Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Modern Art?

There's more to this neighborhood than pretty flowers. Many people would find these electrical lines unsightly but I find them reminiscent of a form of modern art. And, believe me, when the power goes out, it reminds all of us how dependent we have become on electricity. In September '08, Hurricane Ike hit Houston with a fury, knocking out power to all businesses and residents. Many ran out to get generators. They were the smart ones. I had actually lost power before the storm, when a transformer went out about 6 hours before the storm actually hit. It really didn't take long before all the food in the refrigerator was spoiled and had to be discarded.

Not having power meant no lights, no way to cook, no fans or air conditioning, and of course, no cable TV! We thought the power would be back on within hours. But hours turned to days and days to weeks. Without electricity for three weeks, the gas stations could not operate, the grocery stores were dark. Only Wal-Mart was the literal beacon of light in the neighborhood, powering back up with generators by late Sunday, fewer than 24 hrs after the worst of the storm had hit. Soon enough, we all looked to Wal-Mart for our literal survival. Every day I would walk up to the store to buy a can of soup and some crackers. They generously allowed me and others to charge our cell phones and even use an outlet for some medical equipment. Ironically, the Federal government, aka FEMA, would tell people who had transistor radios to go to the FEMA Internet site. Of course, no one had Internet access without power. They also gave out a 1-800 number that was never answered. We couldn't help laughing at their baffoonery. No help was ever forthcoming from the city, county, state or feds... but that much- maligned and under-appreciated store, Wal-Mart, came to everyone's rescue, even bringing in 18-wheelers full of bags of ice and keeping their staff working overtime to stock the shelves. This is a lesson we should all take to heart. PS: When I started this post, I didn't even know I was going to write about our experiences with the power outage during Ike, but it just flowed out of me after I uploaded the image.

1 comment:

  1. To me and my kids... they were the aliens that came to visit earth... friendly though. With arms up they are walking across our land!