Prior to August 25th, Hurricane Harvey was a nonevent for Texas and was elsewhere. Our world of business was focused on delivering to our clients, managing our business and occasionally enjoying life.
Then Harvey hit. It actually sprang up very quickly for Texans. First, it was crossing the Yucatan and then it was at our front door. There are many views from many people and with humility, I am expressing how we viewed our time under Harvey’s control.
My husband and I live at a Marina. We love being near the water! We have a condo on the 3rd floor, but look out on a beautiful little marina where our boat, Faith and Hope, is almost in sight. We presently are “dirt dwellers” that is what “Liveaboards” call people who live on land. We lived on Faith and Hope for 15 years. We understand Liveaboards and why they do it. It is simple living and it brings with it a serenity that provides a great sense of nature, peacefulness, strong bonds and beauty.
Needless to say, we have many friends that are presently Liveaboards. And, Harvey was more than a challenge…it was a nightmare! The water came up FAST and created almost an island effect. These Liveaboards could not get off and they had no electricity. We could only text and email them from our lofty perch three stories up surrounded by water. Although there were many more that were far worse off than our friends at the marina, my heart still went out to our friends coping with Harvey. Liveaboards are a different breed who almost hear a different drum. They want simple living where neighbors are true neighbors and one can stop over for a quick chat or a great meal whipped up for a crowd. We have often had 20 or more on one boat; and one time we fixed an entire Thanksgiving dinner (pies and all!) for many.
So what do you do? You have everything. They have nothing. Well, my husband and I focused on their possible needs…cell phone charging and food. Water is always on a boat so that was not a problem. But, how do you get it to them? Remember they cannot see the docks anymore or know where to step. Well, a miracle happened! The water calmed for just a small window of time. We walked down to the marina and contacted our friends. They decided to try getting off. Now, you can’t see where the dock is or where you should put your next step. My husband grabbed a paddle and our friend had a boat hook to gingerly try to find the next foot hole that is dock and not deep water! They worked together to get our friend off. This was not easy going with a pretty good current. He was tired and wet and wanted something hot. We made hot scrambled eggs with bacon; and I only had pita pocket bread but it worked! He was able to charge his phone and then, because his wife was still onboard and they have two beloved cats, he went back to his boat. We shared what food we had with them.
We were lucky but so many lost everything; some lost their lives. A good friend of mine was flooded twice. Once was the Tax Day flood in 2016 and now Harvey. We could only call her and tell her we will be there once we are no longer an island! We are grateful to Harvey in some ways because we had so many people reach out to us and were concerned about us. We were so touched. Unfortunately, we could only help a few.
Now, as Irma is churning through Florida, our thoughts turn to the many Floridians; we are sending our thoughts and prayers to them as they cope with Mother Nature at her worse.