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Tag Archive: community

What Our Family Learned From Harvey

Canva_DarkCloudsGraphic_HarveyHint: It’s Not About What You Do Before

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.

Gratitude: More Than a Feeling

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

(c) Can Stock Photo Gratitude

There are various words used to express Gratitude: grateful, acknowledge, appreciate, treasure, and thankful, to name a few.  For many people, this time of year is when they start counting their blessings and looking back on the past year. They gather their thoughts and reflect on people or experiences for which they are grateful. People believe that gratitude is what feeds their soul. What does gratitude mean to you? How do you show it? Looking for ways to express that gratitude in a meaningful way? Below are examples of how you can show your gratitude to the people you know and love.

Gratitude is more than a feeling, and it’s not enough to just feel grateful.  You need to do something with it – that’s where acknowledgement comes in. For example, tell your friends and family why you’re grateful to have them in your life. Acknowledge the impact of their friendship, their support or their love. Whether you sit down to write a note (or email or text), be specific about how they touched your life. Make them feel your gratitude.

What do you appreciate about your life? Is it your family? Or your job? Or your health? Or your community? As we and our loved ones, get older, we may not remember his name (Augusten Burroughs), but we remember the quote: “When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters.” And that is SO true! When you’re in ill health, it’s hard to think of much beyond your personal situation. Being healthy allows you to be more active in your life, business and community. There are many ways to show appreciation in your community for the gifts and blessings you have. Maybe you can assist someone who’s house-bound or bed-bound. Maybe start a food drive to help your local food bank, or drive the van that takes meals to senior citizens. What about a coat drive for foster children – for some, gratitude is a warm coat.

Do you treasure the people in your life? Do they know who you feel about them? And, I’m not just talking this time of year. J Do you show them, in small ways, how much they mean to you? It doesn’t take much – a heartfelt message written in soap on the shower door, having dinner ready on the table for you after you come home from a long day, or clean and folded laundry! Just that fact that someone notices and treasures what you do for them on a daily basis is another form of gratitude.

Whether you are giving thanks for a thoughtful note, a visit from a friend, a delicious meal or a thank you for our service members for keeping this the land of the free and the home of the brave, keep that feeling in your heart all year.

Remember this thought as you go through life – “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” ~ Unknown.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by good food and great family. I plan on having an “Attitude of Gratitude!”