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Showing posts with label Brazos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brazos. Show all posts

Saturday, June 4, 2016

2016 Memorial Day Flood

I took a break from all 3 blogs last week.  We continued to work on clearing out and cleaning our previous home and garden, worked our way around boxes and boxes stacked everywhere in this house, helped with a sick grandchild, and I developed a bad case of bronchitis that slowed me down.

 At the same time, our area is experiencing a historical flood.  Most of Texas has had huge rains off and on for weeks. Then, on the Memorial day weekend (exactly one year since the last major flooding in Fort Bend County) the Brazos river began creeping out of its banks due not just to our area heavy rains, but because the rains north of us drained into the Brazos watershed.  The river has crested at a record breaking 54.81 feet and there is some subsiding, but many roads remain impassable.  So we are driving longer distances around to finish our moving work.  This may sound like a complaint but it is not, because everywhere I look I see the evidence of the destruction of homes, livestock, businesses and loss of livelihood.  Our church is a Red Cross shelter for evacuees who are devastated and still do not know if they will return to homes or what they will find when they do. So stories of our new home that we share with our youngest son and his family will come later, but I wanted to post a few pictures of the magnitude of the flood.

Joe and I were in the truck, driving toward the house we are selling early one morning. Suddenly, an air boat whizzed by the side of the truck.  They closed that road right after we went through. I saw a herd of maybe 3 dozen deer stranded out on a high place in a pasture. There was a cattle drive down Hwy 90 as cattlemen relocated cattle to drier land. Snakes, alligators, and balls of fire ants are spotted out of their habitat. There are so many heartbreaking pictures. But there are also beautiful ones, of all those who have helped.  The community leaders have diligently been here to assist, rescue, use social media to keep everyone as informed as possible. Neighbors have helped neighbors. These pictures of generosity, hospitality, and genuine caring are the ones I will remember most.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Seeing it All

view of Brazos river from car moving across the bridge
Last Year I read a memoir titled Sightlines. At the time when I was writing about the book, I said - I could see it all, describing the collection of poems and audio "collage" from Janet Riehl. In her frank, descriptive voice, I was able to really see all of the journey of this family , their fun and their work, their togethernesss and apartness, their good times and their shattered joy and bereavement as well as the sometimes indescribable complexities of aging oneself while attending to the aging of one's parents. At times what I saw was unsettling, even unlovely.  But there was also love and longing and tenderness. I saw remembering, and just as in my own life, at times the remembering hurts .  I could see it all.

I hope that I have at least a fraction of that ability to help others see the joy of our journey as a family in that way.  The past 2 weeks have been a roller coaster for many, and our family is no exception. Immediately following the togetherness of our Memorial Day, weather turmoil catapulted much of Texas into chaos. Beginning the evening of Memorial Day, a Monday - a violent thunder storm raged all night long, creating the start of historic flooding and destruction. Families literally separated by the power of raging rivers, life and property lost. As rivers continued to rise whole neighborhoods evacuated to shelter in other places. The river which divides the neighborhoods where our youngest son and family live from the area where Joe and I and our oldest son's family live - the Brazos, reached flood stage almost a week ago, crested 2 feet above that and waters are still at that level today, the 5th day since. 

Our church, First Baptist Church in Richmond, is a designated Red Cross shelter in crises like this, and a number of people found helping hands when they came to stay. I baked bags full of chocolate cookies and delivered to volunteers and those who had to sleep on a cot that night. When every newscast pictures another family who has lost everything, some even their family members, I prayed for them, but I also gathered my own dear ones closer to my heart and mind.

Then, 3 days ago, danger came closer than the river had. Joe weakened and collapsed with a high fever due to what is thought now to be infection begun by a spider bite. What began as a wife worrying because her husband did not feel well in the afternoon ended with a call to 911 and admission to hospital by nightfall. Indescribable complexities? Togetherness and apartness? Unsettling, even unlovely? Yes, all that but also love and longing and tenderness and joy. Our family is close, and in the frightening, uncertain, threatening emergency of 911 calls and specialists and IV antibiotics of the last 48 hours, I am able to rejoice in the faithfulness and loving provision of God, the sustaining, nurturing concern and expressions of love from our sons and other family and friends, and the absolute knowledge that whatever the next 48 hours brings, the acronym spread across my husband's T shirt as the medics loaded him into the ambulance is true.

It's Gonna Be OK!