I usually lean heavily towards posts on fun-loving stories about my houseboat – but I’m going to veer a bit from that topic today. Andy and I absolutely love living on Lake Travis, and, while it’s true that many terrific thrills can be had on the water, it cannot be forgotten that water is a powerful and sometimes devastating force.

When Hurricane Harvey first made his presence known, we battened down everything as Austin was projected to receive heavy wind and rainfall.

Being as Andy and I are both from Southeast Texas – and well acquainted with the threat of hurricanes – we took the proper precautions (just in case), but we did so with a grain of salt, because we knew it was highly unlikely a hurricane was going to affect all the way to the Texas hill country.

I bought all necessary provisions (wine and salsa) and, honestly, my worst fear was that the power might possibly go out while I was making dinner on Saturday – or during Game of Thrones on Sunday.

Well, we did have heavy wind and rainfall, but, as predicted, it wasn’t enough to cause damage and it certainly wasn’t enough to raise our hurricane seasoned hackles. Instead, we had an enjoyable time playing in the rain, making homemade taco soup, watching Netflix, and cuddling Gigi. We even caught the Game of Thrones finale that Sunday.

What we didn’t predict was how hard Houston would be hit. Houston is so close to Beaumont, it tugged at our hearts to see the devastation caused by the extent of flooding in areas we were so familiar with. We uttered the word unprecedented along with the rest of America.

Then, Harvey returned from his venture into the Gulf and dropped massive amounts of rain onto our hometown – striking a direct hit to our hearts.

Beaumont and all its surrounding areas were engulfed in water as people struggled to get out of their homes. People we loved had to stand by and watch as their vehicles, businesses, and houses were all taken by the flood – and we had to stand by five hours away and just watch.

The Austin skies have shown ironically beautiful as Andy and I have been made to sit by useless, unable to get into the Beaumont area to help those we love.

What has made this situation bearable is watching our hometown community come together to help each other. Facebook posts have been shared with rescue information and help requests, people are getting out in their personal boats to rescue others, and collections and distributions of needed food and materials have been made within the community.

Despite misplaced and hateful media posts, political beliefs and race make absolutely no difference when it comes to helping your fellow human – and this horrifying disaster has been proof of that. Louisiana has crossed state lines to lend a hand, as have other states. My wonderful friend in New Jersey personally mailed me clothing and toy donations she collected, which Andy and I will be driving down to Beaumont. Businesses have (and continue to) donate time, supplies, money – whatever is needed – and it’s amazing.

I am so blessed that my little family is safe and secure on our houseboat and that our family and friends made it safely through the flood. We will make our way back to our hometown tomorrow and will face many tough decisions within the next few weeks.

Until then, we can take pride in the fact that all of Texas will rise through this Texas Strong, the American Way – helping each other.

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