Hello World! Welcome Friends! I know it has been some time since I’ve last posted. I hope to get back to a somewhat normal schedule in the coming days and weeks. For those not aware of our location, we were the recipients of Hurricane Harvey. I have experienced many hurricanes and tornadoes in my time, but this one was extremely different and the anxiety factor was quite high. We knew it was coming and made all of the appropriate preparations. On Thursday, August 24th, Greg (Mr. Dedicated) got fuel for all three of our vehicles. This proved to be a wise decision since Harvey has come and gone, fuel has been in short supply in our area due to major roadways being flooded and the gas trucks unable to make their way to the Houston area. Once all of our hurricane preparations were made, we waited and watched. I generally love a good thunderstorm but this Hurricane had me on edge; and rightfully so. Greg and I surrounded ourselves and our property in prayer. We specifically asked for no water in our house and no loss of electricity. We worked hard to keep the atmosphere light so Chloe (Little Dedicated) would not slip into fear. I had to speak to her a few times especially when the tornadoes were so close to not let fear take hold. We are teaching her to recognize fear and tell it to go. On Friday, August 25th there were no signs of Harvey yet in our area so we were able to squeeze in Meet the Teacher before racing home to make sure the house was secure. Below is Chloe with her 4th grade teacher.
We knew we probably wouldn’t see anything from Harvey until Saturday so we took the opportunity to invite our close friends and their daughter over for a night of Catan which is currently our favorite game.
When our friends left late that evening the wind was picking up a bit. That is a tell tale sign that the outer bands of the Hurricane were approaching. So, after a quick clean-up of the kitchen, we were off to bed for the last night of decent sleep in quite some time.
Saturday, August 26th we awoke to wind and rain. For those who follow me on Instagram, I posted a few videos and pictures of what we were experiencing. Saturday was a day spent hearing tornado warnings go off on our phones for literally the entire day. Trying to keep calm and keeping a sense of normal around Chloe, I decided to pop up into my office on the 2nd floor to try and get some work done while she and Greg were playing a game. Well, that didn’t last long. One of our cats, Camille was sitting in the window snoozing away, when the window started to rattle. I thought she had awoken and was hitting the window since an alert did not go off on my phone! I turned to have a look and see what she was doing, only to catch sight of this monster. (I do not have a photo credit for this picture. Our Social Media was inundated with pictures and videos from friends and friends of friends who were able to catch the tornadoes and Hurricane in action.)
I raced downstairs yelling to get in the pantry since that is our safe spot in a tornado. Greg and Chloe were nowhere in the house. The wind had kicked up out the backside of our house and they decided to go outside to investigate. They didn’t see the tornado but saw a bunch of debris flying in the air. Once I told them there was a tornado that’s when we headed inside to the pantry. Below is a video that someone shot of the tornado from a different angle.
The following was a snapshot of the radar of our Saturday night.
Our house is where the blue dot is located in the above picture. When this picture was captured, we were in the middle of one of the severe rain bands. The red denotes tornado activity. The black space around Missouri City is an area between bands that is beautifully calm. After the band we were experiencing in this picture passed through us, the area of calmness came over. This was one of the few times I was able to get to sleep. We moved Chloe downstairs onto the couch so if we needed to head to the pantry in the middle of the night, we could rouse her without having to go upstairs and try to get her to walk downstairs half asleep. After the calm, we were hit with another band and then another band. Then Harvey did the unthinkable…he went back out into the Gulf of Mexico and came back in. Harvey danced upon the coastline for what seemed like an eternity. He was caught between two high pressure systems that prevented him from moving up onto land and dissipating. The sound of rain which I used to love, became a unwelcome sign. We longed for quiet.
With all of that rain, it made sense that all of the bayous, lakes, creeks and reservoirs would not be able to contain all of that water.
On the above map we are located North of the Addicks Reservoir and surrounded by creeks and man-made lakes. Even this map doesn’t have all of the creeks listed. There are two creeks that are right by my neighborhood that are not on this map. All of the creeks and reservoirs flow down into buffalo bayou and out to Trinity Bay and then Galveston Bay. The bayou system in Houston is massive and beautiful. With all of the rain our fair city went from dry to completely flooded.
Image Credit: Richard Carson / Reuters
Sunday, August 27th had us glued to the television witnessing the horrible effects on Houston. The above picture is Interstate highway 45 submerged from the effects of Hurricane Harvey during the widespread flooding in Houston on Sunday, August 27, 2017. Also, Sunday there was talk of releasing the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs to prevent the dams bursting and flooding the whole of Houston and surrounding areas. It would make life more horrific for those downstream and close to the bayous as well as neighborhoods that were just North and South of the reservoirs.
To give you an idea of how large Houston is, check out the meme below.
What I have known almost all of my life is that I am surrounded by good people. The images of neighbors helping neighbors flooded our social media. One of the images I believe was seen around the world.
Image Credit: David J. Phillip/AP
Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her 13-month-old son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Harvey, Aug. 27, 2017, in Houston.
