This week’s post has nothing to do with writing. No reports of progress or lessons learned in the business. This week is about Hurricane Harvey. It’s about the friends and family that MBH and I left behind in Houston when we moved to Oklahoma three years ago. It’s about recognition of the way they, and Texas in general came together in the face of one of the worst natural disasters in recent history.
BTW, if any of you ever wondered why I’m such a strong proponent of prepping, look at the picture here. That was taken the day before Harvey made its first landfall. This is typical of store shelves just before a disaster. I’ve been through a few such events, and seen this repeated in most instances.
But moving on… For the most part, our friends and family have come through without any serious damage. My son & his family evacuated when things got close, but they got out before any water got in, while it was still safe to do so. And as it turns out, they made it through without the water actually getting in (though like so many others in the Houston area, it came REALLY close to coming in.
My brother from another mother, James Husum, lives in The Woodlands, just north of Houston, and was house sitting when Harvey hit. He was trapped away from his home, with several dogs, while the water rose and trapped them in. But other than a leak in the roof, there was no water damage in either his home, or the one where he was staying.
Another friend posted on Facebook that he and his family had been forced to leave their home and had taken shelter in a local high school. And my cousin Brenda Jackson, who is an awesome amateur photographer, has taken all sorts of pictures from the area where, until three years ago, MBH and I called home.
The picture to the right shows a strip center where we used to stop pretty often. The pic is taken from a freeway overpass through a rain-streaked window. Just to the left of the frame of this pic, there is (or at least, there used to be) a Smoothie King where we would occasionally stop for a light dinner or lunch. Now to be perfectly honest, this picture isn’t that much of a surprise. The area has flooded several times in the last few years, a victim of all the construction that’s popped up around them.
This picture (to the left) hits a little closer to home, though. It’s taken from hwy 249, and you can see the water is up onto the freeway. If I’m not mistaken, this is near the exit for an HEB grocery store we used to shop at quite often. It’s where we used to buy our buffalo flank steak for grilling.
The picture below to the right shows a strip center near my sister and brother-in-law’s place. We’ve eaten at that Gringo’s restaurant on a few occasions. I honestly don’t recall it flooding before, but since it was a little farther from our home, I’m not as familiar with the area. I found this picture online.
Another picture from Brenda here (left). She called this one, Boat on the Feeder. Yes, that’s the feeder road to a freeway.
It’s a shame that it took a flood of such magnitude to wipe the previous flood of political crap from our news feeds. But since the goal of our media “services” is to sensationalize everything, it takes something huge to refocus them. The message I see repeatedly coming out of the news now is that people are helping one another. Joe Everyman is grabbing his fishing boat, kayak, canoe, or fishing waders… if he’s high and dry, then he’s moving to where he’s needed.
I’ve read numerous accounts of people launching their boats and helping out wherever they can, and I’m proud to know so many of them. To the right here, my cousin, once removed (Brenda’s son Jason) is helping a friend get a family and their dog out of danger.
One of my former martial arts instructors has been posting videos on Facebook as he has worked for the last few days, helping to get people and animals to dry land. I know others who have worked (and are still working) at getting supplies from surrounding areas into the shelters where they’re needed. As a matter of fact, the church where my parents went for years was just recently remodeled. It’s been closed for months during the process.
But they’re open now, supplying food, clothing, and shelter to those in need.
This is the America I recognize. We pull together, lift each other up, help those who need help. It’s how I was raised, and I’m so glad to see that it is apparently also the way a lot of other Texans were raised.
Let me wrap this up with a “not so” Random Pic of the Week. I don’t know who took this one, but it’s been running around the interwebs for the last day or so. It’s a powerful image, and doesn’t really need any comment so I’ll just leave it right here for you.
Stay dry everyone. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you next time.