THE WOODLANDS, Texas — To say that the week of my 87th birthday was one for the record books would probably be an understatement. While I was still trying to overcome the devastation to my home caused by Hurricane Laura, along came Hurricane Delta.
How much misery are the people of Southwest Louisiana expected to take? We thought Delta wouldn’t be much of a problem, so we continued taking care of the mess Laura left in her wake.
First, let me tell you about one of God’s blessings that made my Wednesday birthday one to remember. Eleanor Marie Walker, my second greatgranddaughter, was born on my birthday.
Jessica Meek Walker, my granddaughter, is Eleanor’s mother. Most readers remember Jessica because I have recorded our lives together since she was born on Aug. 7, 1988. What a phenomenal 32 years those have been.
Unfortunately, strict hospital visitation rules caused by the coronavirus pandemic have made it impossible for me to visit my newest greatgranddaughter. We also had to start planning to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Delta.
Striker Roofing and Construction Co. of Houston and Dallas has already repaired and installed a new roof on my home, and its Lake Charles area leaders came by to make sure their work was protected from Delta. Meanwhile, Jamie, my daughter and Jessica’s mother, and Dr. Joe Fierro, my son-in-law, and I started packing for a trip to The Woodlands.
Traffic on Interstate 10 was expected to be a nightmare, and it was. However, we saved considerable travel time when our GPS took us to U.S. 90 and a number of out-of-the-way highways in Texas.
We lived in a hotel in Baton Rouge and in an apartment and a hotel in Lafayette for weeks to wait out the aftereffects of Hurricane Laura that are still being felt. A house next door to mine had most of its contents piled up in a small hill in the front yard, and I left town knowing that could be a problem.
Thursday evening’s NBC Nightly News report confirmed my fears. One of its reporters was standing by a similar Lake Charles yard filled with debris and said everything in that pile could become a projectile when Hurricane Delta came calling. However, my son, Bryan, the Calcasieu Parish administrator, reported to me Saturday that my home made it through the storm with no major problems.
The American Press received some heavy damage from Hurricane Laura and was unable to print a newspaper for weeks. Just when we thought publication was back on track, Delta showed her ugly face.
Like many of our readers, my life is turned upside down when I can’t go out to the carport every morning, pick up my newspaper and sit down to read it while enjoying that first cup of coffee.
Lost power after Laura had been a problem for nearly everyone, but it returned fairly quickly. However, those of us who are able to work at home with internet service have been crippled much too long by the inability of Suddenlink to get its system up and running.
I did get internet for nearly two weeks after Laura, but it went out again and has stayed out. After Delta, we may not get internet service for months. The internet lines in Gulf Gate, my neighborhood, are buried underground, so internet service should have been up and running a long time ago.
People my age shouldn’t have these kinds of monumental problems with which to deal. As I have said before, I wouldn’t be surviving this unwelcome turmoil were it not for family, friends and co-workers who have helped this old guy along.
Hurricane season won’t be over until Nov. 30, so what the future holds would be anyone’s guess. Being hit by two hurricanes in a row has to be a record. We can only hope that’s it for us.
Meanwhile, I’m going to remember what Jo Ann, my late wife, said about looking for the bright side whenever life throws the book at you. If it hadn’t been for the early birth of Eleanor on my birthday, the past week would definitely be one I would like to forget.