Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Ultimate Wedding Crasher

Long time, no type! Alright. So what to say? I guess maybe a timeline for will sum it up best:

Off of work and last minute shopping with family in The Woodlands for a few wedding items. Getting the first inkling that things might not go as planned, ending in a late night dinner and brainstorming session with Mom, Dad, and Jo at the IHOP in Humble. Learned that Ike changed his course and is coming to us. Thinking we might get rained out. Any other ideas where we can have this since the reception's outside? It was pretty tearful at this point. I had to tell myself to keep my chin up and eat my pancakes. Thank goodness for IHOP coffee! And hoping that I'll wake up the next morning and Ike will have completely changed his course.

Woke up and found out that not only was it rain, but most likely no way we could even have the wedding. They were evacuating Galveston and Houston areas and now Livingston was also on the path. It's not safe to ask anyone to come. Is this really happy on the One Day? Lots of tears. I could have created my own Ike at this point. So, we split up the vendor list and called everyone. Then split up the guest list and spread the word. Super upset, but planning for the next weekend. Thankfully, Joey came to Livingston that day and that was really soothing. And it did come to mind that there were some people on this day that had suffered massive loss from a terrorist attack. That is sobering and puts my wedding woes to shame.

More of the same. A lot of praying and reading my Bible and trying to reality check that we are not getting married the next day. Know that we have to let the travel agency know when to move our honeymoon back by the next morning. Boarding up windows, positioning cars in the least likely to be hit place, preparing for the hurricane to hit.

Ike hits Livingston some time in the early morning hours. We spent the rest of the time until around noon in my parent's hallway laying on couch cushions with pillows ready to cover our heads if necessary. The sound of large things crashing in the distance and worse yet, some not so distant. My parent's vanity area in their bedroom begins to flood and water begins to seep down the walls of Mom's closet. The floor is soaked. But we're safe. Finally things begin to slow down and then we look to see what's left. That was the shocker. The yard we spent working on the entire summer looked like a war zone. There were several trees with trunks bigger than I can put my arms around down around my parent's house. One of the largest trees narrowly missed the house and was so close that it took off the rain gutter. The electric poles were all snapped in two and the wires were laying haphazardly on the ground where they had been tossed. The ground was covered in debris knee high in the lowest parts. The fence was down in the back and the shed doors were crushed in. What had caused the water to get in my parent's room was a large tree branch that had stabbed the roof. Apparently, tornadoes had ripped through the area. When the wind stopped blowing enough, we put on our rainjackets and began the cleanup. You would reach to pick up a large limb and realize that it was stabbed 3 ft. down in the ground from the force. The tree in the front blocked my Dad from getting out of the driveway to work (electric co.), and barricaded the road in general. Thankfully, neighbors came with chainsaws and after several hours it was passable. My Wedding Countdown Clock went off some time during the day and the time finally turned to Days Left: 0. At this point, who knows when the wedding will be.

Move debris in the rain all day. Get stung by two wasps (I've never been stung in my entire life! Why now?!). Make the decision that Joey and I have to check on our house in Katy. Obviously, we left thinking we were going on vacation and it was not hurricane proofed before we left. This was hard because I didn't want to leave my Mom knowing that they were in such a bad situation and it could be like this for weeks. We drove back to Katy and our house, thank God, was safe. Smelly refrigerator, no lights, and limbs down, but other than that: perfect! I did lament that I thought the next time we entered the house we would be married. Sleeping on pallets by an open window. Maybe if I can imagine hard enough, I can dream I'm in Mexico?

Back to work. Answering a zillion questions about the wedding and what we were going to do. And worst of all, not having an answer. It looks like it will be a month. Livingston's situation was really bad. Main comments: "Wait, what are you doing here? - Why didn't you elope? - Why didn't you just go on your honeymoon and then come back and get married - You're not married?" Exhausting. And now I find out my family has no electrity and no water and is not expected to get either for weeks. And they are not allowed to burn the huge piles of limbs because they have no water to douse the fire if need be. I am back in Katy, no power, but at least I have water and civilization is near. In Livingston, there's not any place that has power for miles. So, a month will give us time to regroup, get power on, and allow my family (this includes extended family) time to heal.

Ready to set the wedding for October 11th. At lunch, a few problems with that date we find out, and it might be December if we don't do it in two weeks. What?! At this point, I'm reading Job in the Bible. I know my situation could be A LOT worse, but gosh this is hard. And then that afternoon the clouds began to part. My Mom calls and says that the Army Corps of Engineers has come to our aid! They are restoring power and we might even have it in a few days! Set the wedding for two weeks!! Yahoo! What an emotional roller coaster ride.

I'm counting my blessings. I'm still praying for power in my parent's neighborhood. It is with faith that it will be restored. I'm beginning to get in contact with vendors and we are going to have this wedding on September 27, 2008 at 6pm!

Passage from Job 11 today:

If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward him.
If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and not fear.
You will forget your misery, you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like morning.
And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.


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