When Roads Flood

Wasn’t it just days ago that Melanie visited the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern? The location that used to hold much of the drinking water for the City of Houston? It is no longer in use.….except to catch flood waters when the rains set in.

I can only imagine that the Cistern is now full of water. Houston, and many surrounding areas have now been dealing with Tropical Storm Imelda for days now. For the longest time, Houston was spared the worst of the rains. However, all of that changed today. Starting overnight and all through today we have been enduring a severe rain storm. It technically started out as a “rain band” from Imelda. Then the the rains started a thing called “training”. A line of storms just keeps raining over and over the same area until everything is flooded.

Much of the talk on the television news reports that have been running all day make many comparisons to Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Allison. Of course this area received 50 to 60 inches of rain during Harvey. So far we have only received 20 to 30 inches of rain with Imelda. There is an ever increasing list of creeks, lakes and bayous that are out of their banks. News reporters are out in the field and have assisted with many rescues of folks who need to evacuate their homes.

The saddest part is that many people who were flooded out by Hurricane Harvey two years ago are once again flooded out by Imelda. Some just moved back into their homes last spring. Other Harvey victims are simply being tested with PTSD today and trying to remember to breathe and relax.

Since the weather wasn’t so bad early this morning, many people made it into work and kids made it to school. Now freeways are both flooded and congested. Schools are letting out, but kids can’t get home and parents can’t get to the schools. Here is a picture of a Metro bus that is close to the Intercontinental Airport. Shortly after this picture made the news Metro suspended all of their routes until “conditions improved”.

Of course there are always those who will get out in the middle of a storm and try to buy one more batch of groceries just in case the lights go out. Here is a glance of the grocery store parking lot near my home. It is not a very good picture, because I was standing out of the rain. I wasn’t going to get any closer. I hope all of these folks made it home safe and sound.

How did I fare? Since I am retired from the local government job I had for many years, I am home safe and sound. My lights flickered a few times earlier while it was lighting and thundering, but the electricity never went out completely. I was supposed to go to hear the Houston Symphony this evening and that has been cancelled. Many streets in the downtown area are flooding or flooded. Much of the downtown Theatre District just got completely up and running after the damage done during Harvey. I have not heard about any damage this time. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Compared to many who have just lost everything for the second time in two years, I am very lucky and thankful.

Until next week.….

New Scenes and Memories

This morning I sat in the room on the upper floor of the Boulder Bookstore gazing out of the window. From where I was sitting I could see the tip of the flatirons. While that may not make for historic news in this town, for someone who lives in Houston where the landscape is quite flat, this is magnificent. The picture below was taken when I was just standing on Pearl Street Mall. Everywhere I look I see these wonderful mountains.

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And then I am reminded why I am here and that is to write. I look away from the mountains and back into myself to see where my mind and creativity are headed.

My thoughts move to the serious arena today as I am reminded that this is the anniversary of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy when he was running for President back in 1968. I was 11 years old at the time and remember being awakened by my mother with the sad announcement. We watched the television news reports. We were saddened. Since I was living in Memphis, Tennessee at the time, we were still recovering from the assassination of Martin Luther King earlier in the year. So many memories of sadness that year.

As a current resident of Houston, Texas, I am also reminded that this is the anniversary of Tropical Storm Allison back in 2001. So much of the Houston area flooded, people were killed in the flood waters, so much property destroyed. Up until Hurricane Harvey last year, this had been the worst local flooding in recent history. It was the first time as a local government employee that I was assigned to help with recovery activities.

These are definitely part of the tapestry that make up my life. They have both helped shape who I am today and what I feel drawn to write about.

Then as I left my writing class and head back for home, I learn of the suicide of Kate Spade. Don’t get me wrong, I am no expert on fashion and do not think I ever owned one of her namesake purses. However, she was a creative and successful woman. She was a mother. She was only 55 years old. There is so much need for good mental health services in this country. Sadly, sometimes even those who can afford good quality health care, cannot escape the hellish depths of depression.

Back at the townhouse, I refocus on my writing. I am preparing to read some of my work at the salon that will take place Thursday evening. I hope I can do justice to the world I see around me and try to make it a better place. Having dinner prepared by two wonderful roommates definitely helps.

As I reflect at the end of this day, I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw that was borrowed by John, Robert and Edward Kennedy:

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why.….I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Off for a good night’s sleep and more writing tomorrow.