Sunday, October 30, 2005

Storm Stories: Getting the Necessities

So the first few days is a time of absorbing all that has changed, praising God for all that remains, and working toward taking what you have to get what you need.

Necessities really do come first.  And of all that is necessary, water cetainly tops the list!  Sure, there is plenty in that overflowing pond for the horses that are free to roam and the chickens lose on the ground.  But what of the Stud horse, DBoy, in the pen?  The three hogs in their pen?  The dogs that live in a pen or are chained up here and there?  And especially, us?!  Thankfully, Pete had accepted as trade in some deal or the other an old prehistoric generator.  He and Bubba got it to run after a little tinkering and a lot of sweat!  But the darned old thing didn't push enough juice to run the pump.  However it did push just enough juice to run the compressor that brings the water out of the ground and into the holding tank!  (See, the pump just sends it through the pipes into the house.)  So, battle half won.  How do we get the water out of the tank?  You don't.  You turn the pipe from the well to the tank around, put a turndown on it, and fill Bugs plastic wading pool!     Hurrah!  With a strapping teenage Bubba around, you dip that out with a 5 gal bucket and distribute it to all the animals.  Mom fills every pitcher and milk jug around for our drinking, cooking, etc.  THEN, you take turns getting in the pool to cool off and clean up.  And it is so icy cold, thank you Jesus!

Well, Mama enjoyed it quite a bit, but then again I am a 45 year old woman, if you know what I mean.  And Bug took to it pretty good too....just another day in the pool to her.  But the guys had a little problem with it.  Something to do with their plumbling, apparently.

Next on the list, how to eat.  That's not too hard for folks who dear camp every year with none of the modern conveniences.....except all our stuff is in the deer camp.  Would probably take Pete and Bubba a week to get there and back through all the downed trees.  Well, there is the butane burner.  And Pete keeps a fire hole dug out all year and has a grill on a swivel above it.    Don't know how soon we can get more butane, but the Lord has given us an abundance of firewood!    So you do what you can slowly over the fire and the rest on the cooker.  And at first you eat fairly good.  Got lots of stuff to eat on before it rots. 

Let's see....water, food, and the third necessity, shelter.  That little front that turned Rita away from Galveston held us with clear skies.  And our long dry spell left us with no mosquitoes, at first.  But the heat is something awful.  Thank God for shade!  And did we ever chase it, all day, from one spot to another in the yard.  At night we went in the house and all slept on pallets on the living room floor.  This is so we could all get the benefit of one small little fan that Pete took out of an old van and mounted to the window-sil.  Pull the truck up to the window and hook the fan wires to the battery and you have cool evening air blowing across you.

Now, gradually, things improved in each of the three areas.  Pete got an old bathtub and cleaned it up.  Set it out near the firehole.  Then each evening he'd heat a couple of large pans of water over the fire and pour into the tub to cut the chill and warm the well water.  We took turns as to whose night was first in the tub.  (Come on, someone out there has surely bathed in a number three washtub?! )  You washed your hair on your night to be first.

Eventually the food in the freezers was all beyond consumption and MRI's and canned soups and Chef Boy'r'd type meals became the standard fare.  It took about 5 days for FEMA and the National Guard to get setup and distributing food, water and ice in our area.  Oh, how we celebrated to have ice!!!  A cold drink of water.  An icy jug of koolaide!

And our nighttime hours got a little better once Pete's cousin relented and let him borrow another small generator that he uses to light his wagon when he rides at night.  With it, we could have 8-9 hours of a large box fan in the window running and even watch an hour or two of the Western Channel on satellite!  Yippee!

Thus was our lives for two weeks.  Next installment I'll begin to share some side stories with you.  And, sorry Mary, no pictures.  We aren't the kind to always keep a camera around loaded.....and the nearest store up and running was probably two hours away.  By the time there was a place you could get a camera or film, there just wasn't the same pictures with the same feel to be had.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. Happy Halloween my friend.  Trick or Treat!

