As we’re all aware, the city of Houston, Texas suffered categoric flood damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. I know everyone joins me in sending heartfelt prayers, thoughts, and good vibes to the great citizens of this fair city. An extra thank you goes out to who have made the sacrifices to perform daring rescues or the responders on the sidelines, feeding, clothing, and housing those in need.
You are all heroes.
Though the suffrage from this disaster is heartbreaking, I’ve read countless accounts of how the people in this great city have come together. This doesn’t surprise me. I lived in Houston or near the Houston area for thirteen years.
My son was born in Houston and he and his wife moved back after he graduated college. (They’re fine, by the way.) I’m not a big city person, but if the opportunity arose, I’d have no problem living nearby or in the city itself.
Why would I even consider the moving there after what just occurred? Good question. My first few weeks in Houston weren’t the best. I’d go as far as to say, Houston hated me, and wanted me to leave. I’ll elaborate.
My initial experience in rush hour traffic resulted in totaling my car on the 610 loop. It was one of those things…everyone braked except me. I slammed into the car in front of me. This was before seat-belt laws, so I took a pretty hard jolt. I was okay physically, but emotionally, I was more wrecked than my car.
I stood on the side of the highway bawling while a policeman tried to interview me. The poor guy I hit couldn’t have been nicer. He just kept saying it was okay I totaled his vehicle. Once the cars were towed, and the police were finished, my then husband had to take me to happy hour. I can’t recall how many margaritas it took to calm me, but I drank quite a few.
The next week I had a craving for a Hershey bar with Almonds. At midnight. I lived in the big city, so no problem, right? Something was still open. I hurried down the stairs of my fourplex and missed the bottom step. I tumbled onto the concrete, and I sprang my ankle. My husband had to carry me back upstairs,, ice my ankle down, and listen to me whine. Teach me to go out for chocolate late at night, but just a side note; He felt sorry for me. I did get my candy.
And week three? Hurricane Alicia blew through. She wasn’t quite as damaging as Harvey, but she was a force to deal with. Her appearance was unexpected, she turned at the last minute, and I didn’t get a chance to leave. I sat alone with my cats on the top floor of my apartment complex, listening to the winds howl. No electricity, no water. We had a covered porch, so for fun, I stepped outside. (i.e. I was very young) The rain was blowing sideways, not hitting my door and the porch was dry. Then it became eerily quiet, and rays of sunshine were peeking through the thick clouds. The eye was passing overhead. The winds picked back up. I looked outside again and the rain blew in the opposite direction, right at me soaking my porch. Later, after the worst had passed, we drove out of the city through the rising waters. Everything in our area was back up and running within the next few days.
I may’ve forgotten a lot of things in my life, but that day is imprinted in my memory bank. I’ll never forget it.
So after those experiences (and there were others), why would I return? The people. You’ve seen it on the news, the internet, and read about it in the paper. The cities wonderful citizens come from all over the world. I can probably count on one hand how many native Houstonian’s I encountered, but the majority of residents are friendly, warm, and amazing people, like those the media are showing day in and day out.
I think their spirit is somehow infectious and why so many are rushing from different areas to help rebuild. Those wonderful souls who call Houston, Texas their home is the reason the city will survive, rebuild and become even a greater metropolis.
God Bless Texas. God Bless Houston.