8.31.2017

Flooded By Compassion & Love

Today I'm feeling hopeful as the healing begins; we started the day by kicking Hurricane Harvey to the curb, literally and figuratively.
True confessions: We actually went to the wrong house for our
10:00 commitment to help an elderly couple with restoration.
We'd been drafted to move some furniture and remove some wood flooring, so we ought to have snapped when there was no furniture to be moved or wood flooring to speak of. {That, and the couple didn't seem elderly, really, as they were kind of our age.} But we were at house number 302, so we pressed on and removed these soggy baseboards, until we got an SOS from a friend and decided to move on down the road. We figured out later that there's a difference between Lane and Court. 

Maybe we are more elderly than we think we are.

Anyhow, we spent an hour with them, then we landed at a friend's mom's home and were able to get a lot of this stuff out of the flooded house and out to the curb.


It felt good to walk alongside of the homeowner and hear her story.
She'd just finished a remodel, so the carpet was pretty new. 
Until it got flooded. 
And overnight became old.
She smiled with relief when her contractor stopped by to check on her and put her on his calendar for next Monday. Sometimes it's the little things.

So let's back up.
Friday we had off from school with hardly any rainfall to speak of.
We actually wondered if we should have been in school.

Then Saturday morning happened. 
This is midnight, the sky lit up by lightning.
See our mailbox? The water was rising as the rains fell hard.


We had a mini-hurricane at 4:30 a.m.
and by 6:30 am this tree had toppled in our back yard.


Harvey's rage kept hammering into swollen creeks.
By Sunday, those creeks were lakes.
This is the road adjacent to our church that night.


It was unbelievable.
We were landlocked.
And Harvey wasn't done with us yet.
Boat and helicopter rescues were rampant
as some people could only get on their roof and wait.
3000 homes flooded in our town alone
as we were getting a year's worth of rain in three days.
Here's Heather's homeclick the picture to help them.


One thousand of those people without power.
And more rain on its way Monday night.
Tuesday morning our streets were still impassable.
But our house had survived and we were grateful.


I woke up early to bake breakfast for our Police Station
and when I couldn't get there, they send an officer to us.
They'd been working around the clock and
were thankful for our egg casserole and banana bread.


And what a difference a day makes. By Wednesday, the sun was shining and we were no longer landlocked on all sides. The Marines came to town to help finish up the rescues and start the rebuild workout.


Stores were opening back up,
but shelves are still bare because trucks can't get here yet.
Here's a FB update from today; 
so grateful for social media at times like these.


Today it was time to start that restoration process.
We'd planned to take lunch to our nine staff members whose homes flooded, but our pizza place was still closed and many of them were still out of town. Our district leadership team met and agreed that all teachers would call their families to check on them. Tomorrow morning, the district counselors will meet to plan for our return to school on Tuesday. 

Passionate educators from all over the nation have reached out to ask how they can help. Check out these two beautiful comfort cards that are headed our way.


Isn't that a beautiful expression of empathy and encouragement?

Be still my beating heart.

Superheroes like this little friend have set up lemonade stands;
I wish you could have seen her dancing in the streets!


Ventriloquist Dennis Lee and his sister Lisa has been checking in on us 
and they send us their prayers and warm wishes.


And Jax, a third grader from my school, is collecting donations.
Click the image below for more information and/or to contribute.


So many ways to help. It's how we roll.
Because this sort of natural disaster brings people together.
It unites us, ignites our empathy and mobilizes our compassion.
It brings the realization that life is precious.
It reminds us that life is fleeting and that connections trump stuff.
Every time.
People are outside of their homes,
crusading for a cause. To help shoulder someone's burden.
To make someone's life a little easier.
To love unconditionally.
Just like last year at this time with the Pokemon Go craze,
only way better.
Bringing healing and hope, two beautiful gifts.
Flooding our flood-ravished community with love and support.

Want some additional ways to help?
are all collecting for Harvey Relief. 

So tonight as I lay my head on my pillow
and reflect on today,
my prayers are with the people who are starting over,
who have taken their stuff to the curb
and who will need extra tender loving care 
as they recover and restore.
And I'll show my gratitude that we were spared
by distributing your comfort cards
and baking as I have opportunities to feed people,
and listening to their stories of survival and suffering,
and crying with them when it's too hard to talk anymore.


And we'll keep on spreading joy and serving others because, above all, we are called to flood the world with compassion and love.






3 comments:

  1. I just wrote a similar post. I am just humbled and amazed at the schools around the nation stepping up to help out. Have you seen the Hurricane Harvey Book Club on Facebook-lots of people reading stories to each other, last I checked they were up to 51,000 members! Just unbelievable. Glad to hear you guys are alright Barbara!

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  2. Oh sweet friend, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your community! Thank you for bringing some positivity during this difficult time. <3 Kate

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  3. Bless you dear Barbara. You are a shining light.

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