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Community in the Aftermath

The last two weeks were a little rocky here in Houston. As you may have heard, we had a severe storm roll in on Thursday the 16th that had devastating effects on many Houstonians. Scout and I were lucky as our apartment and cars didn’t have any damage from the storm. We lost power for a few days, but were glad to have friends in College Station that were able to take us in for the weekend. I’m sure for many of you who have lived in the region storms like this are old hat. For Scout and I, this is our first rodeo because although we have lived in the area for four years, we haven’t experienced storms like this quite yet.


Although the storm was rough, and the cleanup has been long, the community response was incredible. As we came out of our shelter, we saw people immediately taking care of one another. There was no hesitation. Folks were clearing trees that were small enough to get out of the way. Neighbors were walking around knocking on doors to see if the people next door were alright. Driving was not an option for our neighborhood as the roads were blocked by trees in several directions. But that did not stop people. They got out walking from block to block to survey the damage and see if they could help others. I have never seen so many people in my neighborhood outside before. While it was scary to have experienced the unknown of the storm, the beauty it brought our community was so visible from those very first minutes.


Our friends were quick to offer us their freezers as their areas weren’t affected by the power outage. We shared our emergency lights with our next door neighbors. Other friends quickly invited us to their home knowing we’d be out of power for days to come. The donut shop around the corner opened up bright and early the next morning, running off their generator, to provide food to folks who couldn’t make or get anything to eat.


Our neighborhood was hit really hard by the storm. As I sit here today, many of the trees that fell are still laying on the front yards and the holes created in the roofs are still only covered with tarps. The visible effects of the storm are smaller, but still present. But the community that came together to support one another so quickly and without hesitation has receded back into its home. My hope is that having experienced the beauty of community that is possible, we will all be inspired to actively seek those connections when we are not in crisis. How beautiful would that be?


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