The phone rings. I'm pouring flour into the butter, sugar, and eggs to make the cookie dough. Totally spontaneous decision after dinner. I pick up the phone, and except for typical little female communication "uh-huh" and "oh, wow" kind of stuff on my end, this is what I hear:
Bridgett? This is Ashley. You got any bread, milk and eggs we can borrow? Cause nobody down here has anything. The Wal*Mart closed early--it's 24 hour, it's not supposed to close--because they don't have food on their shelves. Kroger was out of everything. We lost all the stuff in the fridge and it's not like we stocked up big anyway, just what we usually had in the cabinet, you know. And we lost all the meat and milk and eggs, I didn't want to save any of that, you know? Didn't want to get salmonella from it or something. So everybody has heard that we have some power back up out here and nobody has any power so they're coming up here and there's no groceries left because anything you don't have to refrigerate people are buying up and taking back. And there's no gas anywhere. I waited for 2 hours for gas and all these people filling up gas cans for their generators and there's no place to buy it.
My parents can't leave their house because they have enough gas to get maybe to the next town to a gas station but if there's no gas there, they can't get back home. So they're out there, and FEMA hasn't even made it to Liberty County yet and my grandmother is 80 years old and no power and nothing so everybody's living at my aunt's house and you know my sister's car got crushed and there's no telling when the insurance adjuster will make it out there. Nobody's answering the phone at work and there aren't any title companies with power and people need to close on their houses and so I have to bet on making it to work and back home to pick up all these files, and my boss? She has $36 million in listings and half of them aren't sellable. Some of them are just gone. You can't sell a house that isn't there.
And did you see Bolivar? The media wasn't allowed to fly over until yesterday and the guy on channel 13 called the governor out on it, but he said it wasn't his problem, it was the FAA, but you know what? They didn't want anybody out there looking because they were afraid the place would be strewn with bodies. That place is just gone. And Galveston? It's never going to be the same. It is like a cesspool right now and they say it may take decades to bring the beaches back to what they used to be and a lot of people lost everything even if their houses are still standing. Nobody has any power, either. We do, but Steve? He called his power company and they said it might be early October. Can you believe that? He stood in line today for 8 hours for water and ice from a National Guard station. And my neighbor Chris is in the Reserve and he was called up to patrol or something down in Houston, where it's all a mess because all those buildings had their windows blown out. It's like we've been dropped in the middle of some kind of third world country. FedEx wouldn't deliver to Hempstead yesterday so Ian didn't get paid. Hempstead. Nothing's going on there. Why can't they deliver, huh? We're getting regular mail here at the house, which is great, just what I want, some bills with no groceries and Ian didn't get paid.
So like, I'm going to Hempstead tomorrow to look and see if the HEB has anything to sell me. I found toilet paper, the last 4 pack, at a Walgreens, and I bought it because I figure that you can eat tomato sauce with a spoon out of the jar but I don't know what the hell to do without toilet paper. I kept thinking, it'll be better Monday when the workweek starts, but it's not better. It's been since Friday when the water started rising and my babysitter evacuated to Austin and doesn't know when she'll be back because college is kind of postponed but Kennedy doesn't have school again till who knows when so Ian's going in late tomorrow so I can try to go to work and pick up those files. I bought a land line phone, I mean, we have one, but I bought one with an answering machine because all the calls for work are funneling to my house now. My cell doesn't work--the towers are down and overused and everything, so you'll need to call the house. Or you can leave a message on my cell phone because I can check messages late at night.
So like I was just wanting to give you an update and everything. It's not like we flooded or anything, but it's not good here.
I tell her good luck--I'll talk to you tomorrow--and hang up the phone. Put the cookies in the oven and try to let that all soak in a moment.