If I finish the Branson story, it will have to be later.
Everyone here in Texas -- at least the eastern half of the state -- is waiting for Ike, most with trepidation of varying degrees, some with total indifference. It seems evident at this hour (3 p.m. Friday) that Galveston Island will pretty much be under water before long. As in totally under water.
Mrs. Muley is watching live coverage from one of the Houston television stations, and there is already water in the streets of Kemah, a little town along Galveston Bay near NASA that has an amusement park and boardwalk we have taken our children to.
You would think everyone in Houston would be either gone or trying to get out by now, but my own family proves this idea wrong. Mrs. Muley's sister, her husband and their daughter are here with us in Waco, arriving today. However, their two adult sons decided to ride out the storm at their parents' home in Humble.
My own parents, meanwhile, who tried to evacuate during Rita but met with gridlocked highways and ended up turning back, have strangely decided to stick their head in the ground on this one. They live in Friendswood -- smack between Houston and Galveston -- but even though Mrs. Muley and I have told them that televised reports have repeatedly said Friendswood is under forced evacuation, they maintain that since they have yet to get some sort of automated message on the phone from the city telling them to evacuate, there really is no requirement to leave.
I and Mrs. Muley have both tried to convince them to leave and come stay with us, but it's apparent now this is one of my parents' stubborn quirks that we will not budge. Of course, I know what will happen. They'll come out fine -- maybe a small tree blown down and a little wet carpet -- and they'll tease us forever afterwards about what over-reactors we are.
Anyway, that's the situation here. I'm looking out the window in my new office (we recently were moved to the seventh story of a building overlooking the Brazos River) and the sky is blue with lots of puffy white clouds. I'm betting all we get here is some strong winds, no rain, but we'll see. Pray for all the folks here in Texas who will fare much worse.