our hands are disinfected whenever we enter or leave. They get you coming and going. When you go back and forth as much as we do it gets to be a little tedious, repeatedly being stopped and squirted with hand sanitizer. At least we can be fairly sure are hands are clean and germ-free.

It looks like we may be here for quite a while. A prolonged stay will put a strain on the volunteers and patients, and will require more food and medical resources, among other things. Some of the staff and patients arrived short on clothing. Fortunately a Goodwill store came through for us, donating several large sacks of clothes. So far the patients have shown great resilience, handling a stressful situation about as well as could be hoped for.

Michelle got costume wings, a tiara, and a little wand at Walmart. Now at meal times she becomes the "food fairy." We also picked up some games that will help reduce boredom. There really isn't a whole lot for the patients to do here other than watch television or roam the building, and due to limited mobility some of them can't even do that. I've spent most of my time trying to be helpful and reading. I'm in the middle of Bill Graham's autobiography (the concert promoter, not the evangelist). If I get really bored I guess I could take up calligraphy...

Troy tells me electricity has been restored in Spring (just north of Houston), and things are getting back to normal there. He offered to go check on our property, but I think it'll be a while before anyone can safely enter the worst effected areas - roads are likely to be damaged or obstructed, and availability of gas remains an issue. Michelle received a second-hand report from one of our neighbors that there are many downed trees in our neighborhood, and the road leading in has been barricaded to keep people out. It's probably best that we all wait until the authorities tell us it's o.k. to go back.


At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Kathy Webb said...

Hey John, We're hoping you can go home soon, and that most of your property is intact! Especially after all of the work you have done on your house!! I pray that it didn't flood out! Let us know if there's anything we can do out here for you! Good luck with that heat and humidity! I hope there's AC at the college for you!
Kathy Webb
PS I spotted a Black-Throated Gray Warbler at the Coyote Regional Hills Park walk on Sunday! He was showing off for us and giving us great views!


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