Native Texan Livin': More Love Than Water #houstonstrong #TexasStrong

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

More Love Than Water #houstonstrong #TexasStrong

Has anyone figured out what day it is yet?  To say these last couple weeks have been a blur, is an understatement!  I just realized some of my calendars are still on August.  The kids have been out of school for 2 weeks. (They sure did enjoy those 4 days though!)  Bo finally got to get back into his Houston office Tuesday.  And a lot of people are still displaced & ripping through their homes that were destroyed in the storm.

Waiting for Hurricane Harvey to hit Texas, we knew the threat to Houston & its surrounding areas, was going to be rain & flooding.  My family got prepared for electricity to go out, for stores to not have food for a while & for gas pumps to run out of gas, so I shopped accordingly.  We got lots of food & froze what we could.  We bought water, ice & charcoal.  We got our flashlights & batteries ready and candles & matches together.  I packed a backpack with all of our important papers...birth certificates, wallet, passports, etc...just in case.  We moved all of our priceless photos & baby books upstairs & bagged them up.  We filled our tubs with water so we'd be able to flush toilets  later.  Bo cleared everything from the backyard into the garage.  By Saturday night, in between all the tornado watches that were incessantly blowing up our phones, we prepared a tornado bunker in my closet.  It's a sad mama moment when you have to move your sleeping child into your closet to keep her safe.

My family was spared during this catastrophe.  The flood waters rose to a foot from my front porch, there was a break in the storm & the flood waters receded a bit, not to rise that high again, at least at my house.  Unfortunately, one of my Aunts got water in her house in Pasadena, my other Aunt was marooned in her neighborhood in Rosharon from the Brazos river flooding, where each house appeared to be on its own little island & our friends offered to get my Memaw & Uncle out of their flooding neighborhood in Alvin!  But we were BLESSED!  Lucky!  Whatever word you feel like using.  I wonder sometimes why some are spared & some have so much devastation.  Is it so we are able to help others?  To offer ourselves...our services...our things?  I'm not saying I have survivor's guilt...but if not, it's pretty damn close.

My sister Valerie came down from Austin last Friday & we had the honor of helping one of her best friend's family from high school on Saturday morning.  They live in the Wedgewood neighborhood in Friendswood, on Clear Creek, which was just completely devastated in this storm.  Clear Creek is directly behind their across the street neighbor's houses & they essentially lost everything.  Material items anyway.  Clothes, furniture, books & more were pulled out of the house.  Some items were sopping wet & muddy with contaminated creek water.  Into the trash pile they went.  Anything that could be salvaged was most likely upstairs.  Sorting through all of these items, there was only one thing that was kept a priority....make sure the pictures & videos were safe & dry.  When all was said & done, the memories were the only things that mattered.  Not the dripping wet sleeping bag, not the mud covered Elfa closet system, not the refrigerator on its back in the middle of the kitchen.

Seeing everyone's entire life out on their lawns is a tough pill to swallow.  Even harder when it's where you grew up.  I'm not saying I've done everything I could.  I'm sure I could've done more.  But for now, I will do what I can.  We will store items for a flood victim, I will watch kids for folks having to go back to work, we will open our home to my Aunt so she can make it to work on non-flooded streets.

There was over a trillion gallons of water that fell on Houston.  A TRILLION!  Can you even imagine that number, in any capacity?  Now take that number & multiply it by infinity.  That's the amount of love & support that's coming out of this city.  There was never a question of who you are, what color you are, what religion you are, what economic status you are, what neighborhood you were from...if you needed help, you were going to get it.  The Nation saw what being a TEXAN really means.  Whether you're a Native Texan or you "got here as fast as you could," we're here, we're proud, we're humble & we're survivors!

Here are just a few pictures of my experience:

Empty shelves at Kroger before Hurricane Harvey in Texas
Empty shelves at Kroger, prepping for Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey flashlight survival kit
Our bucket of flashlights & batteries (kept on counter)

Hurricane Harvey candle survival kit
Our bucket of "fire" light (kept on counter)

Hurricane Harvey Tornado Warning bunker in closet
My sweet girl asleep in my closet during Tornado Warnings

Hurricane Harvey Tornado Warning bunker in closet
My other sweet girl keeping busy in my closet during Tornado Warnings

Hurricane Harvey street flooding 12:55am (Sun)  League City, Texas
My street

Hurricane Harvey street flooding 2:02am (Sun)  League City, Texas
My driveway

Appleblossom in Wedgewood  Hurricane Harvey  Friendswood, Texas
Appleblossom in Wedgewood, Friendswood, TX

Burned house in Wedgewood, Friendswood, Texas  Hurricane Harvey
Wedgewood, Friendswood, TX

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