31 Days {Day 7} : Flashback Friday – Liza

Allow me to introduce you to Rita.  She brought Andrew and I on one of our greatest adventures, perhaps I should say “forced.”

It was September 2005 and I was working as the Women’s Residence Director at Houston Baptist University.  Weeks earlier we had all witnessed Hurricane Katrina from a distance.  There were students in our dorms who had just transferred because of the previous Hurricane.  And then Houston came under a Hurricane warning for Rita.

We were not ready.

The word came down from the University that if there were any students left on campus, Andrew and I were responsible for getting them to a shelter and staying with them throughout the hurricane.

“Just think of it as one of your adventures!”  My boss, Kirby, encouraged me . . .

This was from a man I loved working for, one that inspired me and I admired.  But at that moment . . . I did not find his encouragement encouraging.

The city of Houston was evacuating, Mayor Bill White announced, “Don’t wait; the time for waiting is over,”

We went to work finding places for all of students.  We did that.

We then moved all of our furniture up to the second floor.  Done.

We packed whatever possessions we thought we should “save.”  It was a short list, we realized.

We tried to go to sleep.  Did not work.  So we headed out on the roads at 10:30 at night . . .

Within miles we found traffic slowing to a crawl, and then it virtually stopped.  We were not outside of Houston’s city limits and we were not moving!  We moved inches in hours.  When the sun came up we found ourselves in such an odd predicament.

We were in miles and hours of traffic with a Hurricane bearing down behind us.

The sides of the roads looked as if a natural disaster had already happened, it seemed as if everyone stopped caring about trash and such . . .

It was a surreal world where convenience stores and restaurants were all closed, because of the incoming hurricane.  There was no where to go because everyone was heading north.  Cars were pulling on to the medians . . . it all felt odd and a little hopeless.

Sixteen hours into our trip . . . at 2:30 the following day the state finally opened up the south bound lanes for north bound traffic and we started to move.

Here we are finally moving, headed toward the giant statue of Sam Houston.  That is 77 miles in 16 hours.  That puts our average speed at 4.8 miles per hour.

And then there was the issue of gas.  Of course gas stations were closing too, but some were open . . . and some were running out of gasoline.  The lines at the gas stations were miles long, with no guarantee that by the time you got to the pump you could get gas.

We had brought two small gas cans, but once we used them, we would be driving with very little hope of finding gas again.  Seventeen hours into the trip we saw an open gas station.  We asked, the line was three hours long.

We took a risk.

I approached a woman at the front of the line, asked if we could pay for her gas, if she would let us fill out little gas cans.  She was in, and here I am filing her tank for her.

We were both dressed for a hurricane.

We spent another nine hours on our trip to Dallas . . . it was 26 hours total.

The best part was that I spent all of it with this man . . . who drove the entire time.

That’s not me he is threatening he is speaking to Rita.

Neither of us had a meal or a bathroom break and we were kind to one another and enjoyed our time together.

The second best thing was arriving at our friends, the Easley’s house.  It was amazing after 26 hours on the road, to arrive at 12:30 in the morning to signs throughout the house . . .

My favorite sign (and I loved them all), was this one . . .

This was a true adventure . . . an unplanned journey.

The drive back took us four hours, and it was beautiful.  There was no damage to our building and very little to the campus.

This is one post of 31 of ours, see others here.

We are one blog of over 700 blogging for 31 days in a row, see others here.

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Updating as we go . . .

Day 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14: Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure 
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
 
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 
 
Day 27: Challenge – A Night at the Museum
 
Day 28: Challenge – Flashback Friday AndrewLiza 
 
Day 29: Challenge – March in a Parade
 
Day 30: Challenge – Retreat
 
Day 31: Challenge – Intentional Adventures Lessons Learned
 

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