Houston, We Have a Disaster

I’ve tried to write this blog piece several times to be really be in the moment with my emotions during Hurricane Harvey. I wanted to put my ever-changing feelings into words, but couldn’t. Distress and helplessness took over. When you have to figure out where to go should you need to evacuate, but then it doesn’t matter because the roads are flooded so you can’t evacuate without a boat, it gets a little wearing.

Yes, Houston definitely has a problem. I have lived here my entire life, been through many hurricanes and tropical storms, some major, some minor, but nothing like this. Everything the weather experts predicted, Harvey proved them wrong each and time. Finally Harvey is starting to move away from us, and the rain is subsiding, and for the first time I can release the breath I’ve been holding in. For those in Harvey’s path, may he die a horrible death before he gets to you.

Harvey wasn’t even supposed to be a hurricane. It was just going to be a tropical storm. Then it became a Category 1. Then a 2, then a 3, and finally hit land as a category 4. We haven’t had a hurricane of this magnitude in decades, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t evacuate a city the size of Houston unless. Being on the roads is way more unsafe than hunkering down.

Here’s what I’m grateful for. That my loved ones are all accounted for and safe. It did not flood in my house. I only lost power for four hours. My satellite dish worked more than it did not. I don’t need to file an insurance claim (so far). My trees and fence are still standing. My roof and still affixed to the top of my house. My water supply is safe. I saw the sun for a few minutes today. And I have enough food for two more days – though I am running low on cookies.

I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better now. When you watch the news coverage hour after hour after hour it can be a real downer. And though I never miss Lester Holt on Nightly News, you don’t want this man coming to your town. When you are in the midst of a catastrophe it’s important to limit your news intake. Read a book, play a game, clean your garage. Take a break for the devastation, it’s okay.

Thousands of people have been displaced and will be displaced for months. Though Houston will rebound from this, it won’t be for a while.  And Trump was a no show in H-Town today because he was afraid to get stuck here unable to land Air Force One. Hey, these things happen to him. The good news is, the five-pound weight I’ve been carrying around in my chest, sometimes in my stomach, is starting to lift. Funny thing about helplessness, there’s no quick way to feel better. It has to dissipate over time. Sure you can donate money, bring some blankets to the nearest shelter – provided you can get there – but it’s going to take a while to heal. And that’s okay.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere, the eternal optimist who thinks laughter is the best medicine says, but for now I’m just going to reread my list of thing to be grateful for and call it a day. Go Away Hurricane Harvey!

Houston, We Have a Disaster