Houston Natives Evacuate With New Orleans on Their Minds

Picking personal items is not that straightforward, though. "In every room you see something that's special," said Cross. "I took a few pieces of artwork off the wall that my kids did back when I was an art major, and they used to draw when I drew … we'll just take what we can and squeeze it all in."

Hurricanes and recovery efforts are a big switch from the summer, when Cross and her husband enjoyed a bit of a honeymoon on their trip to New Orleans. She's now saddened by the idea that the bed and breakfast they enjoyed that weekend may be destroyed, and vows to continue her volunteer efforts after Hurricane Rita passes Texas.

She's packed her souvenir watercolors from New Orleans, to have a piece of that city close at hand. "I was so thankful we got those and those were one of the first things we packed," said Cross.

Her car will also hold some champagne, and plenty of food in case they get stuck on their way to San Antonio. Cross is trying to look at this as an "adventure," and is maintaining her sense of humor. The Texas native jokes the name Rita generally has a more welcome association in the Southwest, "I would much rather have my Rita with a 'marg' at the front of it … with some salt on the rim," said Cross.

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