The movers cleared out our house in Washington yesterday and we were supposed to leave on the 11:50 pm flight. We had moved up the flight because it had a connection through Houston and we were concerned about the possibility of weather delays caused by Hurricane Ike. At the time we changed our flight, it appeared that Ike would pass well to the south west of Houston, so we weren't that concerned. Fast-forward two days -- Houston was in the direct path and the airport was scheduled to close about an hour after our flight to San Antonio was due to depart.
We were all set to get on the plane, in spite of the risk of being caught in the Houston Intercontinental airport during the storm -- a distinct possibility if our flight was delayed for any reason. We didn't get on the plane, however, because although our flight was still on schedule, Continental called yesterday and said that kitty's flight was cancelled! Kitty was supposed to fly in Continental's special climate controlled pet section, but they decided to cancel pet flights before doing the same for the rest of the flights. Kitty has to go WITH US, though, so we were out of luck.
The only real reason that it mattered was because we completed the sale of our house in Washington on Friday morning, and we're supposed to close on our new house in Texas on Monday morning and it will be a big problem for us if we lose the new house. DH got the company travel agents on it and they found us, including kitty, another flight for Saturday that goes through Denver and flies directly into San Antonio. We're still not sure whether it will happen though since the weather is going to be dicey across the southwest, so we also got the seller and the title company on the case and they were able to get the closing papers to a notary on Whidbey Island, and we did a contingent signing of the papers this afternoon. If we can't make it to the closing on Monday, then all we'll have to do is to wire the money to the seller on Monday and we'll own our new house.
This whole week has been incredibly fraught, and last night was pretty close to the culmination of it. After we found out that the airline wouldn't take kitty, we had to work the phones to get the new airline reservations and to get the sellers' title company into gear to do something to save the deal on our new house. It is, incidentally, amazing what can be accomplished by phone when people think a lot of money is on the line to be lost. Originally, we were told there was no way we could buy the new house without signing the papers in person, but funnily enough, that seemed to change when DH informed them that he works with contracts on a daily basis and Hurricane Ike falls into the category of "force majeure" (act of God) and we were ready, willing, and able to execute the contract and therefore, it was on the other party to do everything in their power to bring the deal to fruition (I've always hated contracts, but those BIG words come in handy sometimes) -- and, suddenly, a notary was located on Whidbey Island who would meet us with the proper papers and who would send them overnight so they'd arrive in time, even if we did not.
So, we signed our papers and we spent last night sleeping on the floor of our empty house. Tonight we are in a swanky hotel in Seattle, with our fingers crossed both for our flight to leave as planned tomorrow and also for all our friends in Houston and Lake Charles who are getting hammered by Ike tonight.
It is bizarre to us that the Gulf Coast has not had a major hurricane since our own experience with Hurricane Rita in 2005, just before we moved to Washington, and now, our old and favourite places are facing devastation tonight with Hurricane Ike. We've been phoning our friends to see if they need help -- if we arrive back in Texas tomorrow, we're ready to help them in any way we can. If any of our friends, and you know who you are, need us, please call on our cell phones and let us know. We should be in San Antonio on Saturday evening and you can stay with us, or if you need us to come to you with ice, etc. we will be there as soon as the authorities will let us through. For our Lake Charles friends, we know the levee is breached in Cameron, and our thoughts are with you. We believe you'll be OK, but if you need us, just call us and we'll do whatever we can to help. As for our Houston friends, y'all are in the path. We're praying that you all make it through, but if you need us, let us know. We are praying for you...