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Anyone else glued to the Hurricane Harvey coverage?

Despite my current love affair with North Carolina, Texas still holds a pretty big chunk of my history and therefore my heart. I have a lot of friends and family in Houston.

12 years ago today I got married in Salado, TX.

12 years ago yesterday, very dear friends from Baylor got married in Houston, TX, and I was in their wedding. One of those things where promises were made and non-refundable plane tickets purchased long before John and I decided to get married and realize we had a very narrow window in which to make it happen if we wanted both of our brothers to be there.

Of course there was also that whole four-week engagement thing. Whatever.

You might also remember that 12 years ago tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and everyone was evacuated to Houston.

And I was there. Married for 24 hours, flying home to start work on a Thursday, and not a damn hotel in sight.

So many things make my wedding memorable.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I read Five Days at Memorial and Zeitoun and got a glimpse of Katrina that I had previously somehow missed.

So now, I am glued to this Hurricane Harvey coverage. And you guys, it is bananas.

I checked in on that friend, Nesi, last night, to wish her a happy anniversary and to make sure she’s still alive. In her words, “In typical mom fail mode,” she and her husband Greg left for an anniversary trip to Las Vegas last Thursday. She left her three kids home with a babysitter and plenty of family nearby. You know, when this whole thing was just a storm.

Nesi & Greg heading back into Houston while everyone else heads out. Just kidding. But it might as well be.

We are watching story after story of people trying to leave. And here’s my friend Nesi, trying to get back in. She said that on Saturday night, her nine year old had been repeatedly calling from the downstairs bathroom slash tornado shelter.

*I really need this to turn out okay, because she sent me this picture earlier this morning and it is cracking me up. Only Nesi, in a state of emergency the size of Texas.*

The nineteen year old nursing student babysitter was apparently holding it together like a champion. (Get this girl in an ER, quick.) Nesi’s mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law all live within a mile of her house and had been assuring her that everyone was okay.

“That’s fine and all but I needed to put my eyeballs on them.”


Every flight into Houston was canceled. She and Greg were finally able to get a flight into Dallas, where they rented a car. A total of 13 hours later they arrived to this:

Street view of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Unlike the rest of the entire female gender (especially those of us with kids), Nesi isn’t much of a crier. She said when they touched down in Dallas the tears flowed. I said from the comfort of my dry couch: “I’m not even there and I’m crying while you type.”

Flooding in Piney Point Village at Buffalo Bayou, by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Piney Point Village at Buffalo Bayou, Hurricane Harvey, flooding.

I hope they went ahead and bought the insurance on the rental car. Nesi said they drove as close as they could get and then she got out and ran through the yards.

Hurricane Harvey flooding, Hunter’s Creek and Piney Point, Houston.

For now she says her house is dry, they still have power, and of course, they are all together. Not a lot more romantic than sleeping six people and one toilet to a makeshift tornado shelter.

North Carolina started back to school today. There is an unseasonable chill in the air for an August morning and my girls ran back inside to grab sweatshirts before catching the bus. My biggest worry of the day included the erroneous bus number and the fact that it was completely on time for the first day of school.

As it pulled away I suddenly thought, “I hope that wasn’t the middle school bus.”

But my house isn’t under water and I have a pretty good idea of where all my kids are.

It is the 12 year anniversary of a week that changed many people’s lives forever. Next year, the fourth largest city in the US will have the date etched in their hearts as well. It is probably metaphorically fitting that this day in my history has been made famous for hurricanes.

A dozen years and only about a dozen gray hairs. Thanking God for some very little things right now.

Praying for Houston.


Hurricane Harvey and My Anniversary

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