Excuses, Excuses

Whoa!  I didn’t realize it had been so long since I blogged!  Talk about being too busy for words!  Hah!  I have three calendars I use to TRY to keep track of appointments and errands.  April and May are pretty much blacked out with all the places and times I’ve had to be somewhere besides my keyboard.  I don’t have a smartphone (yet) and only my desktop to do my writing on.  I’m also sure many of you busy parents out there understand when I say I couldn’t have thought of anything to say anyway.  The brain is often engaged in actions, not words, when you are busy traveling, transporting, and DEALING WITH WEATHER!

I live in South Central Texas. I capitalize because, hey, I’m a Texan.  Besides, the area is big enough to be its own state.  (There’s information available about how Texas was already arranged to be five different states if they wanted to be before it agreed to join the United States.) We’ve been dealing with lots and lots and lots and lots – well, let’s just say too much for all at once – of rain and high winds and tornadoes.  Luckily our house sits far away from any body of water big enough to be a threat when it floods, but many of our friends, neighbors, and family do not.  There are a lot of creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes around here.

Counties have declared states of emergency and cities set up curfews to keep people off the streets after dark since the water doesn’t care about city limits.  Interstate highways have gone underwater.  Bridges are gone, roads are washed out (and due to the rural nature of most of the surrounding countryside, many are dirt and gravel, so it’s a real mess) and one small town that primarily exists on tourism has been pretty much washed away.  People have died, been injured, gone missing, and are burning up cell phones trying to find their friends and family. Many are homeless, or facing a filthy cleanup.

My area went through a 500 year flood twice already in the past 25 years.  That’s what it is called when flood levels reach the highest levels in the past 500 years.  In 1998, we got soaked.  Then in 2002 when we were just drying out, boom!  Here we go again.  Could be this will be the third and they’ll have to draw the floodplain maps again.  It was a surprise to many newer residents, who moved here while the area was in drought status.  Lakes that were nearly dry holes have bounced by 40 feet overnight.  Who needs hurricanes!

Of course, every population has its idiots.  Video was taken of some morons tubing in rushing waters uncaring of the debris in the water.  In a nearby town, some were even swimming!  Then they had the nerve to give first responders lip about being forced out of the water – until the cops showed up and made it clear nobody appreciated being forced to risk their lives to save those who were trying for a Darwin Award.  I’ve been caught in a flash flood twice and I don’t want to go anywhere near fast flowing or high water now.  These jerks don’t appear to know or care what is in the water besides debris.  The bacteria found in floodwater is extremely dangerous.

It’s not over yet.  More rain is coming, with lightning and wind, and people who have been able to get back to the homes they had to evacuate are huddled around their radios, televisions, smartphones, and emergency weather alert radios.  Many are trying to get what they can salvage out before they have to rush away again.  My sister is three hours from home after a holiday weekend with her grandchild and all the routes back to her home are either under water, damaged, or about to be as the storms move in again.

Life is strange.  Just when you think all you have to complain about is being too busy with errands, you wind up with something that teaches you how easy you have it.  I was thanking God I didn’t have to live in a land tortured by the wars of man, but there are other situations that leave you in battle status.

I am grateful I and my loved ones are safe, and I will do what I can to help those not so fortunate.  Hopefully we will gain some respite soon.  Hey, California could use some of this, couldn’t they?  Be safe, and grateful you can read this.  I’m certainly grateful I can write it.

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