My family has what my wife calls “the weather gene.”
My grandfather owned a farm and a nursery (in addition to being a mortician and funeral director) and my father graduated from college with a degree in Botany, so there is no real professional aspect to the weather expertise. Mostly just good ol’ practical experience.
But, whenever something starts churning around in the Gulf of Mexico this time of year, Peggy just kind of expects me to know what is going to happen. It is flattering if not always accurate.
I returned to San Antonio on Monday this week only to have a surprise of a hurricane show up in the western part of the Gulf. I know what you are thinking — San Antonio is pretty far inland to be worrying about a hurricane — and that is a true statement.
However, I had a grandbaby scheduled to come this week in New Orleans, and wherever that hurricane decides to go is likely between me and said grandbaby. Let me just say that the phrase “Come hell or high water” seems particularly appropriate.
Using my high-tech weather forecasting skills I determined that the hurricane was going to come ashore between Corpus Christi and Houston, so I decided to leave today and get on the other side of the storm. This decision became more important when Peggy called to tell me that Caitie was in labor and headed to the hospital.
There is nothing quite like driving into an area that is expecting a hurricane. Fill up your gas tank whenever you see gas available because there is not likely to be any available the closer you get to where the storm is supposedly headed. And don’t even think about finding bread or bottled water. Fortunately, fast food was readily available on the road.
I left San Antonio a little after noon with Peggy giving me updates on baby status via text message. Weather updates were a little easier to get — stick my hand out the window.
Getting through Houston was a predictable nightmare, but I got out of there before it got too bad. What should have been a nine hour drive turned into eleven before I got to the hospital in New Orleans.
Good news — I have not missed the birth of my grandchild.
Bad news — Caitie has now been in labor all day with no baby to show for it.
Good news — Hurricane Harvey is not likely to hit Baton Rouge or New Orleans, so we are in pretty good shape now that I am here.
Bad news — Hurricane Harvey is now between me and getting back to work. And he is going to do some damage before he is done.
I got here, and I will let you know when I have a grandchild.
For now, we are just waiting. And praying for those that are now in Harvey’s path.