  2. If I'm grateful for anything concerning you, it's that you are GOD"S child. That alone is a guarantee that everything will be alright.
    Keeping you in prayers.

  3. LOL that is ok... I forgive you.  Now me.. I always have my camera ready to go.. I would of LOVED taking the before and after pics.

    FIVE DAYS!!!! FOR FEMA to get to you WOW!

  4. I think you did a terriffic job of making do. Wheres theres a will theres a way. Helen

  5. When I was growing up, there were 4 girls and mama.  I was the baby.  Always got the tub last, darn it.   Unless of course one of them took pity on my.  One of the sounds I rmember best was "Save the water!"  Of course time passed and we grew and baths became a solitary activity until once about 19 years ago when I moved in with my niece and her daughter for a season.  I got up early for work and ran the bath . . ."Aunt Penny?  Save me the water, will you?"  It sent me home a million years away, just as your experience now does.  Blessings to you, Penny

  6. hello friend so glad to see an entry from you sounds like a really bad camping trip lol I totally feel like a city girl now I would hope that if anythoing like that ever happened to me and my husband was not aropund i would have you close by man God is so good to have brought you and your family through this poaise him thank you so much for sharing you should write a book about your experinces through this and what the Lord has taught you and your family take care God bless kelley

  7. I can't imagine going through all this...but thank God you're all safe!

  8. so glad to see you back in JLAND. SUre missed you. you went thru alot. Thanks for sharing it with us. Praise God all is well with you all!!


  9. Even during a hard time you still manage to find humor, what a blessing!


  10. Just beautiful and unbelievable at the same time, I can not imagine that kind of thing even in a dream. I truly thank God for keeping you and your family during what I see was a really rough time. Well we know God never left you or forsaked you the whole time. Praise his wonderful name,.glad you are back really missed you loads, lol love sylvia

  11. Oh my goodness!!  So sorry to hear of all you guys had to endure!  Sounds though that you did a wonderful job of making do & having a pretty good attitude through it all!    I feel for you though, hon, I am not great at no clean water, electricity, etc.....I'd NEVER made it as a pioneer woman!  :)  Hugs!

  12. Thanks for your comment. I have read your last entry and hope to read the complete journal. I have been working with the Salvation Army helping the people who were affected by Katrina and Rita. Have heard some sad stories but funny ones too.  I am amazed at the good, hopeful attitudes of every person I have met.

  13. Things are not always the way we wont them to be, God supplies our needs, not our wonts. Sounds like 2 hard weeks.

  14. Bless you all that you went through!  I was in Mississippi when Camille went through in 1968 or 69.  I don't remember us being out of water, but the electricity was out for two weeks.  And we had just stocked the freezer up!

    And yes I do remember the big round galvanized tub.  We had to draw water from the well to heat for it.  So Saturday night was "the night" for us! There was four of us kids, and were was still little enough to run around in our undies!

    Bless your sense of humour!

  15. Hi Everyone,

    FYI...The American Red Cross had to borrow 370 million because their funds are almost gone from the hurricane disaster. I'm not going to preach here but I have to get this off my chest and I have said for years, the minute we start to take God out of our country bad things will happen. I’m not saying “God did this”, but I am saying God does allow for things to happen for reasons! Maybe 9/11 didn’t do it for some people or our government, but look at just the last 10 or so years. Our government is allowing certain agencies and beaurocrats to "Phase Out" everything you and I believe in... Why? We have all tried to do good but when you really take a close look at our country, allowing little by little, the one thing our “Freedom” was built upon...Morals, Values and oh yah... GOD, don’t you think certain events happen for a reason???

    I wrote a Hurricane Relief Song and signed a cause-related contract with the American Red Cross and Hopefully my song, "Who Are We (Anyway)", will open some hearts to at least help the people in the gulf, who need it the most. It’s now available for download on my web site, located at:, and it’s just my way to try to help some victims over in the gulf region.

    With the Love of Christ,

    John J. McCall


So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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