These impressions are from yesterday. Hope you don't mind if they're reheated.
My day began with an early morning pickup to the airport, so I didn't get to sleep until I woke up. Then I had a couple of hours before I was due to pick up two more customers from the same airport, so I decided to drive through downtown and then go over to Memorial Park, park in the shade, and read some more of Michael Connelly's book, The Closers '05. It's been sitting on my kitchen counter, along with several others for more than a year now, silently pleading, "Read me, read me!"
Extremely unusual for me to have two sets of customers in a day now, much less in one morning! The early morning PU was a fellow that I hadn't heard from for a couple of years. Altho I had driven him only a few times, I remembered him distinctly. Well, not him so much as his house and the animals that were in his neighbor's back yard (goats).
His house is really interesting. He and his wife had moved it there from Kemah (a fishing town right on Galveston Bay that was TERribly damaged during Ike ... Marvis, one of my cab-driving friends, and I had intended to go over there for lunch between Christmas and New Year's, but I don't know if they can be rebuilt by then). He then added porches of varying lengths around the sides of the house (he's in the construction business) and painted the house a soft (but not too soft) yellow with a stark white trim. I'm not usually fond of yellow, but it's perfect for that house in that location.
There was a TON of traffic. You'd think that a ton of traffic might be aggravating, but I want to tell you that it was wonderful to see that small sign of normality return! I had taken the Beltway over to his house (along with hundreds of others -- tollways are still free*), and it was heartening to see convoy after convoy of telephone trucks on the way to their latest destinations.
The majority of traffic lights on the city's streets are still out, so when I got off the Beltway there were long lines of cars at each (what was now a) 4-way stop. At some of the major intersections, however, particularly as we got closer to the airport, policemen were directing traffic (sometimes they are actually helpful!).
The airport PU was a referral from one of my long-timey cancer patient customers who lives in Florida, a husband and wife team. He is here for extensive testing, which is beginning as I write this, to see whether or not he could benefit from an experimental drug treatment program or what some of his other options might be. I've been trying to send hopeful thoughts and prayers his way ever since he first called me a week or two ago.
We chatted about a number of different things. This is their first visit to Houston, and they knew absolutely nothing about the Medical Center or its immediate surroundings. As we were pulling into their hotel, I asked him what time his first appointment was. He said, "Not until tomorrow (today, now) morning."
I asked him if they might like to take just a little tour through the Medical Center, going by MD Anderson, the cancer center (of course!), to try and get just a little better oriented. He snapped the invitation up. (They couldn't officially check in to their hotel until around 1:30, anyway, as it turns out, so they were glad for the offer. Also, they were hungry, and wanted to stop for some lunch.)
So we took the tour, and I included some of Hermann Park, where we stopped at Miller Outdoor Theater to walk a bit and pick up current programs. I thought this might be a good thing for Lorraine to know about during her long waiting hours ... not the theater, necessarily, but the zoo and the park itself, just a short walk from MDA and safe enough during daylight hours.
I'm thinking about them this morning and hoping for the best.
One note here, before I go on to something else ... Hobby Airport seemed almost deserted to me. I mean, I know that it wasn't, but still! I've seen it when it was busy. It's not busy!! I wonder how these cab drivers are 'making it'? I didn't go over to the cab staging area in between trips, primarily because I didn't want to hear -- first hand -- their sad stories (and I know that they would not have been exaggerated, in this instance, because they would have been talking to someone who would have been able to see through their BS).
Along the way -- to the first PU, and then again going over to Memorial Park -- I had the radio on and heard a bunch of things that I hadn't known before, and so took some extensive notes (before I forgot the details) when I first arrived at the park to include in this post. And guess what? Not much of Michael's book got read. (You already guessed as much, didn't you?)
Some of the news included ... ... school reopening schedules (Katy, where DGD goes, reopened yesterday ... Alief and HISD today, although less than half of HISD's schools are -- power issues ... all others undetermined as yet ... ... Galveston's allowing west end residents (ONLY residents!) to come "look and leave" beginning tomorrow morning at 6am (until 6pm). They may not stay. They are asked to bring any food and water they need with them. Free tetanus shots are being given on the island, and returnees are advised to wear gloves and masks. (Snakes, rats, and other such varmints took shelter in whatever high ground was available during Ike.)
Paul Harvey's show was on, but it wasn't Paul Harvey. (I forget who the guest was. Hope Paul's OK.) ANYhoo, it seems that yesterday was an anniversary of when Johnny Cochran uttered those in/famous words, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."
Stopped by Kroger's on the way back to Hobby and picked up some of that yummy grape salad. Even picked up a dinky container of same for my new customers. Figured that, if they didn't like it, I might somehow be able to 'force myself' to eat it!
We've had really gorgeous weather ever since Ike came through! The rainbow after the storm? It's warming up now, tho, little by little. Yesterday the AC came on several times. (At least, I think it did!) When I finally got back home, a little after 2pm, I collapsed onto the pillow and knew nothing else for several hours but sleep. Probably dreamed -- I almost always dream, but don't remember any of it/them from yesterday, if I did. Woke up just in time for "Wheel" to come on, and then spent the next couple of hours watching the premiere of "Dancing with the Stars".
The new season is here! Still no M*A*S*H, tho. Oh, well.
Hope all is wonderfully well with you.
*DSL insists that the only reason the toll roads are still free is because they don't have the power back up yet. Nothing to do with the goodness of their hearts. He may be right!
PS. Also heard, while I was listening to the radio, a partial interview with Alan Alda, who has a new book out. I like Alan Alda! Will definitely not buy the book, but will tuck it away in my memory banks as one I would probably like to read.