It has been almost eight months since we had to evacuate our house due to the Hurricane Harvey Flood. What journey it has been with loss, lots of loss and many blessings. This was a journey I would not wish on anyone. There are a lot of people that are still without their home and still have a long road ahead of them. I pray for them daily. Some are just now getting back home even though their house is not complete. My neighborhood for example still has most families still out of their homes. Some have left and will not return. As you go through our neighborhood it still looks like the flood recently hit. There is debris in the front yards and the houses are still void of life. Some are being rebuilt however. There are FEMA and personal RV trailers set up in a lot of front yards and driveways for the house owners to live. Each week on our neighborhood Facebook Group there is sometimes several announcements of families finally moving back home.
Our house is now officially complete. The exterior has been painted with the new look for our house. Only the garage still has work to be done, but I will work on this as time and money allows.
I guess the biggest change in life outlook for me is of my fellow man and the help that was offered us. When we left our house that rainy night to escape the fast moving flood water, I got my family with a few belongings situated in a safe place, my instinct was to go back into the neighborhood to help other get to safety. I had our john boat, with no plug or paddles, only thick sticks to push off the bottom. Our neighbor who provided us shelter also went and he was able to find and cut a fence board for a makeshift paddle. After rescuing several families, I had to quit due to sheer exhaustion. After all, I was 58 years old. My neighbor and his brother continued using my boat to get out many more families.
I think our town of Dickinson, Texas should build a statue of a john boat with a White person, Hispanic person and a Black person in it reaching out to someone in the water to rescue them. Ethnic backgrounds did not matter that night here in Texas. Everyone was helping everyone else. No one waited for the official rescues to show up, we all looked after ourselves and our neighbors. I think that is the way it should always be.
Yesterday I started to organize my garage, and was thrilled to see it getting back to normal. At the end of the day I sat in the lawn chair in the garage listening to the music I like, drinking a bottle of water, and looked around to see my garage starting to looked like it should, I finally felt like I was back home.