September 22nd, 2008


A day of errands

Well, still no power at home, so here I am still at Glenn's house in Pearland, TX.

I arrived on Saturday with my laptop, a few necessities in bags, and two loads of laundry. I had previously tried to go to my local laundromat, but it was crowded. Now, a crowded restaurant is annoying but easy enough to deal with; either you're waiting till they call your number or you're standing in a line, and you might be there an hour or so. But at a crowded laundromat, you have to find a seat, find a place to put your dirty clothes where you can keep an eye on them, and there's no telling how long you'll be there; you could be all day, plus it's hot and noisy. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble. So after Glenn invited me to his house, I spent Saturday doing laundry in his garage. On Sunday I folded it, then today I loaded it into the car and drove off to run errands.

First and most importantly, I needed to renew my driver's license. Yeah... what timing, eh? I headed over to the nearest Harris County DPS office (Department of Public Safety)... well, the nearest one that was to the west, away from That Damn Hurricane's path, to minimize storm damage encountered en route. The route I took was along the Sam Houston Tollway, so I filled my shirt pocket with quarters. However, the Tollway was congested, so I stayed on the feeder road. The feeder road (which is designated Beltway 8) goes along the same route as the Tollway, but is free. Of course, it has traffic lights. But today, it wouldn't have been worth the money to take the Tollway and pay for the privilege of getting stuck in traffic.

Eventually I reached the DPS office, on Gessner near the junction of the Tollway and US 59. My driver's license was due to expire on my birthday, which is this Thursday. I waited in the main line, then filled out a short form, then waited in another line, and eventually paid a $24 fee and got photographed. The lady gave me a temporary license slip to hold onto until my new DL arrives in 3 to 4 weeks. That whole process took the rest of the morning, about 2 hours.

Then I drove to a nearby Chevron to fill up my car Julia with gas. Her tank was half-empty and I figured as long as I was out west, it was a good place to get gas. No line at the pump, yay! Then I got on US 59 and headed into town, where I stopped at my usual pharmacy to refill my Tricor and have lunch at Quizno's.

Then I called Mom, who is still at home, waiting for the power to come on. (She was also invited to Glenn's, but didn't want to impose, and she wants to stay at the house to keep an eye on things. I kinda feel bad thinking of her sitting there in the muggy heat and dark all alone, but it was her choice. Besides, here at Glenn's I can look up useful information on my laptop and tell her about it on the phone!) After I picked up my pills, I got a couple of doughnuts for Mom and me, and went home, where I packed some of my clean laundry into a suitcase to take back to Glenn's house. Much easier to carry than a laundry basket! (I've still got some dirty laundry left, but it's mostly towels and can wait till the power is back.)

Then I headed out again and went to Kroger's to buy replacements for the snack foods Glenn has that I like best, as a way of repaying his hospitality, and drove back to Pearland. When I arrived, I was reminded of what I'd previously learned on Saturday: Stay off Broadway St., the main shopping thoroughfare in Pearland, because some of the traffic lights are out of commission, and the road is a horrible traffic jam. Fortunately, on the map I can see some alternate routes to take if I need to buy anything else while I'm here.

Oh, and when I was in my own neighborhood today, I saw a utility truck working on power lines at the end of our block. Hopefully the power will be back on soon!