For fifteen days these amazing and resilient kids waited out Hurricane Harvey with us while their parents stayed in Houston, enduring the storm and then cleaning up afterwards.
But finally, the waiting was over.
As empty-nesters my husband and I are quite used to having structure in our lives.
We’re creatures of habit and although he travels for his job, which adds a certain amount of change to every week, even that is predictable. We have routines, we follow the same protocol every morning, our evenings have a rhythm.
Our life is structured. So structured that we aren’t even aware of it.
Until it isn’t.
Our grandchildren have been at our home for almost two weeks now due to their parents having the foresight to send them away from Houston before Hurricane Harvey descended on them. Their dad is a volunteer firefighter and stayed behind to do what firemen do in a storm. Their mom stayed behind to save their home. Their other grandma, not really knowing exactly where she was headed, hastily packed everyone up and left the city with an hour’s notice.
And so the structure of our lives disappeared into the storm.
It has taken not just us and their other grandma to keep it all together, but a network of friends and diversions.
Nothing is the same for us or for them, either here or in Houston. Our son worked for days on end, swimming through fast moving storm waters in the dark of night to rescue people while his wife battled the storm alone. At the end of it all they were exhausted and broken-hearted for the devastation around them. They miss their children. Here, the kids don’t have their friends close by, don’t have their familiar toys or their dogs, don’t have the structure in their lives that they’re used to. At three, five and nine, they’re missing their parents, the little ones, especially, not having the experience with time to grasp the difference between two weeks or two months.
And so love has become the foundation, the structure that our days are built on.
Through it all we found time to smell the roses.
And hug a tree with Tita.
Most importantly, we’ve been deeply aware of, and have been thankful for our blessings and the fact we live close enough for them to be with us.
And for this…..just two more sleeps until their parents arrive. 🙂
Now excuse me while I go pick up some legos and clean up the, thankfully, washable markers the two little ones just colored themselves with while I wrote this blog!
My week started out in Colorado and South Dakota where, although I looked for corners, they were decidedly lacking.
The landscape was more about wide open spaces and meandering trails.
And this kind of unique traffic jam, definitely not like the ones most of us are accustomed to on the corners of our cities.
On this August morning in Louisiana my weather app reads 92 degrees with 88% humidity at 8 a.m.
This would be why I’m not a fan of the South in the summer. This would be why I avoid being out in the elements at this time of year. This would be why air-conditioning is my friend and why I wasn’t looking forward to being outside for even one photo session.
However, I had a relative who was giving birth a few days ago and all through that day, as I was praying for her and thinking about her, images of water kept playing through my mind. Although it’s been 28 years since I last experienced it, I still very vividly remember the power I felt when my water broke and the process started, that rushing of the water.
Which turned my thoughts to a local dam I found by accident the last time I lived here, so I went out in search of it, remembering the rush of water flowing through it’s man-made barriers in an attempt to harness and control that particular element.
The search did not disappoint.
My memory also served me well in knowing this was a place often frequented by people with spray paint in hand and although graffiti has little to do with the elements, my camera also turned to the evidence of themselves they’ve chosen to leave behind. I suspect visiting this place might be a sort of rite of passage to high schoolers in the area. Perhaps that, in itself, is a sort of elemental pull to this place.
This entire photo shoot took all of 15 minutes and I was soaked with sweat by the time I was finished. Yep, I’m not a fan of experiencing the elements in the summer in Louisiana.
Headed up to South Dakota in a few days….highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s.
Places with those kind of temperatures in August are my new happy place.
My sister texted this photograph to me yesterday. That’s her on her wedding day and me peering through the screen door. I think it got both of us thinking about the passage of time.
Which turned my thought to both buildings and people.
A foundation is poured, walls are built, fresh paint is applied.
In youth our skin is taut, supple and untouched by the years.
But time intervenes and both new buildings and our bodies become canvases painted by time. Continue Reading
I had dinner with a special group of people last night in a raucous restaurant, people who have become family over the years. Some of us connected to each other in this city because of the fact that we didn’t have family near, some of our group being the ones who do, but who accepted us as family initially because they supported the military but eventually because we all fell in love with each other.
I know, sounds odd, that particular use of the word love.
Yet we’ve left many such “friends who became family” throughout my husband’s career.