Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tropic Storm Eddie

We are in desperate need of rain, so the idea of a tropic storm was very appealing to us. Our trees are dying from the drought. Of course, as luck would have it, I had to fly out today to Nashville where my company has it's headquarters. I always take the first flight of the morning so looked at the hourly forecast and knew I could beat the rain to the airport. Today was a day of many firsts.

1. I get to Houston George Bush Airport, known to us old-timers as Intercontinental. I park in my normal parking space on the 4th floor of the parking garage. I go straight to security and something very peculiar happens. I am the only person in the security "line". Remember I'm at the Houston Big Airport.

2. Then I get to my "sold out" flight. The announcer calls boarding for people with small children. No one moves. She calls rows 15 through the end of the plane, no one moves. She says, the whole plane just get on. So all 10 of us get on.

3. Then the biggest shocker of them all happens. I have been flying through or out of this airport for 48 years and this event has never happened before. The plane pushes off from the gate and doesn't stop till the gate in Nashville. By this I mean we flew down the taxi-way, then we took off, no stopping, no standing in line for 40 planes.

I think we were the last flight out for awhile. Then they started cancelling flights. My coworker was already in Nashville and was attempting to fly back to Houston tonight. Continental cancelled the last two flights of the day. They told her they could not get her on a flight until Thursday. So I told her to check Southwest. She has refused to fly Southwest because of the airport they fly out of and because - this is a great reason - she is on Southwest's terrorist watch list. And the reason she is on the terrorist watch list is because her last name is Mata, which translates from Spanish to English as "To Kill". I had offered to take her to the airport because she didn't have a rental car. I had to remind her that we needed to get there early enough for interrogation time.

Meanwhile, in Bubbaland where we live, we actually had stronger wind than Amanda had down there in Richmond. I haven't heard from Bill yet, who also had to work since he works for a bank, but I don't think we had any damage.

Oh, and I almost forgot, last night was a nightmare. We live 90 miles from the coast and Eddie was to be a category 1 hurricane at best when it hit the coast. The lines at the gas stations were unbelievable. People were stripping the grocery stores. One lady swooped in front of me and took the parking place I was moving into. Then the same b*&^% almost ran me over with her cart in the store. And all I wanted was a canteloupe and loaf of bread so that Bill would have something to eat while I was in Nashville.

I'm now sitting in my Holiday Inn room that has been renovated into an incredible room with a memory foam mattress, wide bathtub, laminate floors, couch, etc. I usually stay at the Homewood but they were booked. I haven't stayed here in a year or so, and it's changed a lot. I'm eating the best shrimp fried rice I've ever had.

So that's my day with Tropic Storm Eddie.

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