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Low on groceries, but they are coming in.

Today, after dealing with days of Harvey and surviving, then driving the dirt laden freeways down to the George R. Brown Convention Center to see what needed to be done, and then traveling side streets to the grocery store that is just yards away from the bayou that is no longer a threat and within its banks, I sat in my van and wept.

I wept for my elation for being safe. Though there are still those in other parts of Houston, who are being rescued. I wept for seeing all I saw today and how so many people were helping so many other people. I wept in gratitude; I wept from what might be exhaustion. I wept because I survived and that I lost nothing and so many others have and will. I wept because I’m taking my wine and my shrimp home and sitting in my house and eating and drinking that tonight. I wept because I will bring bags of freezer items home that I will place them in my freezer after I take out the many blocks of ice I made before the storm. I wept as I remembered the dazed look on the women still in her pj’s who just got to the GRB and kept saying, “My ceiling caved in, my ceiling caved in, it is all gone.” as her very mature ten-year-old son held her one 1/2-year-old. I directed her to the blankets and clothing, took her name in case I can find a place for her to go. Maybe I wept for her.

Is this survivors remorse? I don’t think it is technically survivors remorse, as that definition means I feel guilty for being alive. I don’t feel guilty for being alive; My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

I feel like I’m in a fog, kind of like I did when my mom died, and I would look at people differently. I would look at someone and think, you could have died, we could have died. You have your home; you are in a grocery store buying food from shelves, and not waiting in life at a rescue center. These are such opposites my brain can’t adjust; it can’t take it all in. I’m watching strangers greet each other with things like, “Is your home livable?” and “Did you lose everything?” There is not one person in this city who has not either lost their home or had a close friend or family member who has lost their home. Most will recover, some homes are a total loss. Most people are smiling- if they are not still in shock.

 

“Is your home livable?”

Our city and individuals are wounded. We are all in a daze and shock, and it is not over. I can’t believe I came home to turn on the news and hear about missiles and to learn we are now waiting for a chemical plant to blow up in Crosby, Texas. Yes, it will blow up, it is just a matter of time, and they have no idea what that will do to our air quality. I can’t comprehend this. Maybe I will have to leave my home. I may have survived the rain, winds, and flood, but not a chemical explosion with compromised air. Survival continues, don’t let your guard down yet. Maybe I’ll save the wine and celebrate another night.

 

LOCALS – IF YOU WANT TO HELP BY-
1. Taking people into your home. 2. Helping shuttle people from a point in GO/OF to their families elsewhere.
 
If this post moves you let me know. I’m ready to try this.I’m headed down to the GRB to see. ( I did not remember that I had to put all of the brackets in my van before I could shuttle people. Neighbor men loaded the seats. I can probably take 10 people at a time. I have one child seat. Thank you guys.)
 
I have no idea what I am doing. Plan is, go PRAY. Talk to people and ask God to show me who needs a place or transport to a family member. I’ll post on neighborhood forum to see who wants to take in this family temporarily or for a while. Maybe the family can shower, have a good meal and then you can make arrangements to get them to their extended families once roads clear. If you are willing to do this please post on this post on MY facebook page. Please also let me know how many rooms and if you would prefer people with children, no children or even pets. I can’t always find my posts I post in OF or GO forums. IF this grows I may need someone to help me organize a digital version of this. I have no idea how to monitor this. I want our Guests to be safe. Everyone doing this must know we do this at our own risk. I trust in divine guidance. I am planning on taking at least 5 people into my home. Others who can’t take people in and are willing to help provide hot meals and groceries for the homes that do this would be appreciated. If there is anyone from my church Bill Laucher that needs placement or has room let me know.
 
I WONT HAVE MY COMPUTER. I will be posting the needs as I find them from a tiny phone. so seeing posts here is the key. I’m going to try and pin this post to the top of my feed and make it global. If I have a family for you, perhaps you can text me on my phone. I DO NOT HAVE PRIVATE MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK ON MY PHONE DO NOT PM me I won’t get it. I will not be able to see PM’s
 
MEANWHILE list your availability below: Is it a home, shuttle to others, can cook meals for families and provide groceries for host homes, and pray. Thanks.
 
THOSE OUT OF STATE-
As we place families and see their needs I’ll let you know so perhaps you can help sponsor that family.

Update and an idea.
I am very thankful that I have stayed dry during this storm. So many have not. I have a bit of survivors remorse. Everyone wants to help everywhere and I, like others, am trying to figure out where I can be of most use, and still not compromise my recovery from bronchitis.

One thing i am good at is organization, communication, creative ideas and bringing people together so I am trying to figure out how to use those talents in a small way to help with recovery.

Streets within my area are passable. Some highways are opening up. There are two things that are on my heart. The relocation of individuals in the GRB or NRG is not something that the City of Houston can handle on their own. There are just too many people.Two days ago I posted on neighborhood forums I have neighbors who have said they would open their homes and I have three bedrooms vacant here. I have warned everyone they do this at their own liability. I can only pray that God leads me to the right people.

I know family and friends- for some this action may sound like a dangerous thing to do, but I can’t just leave my rooms vacant when I watch mom and babies sitting on floors in the GRB. There are not enough showers there. As always there are a mix of people and some have expressed their concerns that their kids see such things. My thought is to try and get help to put my van seats in,( ANYONE NEARBY THAT CAN HELP?) I’ll go down there, and see what I can see and if this will work. Yesterday I posted on Sherry Williams KHOU facebook page. She interviewed my about the Alice project. I thought since she is at the George R Brown, she might be able to give some advice or suggestion in making this work. But I’m sure they are very busy. Maybe with prayer and direction I can find some people who can either be relocated to something more comfortable in our homes in Garden Oaks – Houston Oak Forest Homeowners Association or create a shuttle service with volunteers that might possibly be able to reunite these people with loved ones who are high and dry. What that looks like in my head is- I meet someone they say they have reports that their family in wherever is fine. They have no car, clothes or resources to get there. I can either take them or shuttle them to a place where individual volunteers can relocate them. This works in my head. If you are a praying person, please pray that the path before me be opened up. Meanwhile, I think I need to drop off my wet dry shop vac and fans to someone who might need them in the hood.

Also, if you have any insights or suggestion or want to volunteer in anyway with this crazy plan let me know. I may also need some another car seat or little baby carrier seat, be sure it is marked with your name and phone number so I can get it back to you. I have one child’s seat now. If we create a shuttle system then others may need it as well.