How’s it going out there? I’ve been off my usual blog schedule the past couple of weeks, both writing and reading. It’s not that I don’t care. I suppose I’ve been distracted. We all have. I also don’t want to contribute to any kind of flood fatigue that people may be feeling, being constantly bombarded by sad stories of waterlogged loss.
What I DO want to do is talk about how amazing people have been. I really have to think long and hard to find someone over the age of 12 who hasn’t helped in some way. Some have pulled people from the water. Some have cooked. Some have washed strangers’ clothes. Some have ripped up sodden carpets and toted waterlogged mattresses to the curb (I understand you need to rip it open a bit to allow the water to drain or it’s too heavy). And the donations and fundraising…..
I have had numerous donations now – from my blog friends, family, friends of my family who only know me as so-and-so’s daughter and mother to those cute children Stella and Felix. I have been able to give the three teachers flooded out at Felix’s school envelopes full of cash. I bought cases of diapers for a diaper drive, so many that I needed help to carry them to the donation site. I bought fistfuls of gift cards for families at Stella’s school and some of Will’s colleagues. I have donated to help my own colleagues – over 115 households in my agency alone suffered damage. And I have more to do. I’m calculating what’s next, how to do the most good, have the biggest impact. And it’s thanks to the generosity of others. If you’re out there and you’ve contributed – to me or to anyone down here – thank you! There is a lot of need and much to be done. Coming together and chipping away is the only way to fix it.
I think it’s safe to say the slog is only beginning. My daughter’s school won’t start for over another full week. Luckily organizations are throwing together pop-up camps for kids so the parents can work. Stella is going to an art camp next week. Things are so busy and hectic that I haven’t even had time to feel anxious about how she’ll fit in, will she act out. I’m just grateful that we’ve found a place to go so that I CAN work and get the hell away from my children for a while. Sorry. Too much togetherness.
But it is just one illustration of how impactful a stupid rainstorm has been. Roads -still- closed. Schools and buses flooded. School shut down for over 3 weeks and even longer in some areas. Parents unable to work or focus because of a sudden lack of childcare. Local traffic, already abominable, made worse by the influx of contractors and debris trucks. Stores running out of gloves, bleach, dehumidifiers. It’s unreal, even 2 weeks later. It will take months – maybe years – for all of these homes to be repaired or rebuilt. And it’s hard not to get a bit anxious and paranoid about that invest in the Gulf. I honestly don’t know how we’d manage something like that now.
So continue to hold us in your hearts and thoughts. Help if you can. We’ll be here chipping away.