My dad and I got back to the house on Saturday to try and get generators hooked up before the freezers defrosted. We thought we knew what to expect, but I really don’t think there’s any way to prepare you for anything like this.
We couldn’t get in through the back door of my parents house because the ceiling had fallen in and blocked the door. Dad went in through the front door, cleared the back door, and came out to get me and the dogs. I asked how I looked and he said, “Bad.”
He wasn’t kidding. The roof caps had flown off and there was a hole in my sisters old room upstairs.
It also did the same in our game room, which had all the stuff my sister was trying to move into her new house. The bottom part of the right window popped out, but didn’t break.
My sisters house had some missing shingles and water and mud seeped in under the doors and windows. That’s where my family is staying.
My house, a 416-square-foot tiny house my dad built me, only lost a piece of tin.
We also lost three storage buildings and our barn.
My car, which was parked next to the barn, is just fine thankfully, and the storage units were ones we needed to go through anyway so it just expedites that process. My dads shop will end up being a loss, but the stuff inside is okay.
Over all, we really didn’t do too bad. We have friends who lost absolutely everything. Homes 4 miles from us in town (Bayside) absolutely flattened. 80% of Bayside is gone. My tiny town.
The stories coming out of the storm blow your mind. My neighbor held his door closed the entire 4 hours the eye wall pounded us. If he hadn’t, he probably would have lost it as he did all the other buildings on his property.
My best friend in rockport had a tornado go through her yard which lifted her house off the foundation and set it back down. The stuff inside is salvageable, but the house will have to be torn down.
I’ve heard of trees through houses, I’ve seen trailers and mobile homes completely flattened, only identifiable by the grill. I’ve seen places where a building once was, but you couldn’t tell anything had been there before except for the cement blocks it sat on, and if you looked across the road to the open field, you saw the remnants of the building scattered.
Cows in the road. Power poles snapped and dangling on the other side of the road. Metal poles at 90 degree angles from the base.
Concrete buildings crumbles like blocks a kid walked through. And the trees. Oh, the trees. Rockport is known for its beautiful oak trees. They’re all completely stripped.
Trying to find your way around town by landmarks is impossible, because the familiar buildings and lights and signs aren’t there.
Businesses owned by friends completely flattened. An entire town unrecognizable.
The schools have walls destroyed, the school district closed indefinitely.
Historical buildings in every town ruined beyond repair.
And this was just the beginning. After it had its way with our communities, it continued up the coast to cover Houston and the surrounding areas in enough water to cover the entire United States in almost an inch of water. Enough flooding in Houston proper alone to fill two Delawares.
Over 11 million people affected. 48% of the state of Texas. I don’t know if you’ve seen Texas, but it’s huge.
Corpus Christi made out rather well. Most of the city has power restored and is back to business as usual. It’s rather odd to go from my house where destruction is and go to the studio where everything is business as usual.
Thankfully, both of our studio buildings did just fine. The main studio didn’t even lose power. The brand new floor that delivered last Tuesday to replace the floor damaged from a flood downtown in June survived. No flooding there at all.
I’m grateful, especially since I don’t know when I’ll get back to work. I still have the studio and can still teach.
I had my class yesterday, and my kids were so well behaved it really was therapeutic for me.
I was able to see many of my dear friends I’ve made since dancing, each of them genuinely expressing their heartache to know what we’re facing. One of my closest friends held me in the tightest, most comforting hug. It stays with me even still.
These are the things that make a difference. The genuine care and concern from people who love me. Knowing they would do anything in their power to help me.
My family in Kansas loaded up a truck and trailer and headed down yesterday. Some of my dads Vietnam buddies are heading down Sunday with even more supplies. People sending cash. You forget you have bills and no income to pay them until you get an email reminding you, and at the same time a friend sends you cash and you don’t have to worry about it. And you didn’t even ask. They reached out, and even though you haven’t spoken in a while there was no stopping them.
Seeing my childhood home in shambles didn’t make me cry. Realizing I lost two boxes of pictures didn’t make me cry. I’m pretty good with not crying. What did it for me, and what still does if I slow down long enough to think about it, is the kindness from these people and people like them. Everyone banding together to take care of each other absolutely selflessly. I can’t even begin to express my extreme gratitude.
Right now I’m in the car on the way to Dallas with my friend so we can fly out to Florida to make our Harry Potter event we’ve been counting down to. I’m grateful to still be able to go. Honestly, part of me has forgotten that this is actually happening. So many sad things have happened and be seen. Things I won’t even put here because they’re heart breaking. Add on top of that I had a follow up appointment yesterday and was told to try hypnosis. My doctor doesn’t know what else to tell me. She’s absolutely baffled. As if I needed anything else to worry about. I’m already pushing myself to breaking because we don’t really have a choice, especially as all this first unfolded. This is a marathon, not a sprint, for most of the state, so to think about leaving for four days id be lying if I said it was an easy decision. My family wants me to go. They want me to get away for a bit. That means a lot to me.
It also helps knowing I’m not leaving my dad alone. Until yesterday it was just the two of us. My uncles are there to help him, mom got home yesterday evening, and friends and various churches have offered to come out and help which has made a huge difference. I can’t even begin to thank them enough.
I haven’t been able to journal about it much. Part of it being time, part of it being the fact that sitting is so painful, especially with how much physics labor I’m having to do that I probably shouldn’t be doing.
It’s surreal. You see the pictures, you see the news, you see it happen to everyone else. Then you turn the channel, someone else happens and makes you forget about it. But then it’s you. And it doesn’t go away. You can’t turn your head and ignore it because the destruction is literally everywhere. You can’t cry and just want to be home because home as you know it doesn’t exist. Everything is different now. This is the first day of the rest of our lives. And even still, we have so much to be grateful for. We could have lost absolutely everything like some. We almost stayed. So many ways we were protected.
I know people ask how could a God who’s so loving do something like this. But I think people miss the reality of who God is. We live in a fallen world. Humans chose sin and this is part of what came with it. My God is the God who told us to leave even though we always stay. He’s the one who made sure the buildings that are most important are standing, even if one is severely damaged. He’s the one who kept the dang cats safe. He’s the one putting it on people’s hearts to help where they can. God didn’t send this storm. He’s the one sending the restoration from the storm.
God doesn’t forget or neglect His people. And it’s evident. Oh, is it evident.
I hope you all are well and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to regular dance posts soon.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and thought of us. It gives us an inner strength knowing we aren’t alone.