I'm trying to stay positive, and I am glad to be at home in a mostly non-flooded area. Those pictures above are not of rivers- those are highways, and they are downtown highways that I take almost every day. I have a love/hate relationship with driving by that overpass with the graffiti that says "Be someone". On one hand, it's encouraging, but on another hand, everyone is someone no matter what. But seeing the water almost all the way up to it was almost unbearable. Here at home, the neighborhood streets are not flooded, nor is the main street outside of the subdivision, but the entrance of that main street onto the freeway is, and it's barricaded with a patrol car making sure no one tries.
The death toll is only in the teens, but it's going to get so difficult as the waters recede and that number climbs. The current death toll includes a police officer who drowned in his police car and a family of 6 (4 siblings and their grandparents) who are presumed dead after their uncle escaped the van and could not get them out.
One great thing today was that I got to talk on the phone to one of my favorite blogging and vlogging buddies. She was so positive and so refreshing to talk to. She really cheered me up. Her three oldest children all got married recently within a short period of time, and she kept referring to her daughter-in-law and two sons-in law as their "boyfriend-I mean-husband" and "girlfriend-I mean, wife" lol. Connection started to fade and we started texting. At the end of our conversation, she asked if she could do anything for me. I said, pray for all of Houston. Houston is big, resilient and strong, but we could still use it. She responded that she would make mention of not only our city, but my cousin Evan's widow and daughter and me and my daughter in family time with her remaining children at home.
Then I got to talk on the phone with my coordinator from child advocates. She was also positive and refreshing to talk to, and expressed concern for me and my family as well as asked for updates on the children I am working with. The one in foster care is doing well. The one back with his mother, I am not so sure about. I have a hunch that she is getting drunk through all of this. I can sense it in her texts, but I can not make that accusation to my coordinator. I simply told my coordinator that she seemed unwilling to speak to me and screenshotted the texts for her to make her own conclusions.
We have it good except for the fact that we are stranded at home, but at least we are safe. No one is open, not even Walmart. Our biggest problem is that we're on the last package of toilet paper. I'm serious.
We watched on the news as the President took off in Air Force One to come here to Texas and wear a rain jacket for decoration. As we watched the plane take off from DC, my dad cracked a joke. He said, "If the President comes, tell him we need toilet paper". I burst out laughing, and ended up with this song stuck in my head literally all day. All these retro 90's songs are re-emerging.
All in all, I just want things to get back to normal. Some people are saying recovery might take a month. I personally can't fathom that. Hurricane Ike in 2008 was catastrophic, and Houston bounced back in the blink of an eye. We weren't like the Katrina survivors who lingered on it for years. We are the 4th largest city, a major economic force, and home to dozens of fortune 500 companies and every culture on Earth. Do I need to get Air Force One out of my head and perhaps start singing.... "Wake Me Up When September Ends"?????