A steep learning curve  

kaspar1962 55M
48 posts
9/22/2005 8:26 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

A steep learning curve

I live in Texarkana, TX which is in the northeast corner of Texas on the border with Arkansas, my home state. They sell PowerBall lotto in Louisiana whose border is about 35 miles from me. When the powerball is high, I drive to get tickets. It is a nice drive on a good road. The powerball is now $126 million, which in normal times would mean a fun trip to the LA border for me. But these are not normal times at all.

Hurricane Rita is coming in at Houston TX and heading this way over the weekend. It will be a tropical storm by the time it gets here. The winds will still be around 40 constant and up to 60 miles per hour gusts. The weather man says we can expect "lots" of rain, scientific terms always baffle me. We might get tornados, too. This is serious. Everyone one here is in panic mode. WalMart is packed like it is Christmas Eve or something. There are lines at the gas stations. A lot of people in town from other places further south.

I called a long time friend and we discussed whether I should go get tickets for us. He gives me money to buy tickets for him and his girlfriend. It felt strange for me to go for tickets right now. Out of place. There is nothing I can do to prepare for this situation, it's done already, but it seemed wrong for me to get tickets. We reasoned that tomorrow will have far too many people on the road trying to get somewhere safe and Saturday the storm will be here, so going Thursday night is best. So I go.

I see a long line of vehicles coming towards me going north. Cars, pickups packed with over flowing beds, rental trucks and trailers, RV's, etc. Not joking here, but it was like something out of the Grapes of Wrath. People on the road going somewhere, not sure where, just out of harms way. At times the line of traffic is almost continuous and solid. People trying to save some of their possessions and their lives, not knowing if they will have homes to go back to later. Meanwhile, I am blasting down the road in a shiny red convertible, top down, music playing, off to get lotto tickets. I felt as low as a person can get.

All this worried me. I got even more worried when the Emergency Broadcast System came on with a real broadcast instead of just a test. Info about shelters and evacuation routes. I got to the store 10 minute after it closed. They said the next store to sell lotto was in Shreveport, another 40 miles or so. I am not up for that drive. So I came back home. Good thing too, traffic was heavy and it took much longer than usual. It might have been midnight before I got home if I went to Shreveport.

I had the overwhelming urge just to get back home, it was that simple. The storm won't be here for another 24 to 36 hours, but I wanted to be home NOW. So here I am, feeling selfish and stupid for wanting lotto tickets at a time when others are at such great risk.

resilient_iam 46F

9/23/2005 4:36 am

scary stuff isn't it? Rita is expected to stall over the area and I heard something about 20 inches of rain over sunday and monday!

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