Well, we made it home okay from Midland, stopping a day over in Cedar Park in a very nice Holiday Inn Express with plenty of room and no renovations going on below us (we were grateful for the room in Midland, but becoming a little claustrophobic due to the tiny space, the chlorine from the indoor pool, and having to step over carpenters and spackle-guys all the time).
We called a neighbor who had returned to our town to see if power had been restored, and she assured us it had, so we loaded up the SUV and headed home. Only required one detour to bypass the road most traveled. Got home just fine, but walked in to discover that five minutes before we arrived, the power went out again.
The electric company assured us it would only be out for an hour; they were instituting "rolling blackouts" for the duration until all transformers could be repaired from damage to the storm. This did remind us of the "rolling blackouts" we used to experience in Los Angeles during the Enron days. Since our area was barely hit here, we wondered how all this damage had occurred, and uttered ominous mutterings about conspiracies and electric companies that don't plan ahead, gouge customers, and ride on the backs of the least fortunate in order to make as many bucks as possible, but okay, we went along for the ride.
Needless to say, six hours later, the blackout had yet to roll on. With 100+ degree temperatures and high humidity, even an hour without the A/C can make for a tough time--not to mention one cannot open windows in the house without swarms of no-see-ums and mosquitoes bypassing the tiniest cracks in the screen to get in. Add in the fact that we'd been traveling for days, and all we wanted was a shower, a cool room, and time to relax, we were not happy campers. So, out we went again at 10:00pm, kids in tow, looking for a cool place to relax and to call motels from. We wound up in the Chic-fil-a, dialing every budget hotel we could find with no luck. We finally "resorted" to calling a resort that still had a room and power on. At that point, since I had been ordered back to work the next morning, getting a shower and a good night's sleep seemed well worth the price.
We stopped by the house again just to check to see if the power was on, and yes, it had returned (can I get an amen?). Ran next door to drag our mechanically inclined neighbor over to help us get our gas water heater pilot relit so we could have that shower (so what if my DH and I both have five degrees between us? That doesn't mean we actually have any worthwhile skills or anything, like lighting pilot lights). Emptied the 'fridge of all the food that had died and spawned alien afterbirths in the bottom of the freezer, dumped the dirty laundry in the washer, and collapsed in the bed at 1:00am. Rose at 6:00 am to get ready and drive the 50 mins to the university to teach a full day's schedule. And experienced similar power outages there, half-filled classes, and finally an hour-and-forty-five minute return trip home, weaving in and out of the abandoned vehicles by the side of the road and the evacuees returning from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Power outages continued at home throughout the evening.
What a day. As my sis said, "What's next, locusts?"