Well, alot has happened to us in the last 2 weeks. We went to California last weekend to see John's parents and while we were there our precious friends, Kevin and Meghan, went to our house and salvaged those things that could be saved from our moldy house. Our house took on about 18 inches of water, but because we have not been able to go back to the island since September 11 the house is covered with mold and mildew. It will have to be gutted and completely rebuilt. From what we understand there was not much there that could be saved. They mostly removed our clothing, bed, some medical books, and some electronics. I am not sure what we will be able to keep once we get there of the kitchen items and furniture. We are not expecting to save much but dishes that can be washed.
As you may have heard, Galveston opened the island to residents today. John and I were going to return, but we decided not to because my classes starting date got pushed back to starting on October 6. Besides, most of what could be salvaged Kevin and Meghan rescued and once we got there we would have been homeless.
So where are we going to live when we return? That is a great question. We are planning to stay with friends until we are able to find a more permanent place to live. We found an apartment in Clear Lake off of FM 518. It is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 650 sq. feet. We put a deposit down on it because there is nothing else available. We called all the FEMA hotels in Clear Lake and Galveston, but none of them had vacancies. Then, we called apartment locators and real estate agents throughout Galveston and Clear Lake. The only property we could find was the one we rented. There were 3 total rental apartments available in the whole area. However, 2 of those were in Seabrook (a long ways away) and the one we rented is about 30 minutes away. We only got this one because we happened to call right after someone else cancelled their deposit on the apartment. The manager held the room for us until we could fax in an application and overnight our checks. She said they got several calls on it in the amount of time it took for us to do those things. We should be able to move in the first week of October. We were very fortunate to find a place.
We are going to continue looking for properties to rent that are closer to UTMB, but we are just grateful to have found a place to live for now. It gives us some peace of mind to have a "home" even though we did everything over the phone without seeing the apartment complex.
Obviously, the situation is changing every day, sometimes every hour. We still have not heard the final word from our current landlord on how they will deal with our house. We are following some lead for apartments in Galveston that we found through friends, but the island is still not inhabitable. It is a tough decision to leave or try to find a place inside the town. We also just went down to one car and we will probably have to buy another since we will be commuting to different places (my classes will be in Texas City and John's classes are in Galveston). We also need all new furniture and, of course, food.
Things do seem bleak from time to time but we have also had some triumphs during our time displaced. God seems to have gone before us every step of the way directing our thoughts and plans. We are grateful for what we brought with us and we are grateful for all the support we received since being homeless. Our friends, family, and church have all been very gracious.