Hurricane Harvey

I have held off saying a lot about Hurricane Harvey and I did so for a reason, I didn’t know what to say? Was I going to discuss the disaster? Was I going to discuss the loss of lives and devastation? The political rhetoric that has been thrown around? Or, was I going to talk about how I was personally effected?

Honestly, I still don’t know what to say? This will probably be a rambling post, but that is ok. I think often times, we struggle to find the right words to say in the aftermath of this disaster.

I am from North Carolina and at the age of 21, I packed up my jeep and moved just north of Houston to a town called The Woodlands. There, my life changed for the better. It changed because I went out with what I could put in my jeep and my best friend John, who was already living there, we got an apartment and I became who I am today. Houston is the 4th largest city in the US, so for me, I had never lived near that large of a city.

My first week of living in The Woodlands, I drove to downtown Houston to see the sights and to get use to the traffic and to the area, but what really happened was I fell in love with the city. I feel in love the area, the people, the culture, etc. And had I not accepted, at what I thought was a great job on the east coast, I would still be there today. I to this day, love Houston and more importantly, the great state of Texas.

The food and the music to this day have been completed changed because of my time there.   BBQ has an entire different feel for me today than it did in North Carolina because of Brisket and smoked sausage.  Tex-Mex and Mexican food, I don’t even know where to begin on this, but I think that Lyle Lovett said it best and is words that I still live by to this day:

Never eat Mexican food east of Mississippi or north of Dallas. – Lyle Lovett from a Southern Living article.

And the music is just amazing. From seeing King George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen and the list just go on and on.  To this day, when these artists are in town, I try like hell to get back, because for a few hours, I get to relive my time in Texas.

Texas is a part of me. It made me who I am today. It shaped me into the father, husband, man etc that I am today. It forced me to make new friends and leap outside of my comfort zone. I had to abandon things and views that I thought were one way to realize that it was really another. I changed into a better person, because of the years that I lived in Texas and for that, I am forever grateful.

So as I sat and watched the storm unfold, I was in constant contact with my family and friends that live there. I saw through their photos via text and on Facebook what was going on. And then the days after, I saw media photos of places where I worked or drove to and from work or the damage that my church had. But through it all, my friends and family are safe. The church can be repaired from the flooding, again. And Texas will rebuild, hell if you have ever spent anytime in Texas, you’ll know that not only will the city and residents rebuild, they will rebuild even bigger than before. That is the Texas way. That is Texas Pride!

As I listened to a friend the other night discuss the political tone and how the GOP failed to pass legislation when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, I couldn’t help be thinking that he was missing something. Regardless of the political views, the residents were rallying around each other and helping one another in a way that can not be described. People that did not know each other and regardless of color, political views, religious views were there helping to save the lives of their fellow Texans.

Hurricane Harvey hits really close to home for me. I have a good friend that was working the entire time as a fireman. I have friends that are in law enforcement there. I have close family there. I have friends that have serious medical conditions that were unsure about treatments that they were going to have. And through it all, you see Houston Texans J.J. Watt started a fund with a goal of $200,00o to be raised to help the residents of Houston and at this time, it has raised over $16 million.

Houston is Houston Strong and that will not change. Hurricane Harvey will not destroy the great state of Texas or the city of Houston and surrounding cities for that matter. If you are able to give, please do so, as it will take years to rebuild. And there is a reason why the phrase “Don’t Mess With Texas” is so true. Texans have rallied in a time of disaster to help those in need. So as I type this out, my heart and prayers are with those today and always, in a city and state that I truly love.

God Bless Texas!