I’ve always loved the sound of rain. Whenever I’m feeling particularly stressed and can’t sleep, or if I’m trying to write in a noisy place, I listen to an iPhone app that’s nothing but different recordings of rain: “City Rain,” “Summer Rain,” “Wet Forest,” “Rain on a Tent.”
Now, though, I can’t imagine hearing a heavy downpour without feeling at least a moment of dread. Even the relatively gentle, steady rain we heard all last night – and which continues this morning as I write this post – seems menacing, given the current state of my city.
To those of you who sent emails and Facebook messages asking after me and my family, I first just wanted to say, thank you so much for your kindness and concern. I really appreciate it. And I also wanted to say that, despite scenes like these on our block on Saturday . . .
. . . we are actually fine. We haven’t (yet) lost power and our house (if not our garage) has stayed dry. My extended family is also safe, though we’re eager to eventually be able to reach my in-laws, who are located on the other side of an impassable bayou.
But when so many fellow Houstonians have lost everything, when they’ve been rescued from perilous flooding by helicopter and boat, we don’t take any pleasure in our good fortune. Today we’re going to do what we can to help at the George R. Brown convention center, where thousands of people are being temporarily sheltered. For those in Houston thinking of doing the same thing, this Facebook post has useful information.
And for those of you outside Houston who’d like to help, Texas Monthly has a good list of local and national organizations working on the ground right now, to which you can send online donations. Our mayor has also established a hurricane relief fund.
The magnitude of this disaster is still hard to comprehend, even for those of us living through it. Maybe especially for us, as most car travel is still dangerous – if not impossible – so we have to rely on the media to see the full scope of the devastation.
But even before Harvey, when my NYC friends tried to comprehend my new life in Houston, one of the first things I’d tell them is how incredibly generous and open this city is. For example, friends of ours just posted photos of the total strangers they invited into their home after meeting them at the convention center yesterday. All over social media there are already drives for needed supplies, instructions on how and where to volunteer, and the sharing of helpful advice from those who’ve been flooded before.
It will take years to rebuild this city, but the process has already begun – even as this incessant rain continues to fall.
Thanks again to those of you who reached out, and I’ll resume blogging here soon.