Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hurricane Tales, Part 2

"Sometimes You Just Have to Humor Grandpa"

The day before Hurricane Ike hit last year, I went down to Houston and brought Kristi's mom and dad back to Brenham. They lived in an older townhouse, and with Grandpa being sick, we didn't want to take any chances.

So the day of the hurricane, Grandpa decided that we needed flashlights and battery-powered lanterns in case the power went out. Well, I've been through enough storms to know that you don't just go out to the store and buy lanterns the day of a hurricane - they've been sold out for days by that point. But Grandpa wanted to go, so I took him to four different store here in town looking for battery-powered lanterns. Nothing. So we gave up. Now, it must be said that Kristi and I keep a pretty decent hurricane preparedness kit, full of canned food and water and things like candles and flashlights. So we would've been okay for days. But sometimes you just have to humor Grandpa.

Then the hurricane hit overnight. We never lost power at our house, but there were some parts of Brenham that did lose power. And Grandma and Grandpa's power was out (which I deduced by calling their house. The answering machine never picked up, so chances were that their power was out - which it was.) Grandpa was itching to get back home, probably because he wanted to check on things and also probably because we had such a full house (and also because we don't have cable). So he decided the day after the hurricane hit that he might need a generator. But he didn't want just any generator. He wanted a particular model Honda generator. Well, I've been through enough storms to know that you don't just go out to the store and buy a generator the day after a hurricane. But sometimes you just have to humor Grandpa.

So went out again. No generators at Lowes - they didn't sell Honda generators and a full palette of another brand had sold out in minutes earlier in the day. People were driving up from Houston to get them. At Home Depot they laughed at us. Sutherland's was closed. So I got on the internet to find the nearest Honda generator dealer. It turns out there was a dealer here in town - the next closest dealer was in College Station. But they didn't have any. So we gave up. Grandpa didn't stop griping about it, though. He just couldn't figure out why there were no generators to be had. But as with many of Grandpa's rants and stories, a lot of times you just had to smile and nod your head and let him finish.

Kristi's mom and dad ended up staying with us for several days until their power was restored, and we all had a pretty good time crammed into the little green house. But there's a moral to this story, as well as just about any story that involves Grandpa getting a wild hair: Sometimes you just have to humor Grandpa.

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