Image Credit: Rick Wilking / Reuters
Greg and I didn’t get much sleep Sunday night since we were watching the news regarding the release of the reservoirs. We have many friends that live in one of the neighborhoods just North of the Addicks Reservoir. I grew up visiting friends and babysitting little ones in the neighborhood of Bear Creek. Late Sunday night, Greg got a text from one of the high school football coaches he taught in his Coaches Outreach Bible Study. Greg also had the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for this coach and his lovely wife back in November. Basically, he was asking Greg if he, his wife and their 4 pups could stay with us for a couple of days since they weren’t sure how bad the release of the reservoir was going to affect them. Our answer was a resounding YES!
Below is a picture of their neighborhood after the release of the reservoir.
Devastating! So many people lost everything as did the young couple who are now our house guests.
Back in May we had a pool company design us a pool for our huge backyard, but I just didn’t have complete peace about moving ahead with the project. Now I know why. Our backyard is the home and playground for 3 Labradors and 1 Schnauzer…Simba, Bella, LB, and Chickies. Chloe is over the moon with having the dogs to play with and they are all just the sweetest pups. The cats are mad right now, because they loved to go out on the back patio and lounge. But, they are adjusting.
Monday, August 28th our new house guests arrived with pups and brave faces. They were doing their best to hold it together. We put them in Chloe’s bedroom, but I knew we were going to have to find a more permanent solution for them since I had seen pictures and videos from Bear Creek and knew it would be months before they would be able to get back into their home. Plus school would be starting and Chloe would need to be back in her spot, but I didn’t have another bedroom set. We had a double size air mattress, but that could not be the solution. One morning, early while I was praying, the Lord dropped it down in my spirit to get on Facebook and my neighborhood social app, Nextdoor to see if anyone was willing to let us borrow a bedroom set. Below is what I put out on Facebook and Nextdoor:
URGENT BEDROOM NEEDS FOR COUPLE AFFECTED BY HARVEY
We have taken in a young couple and their 4 dogs from Bear Creek that had their home affected by the Addicks Reservoir release. If you have seen the video footage from Bear Creek, you can imagine how great the loss. They lost everything, Currently they are staying in our daughter’s bedroom and she is on the couch. But with school eventually starting, I would like to set them up in a proper bedroom in our home. I have a bookcase, two end tables and one lamp. Below is a list of items we are looking to borrow to create for them a place where they can retreat and recharge in the coming months. We do have an air mattress in the meantime, but would like to get them something a little more solid for the long haul.
1 Queen size bed frame
1 Queen size mattress and box spring
1 or 2 lamps
We have a truck and can pick up the items at a time that is convenient for you. If you have any of these items and would let us borrow them for several months, I would be so grateful. I give you my word, they will be taken care of and returned to you when they are no longer needed.
He is the new track and football coach at Brigdelands High School and she works in the energy field. As you can imagine, having 4 dogs their housing options are quite limited. They have a place here in our home for as long as they need it. I am honored to be able to help out in my small way.
Please respond to this or text me. Thank you in advance for helping us create a comfortable bedroom for them.
The response was overwhelming. I had people texting me and emailing me all day! I had made the post above on Wednesday, August 30th at 8:12 am and by 7:05 pm the same day, we had everything we needed and the room was set up for them.
Below is a follow-up post I made on Facebook and Nextdoor at 7:05 pm
Glory to God! I live in the greatest city on the Earth. My fellow Houstonians really stepped up. While our new house guests were taking a canoe back to their house in Bear Creek to assess the damage, Greg Griffin and I cleaned out our guest suite and outfitted the room with a queen size bed, dresser, two end tables, bookcase, two lamps, and freshly laundered linens and towels. Our guests are home from their hard day and have moved into their new suite. And, best of all, I hear laughter! This makes me so happy. A day that started in tears is ending with a light hearted moment. My heart is full. Thank you to all who offered to help and those that donated the furniture. Thank you John and Elena Hollingshead for graciously letting them borrow your canoe. Thank you Jerry Hurd for your generous contribution. All of you are stand up people and I am honored to call you friends. I will keep you posted of any further needs that might arise. Their long journey is just beginning. Hugs to all!
Hurricane Harvey is gone and we have a new normal. We have two beautiful people God has graciously allowed us to care for. And, Chloe has 4 more backyard playmates. The water has receded out of their house, but is still in the neighborhood and they have started the process of demoing their house and making plans. Their journey is going to be long, but they have a home here for as long as they need it. The start of school has been postponed to September 11th which gives us all more time to adjust to our new lives. Greg and I were so blessed that we did not have any water in our house and we did not lose power once. The extent of our damage was a broken window screen. That’s it! All Glory to God for keeping us safe and dry and for allowing us to be a refuge for Jake and Adriana in their storm.
For now, we are blessed, content and basking in the glow of how much our Heavenly Father loves us! And, we now have new friends to add to our game night! LOL
This was the start of Catan on Labor Day night with the Hollingsheads and the Robbins.
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Thanks for stopping by and listening to my take on Hurricane Harvey! Have a wonderful day/night depending on where you are in the world! Go with God and remember to be kind to one another!