through all the days, Harvey remains: packing up in the #CoalsonCleanup

it feels like a year has passed in the last month. in the last three weeks. was it really just late august that I stood before the brilliant passing of the moon, my arms power-posed in the triumph of my innate awesomeness?

that week I transported myself from the crisp northwest pacific air to the southern thick humidity, as a veil of misty clouds lowered themselves over our bayou city. it was easy to find humility.

for four days the rains poured from the heavens, cleansing our city from the dirt and debris collected in our souls; our hearts spilling out into the bayous and causeways. for four days our lives were consumed. for all the days after we have thought nothing but Harvey. there is still water standing today.

taking strides to pull ourselves from the disaster, we’ve tried on friends to help pull us through the heartache.

Joe and Irene Beach, my parent’s closest confidants, have swallowed the pain immolating from my parents mouths and hearts and ongoing zeal.  they drove over 3 hours from San Antonio with delicious texan smoked turkey in one hand, and with over 100 packing boxes and materials in the other.

gems like these are hard to find; their friendship stretching through various homes and terrain and fires and floods.  we don’t know what we would do without them.


Tom Anderson, my Daddy’s hometown Jackson County pal, instead of running through fields and streets with baseballs and fishing poles with my young father, drove down from Terrell with an 18-foot horse trailer, 2 humidifiers, and some sheetrock to get the party started.

the hometown buds packed with diligence and vigor, pinpointing precisely what was to be carted away to storage, and what was to be left for my father to utilize while out of his flooded home.  (note the wine books made it to the temporary home.  a win for my dad’s new boss… the sommelier.)


Richard and Jo Engelhart, moved by the spirit to assist their fellow prayer group couple in their urgent quest for normalcy, took time out of their day to move heavy furniture and pack more boxes. 50 years of memories takes a long time to gather. now stored away in a dark garage, the shiny trinkets are dull with depression.

we cannot fathom the devastation that is happening on islands far away, where food and water and diesel is scarce. we are lucky to have friends like these who love without boundaries and commit to helping their friends in need.


the universe has sent us an angel in Art Schmitt, a diligent man who has committed the majority of his days, his time and energy, to help my parents realize the re-engagement of their home. for the past month, this man has traveled to the empty house to assist my father. every damn day. they hung sheetrock in all of the rooms themselves, working 10 hour days to complete the task within a week. paint will ensue soon. I cannot think of someone more dedicated to my father, my mother, my family- then Art.

of course I would be remiss not to his other-half Debbie Schroen, as she has allowed for his desertion to weston lakes every day. we are grateful for such amazing family.


but there is still work to be done, y’all.  over 2000 square feet of tile to be laid through the rooms that held doll houses and sewing machines and writing contraptions.  FEMA has not even visited yet; the waters receded from the home in early september, yet my parents still wait for relief.  thank you to those who have contributed to our efforts, you have made a direct difference in our lives.  at this point, even sommkid is weaving her magic wand with her creative encouragement.



as life returns to “normal” for everyone else, and our busy schedules take over our lives, I remember my father, scraping floors, pulling carpet, piling debris on the side of the curb. he didn’t deserve this. my mother didn’t deserve this. but it happened all the same, leaving a gaping hole in my heart that only grows bigger over time. the worry and sadness almost overwhelms me.

Harvey has invaded my soul, and embedded into the soft flesh of my gut. he pains me every day, striking when least expected, using his broad strokes to wash away the sentiments of our lives.  we pass by overwhelming scenes, every day in the soft comfort of our vehicles, our guts tugging at our bleeding hearts and wrestling with our frazzled minds.  it can almost be too much to bear.


we must find strength.  we will find hope.

we will get through this, y’all. #HoustonStrong #TexasStrong #CoalsonCleanup

thanking those from afar: how you have helped during the #coalsoncleanup

it’s stopped raining here in texas. and as another storm eeks her way towards millions of souls, we begin to feel the tightness in our chests, the anxiety of feeling helpless and draining and ruined. all of our dreams involve rain.


as the waters receded… was it only a week ago? we saw the destruction our storm had made. Harvey wailed his anger over south texas, wiping clean small towns and cities that dot the third coast; he obviously thought us invaders to his land.


he changed the memory of our childhood, destroying all we knew of that peaceful security of being home. because there was no home anymore: only fragments of what we knew, now being splintered and broken and wheelbarrowed to the driveway. let’s just admit it: Harvey was an asshole.


the urgency that swelled into our bodies barbarically flung us into action, each of us willing to lend a hand where we could, mucking out my mother and father’s bloated house with fierce determination and vigor.


the sweat did not cool us, our souls were on fire.


hearts began to hang heavy as we realized the enormity of our task: everything must cleaned, and moved, and paid for. as millions of others who are still living in the toxic waters of Harvey have realized, 800-year floods happen. and with the world changing all around us, our climate no longer reliable, we have to face the truth that we can’t do this alone.


many thanks go to the various generous hearts who have contributed to our parent’s recovery. with your help thus far, we have been able to purchase basic cleaning necessities like face masks, vinegar, bleach, gloves, trash bags, and packing materials. and in the middle of an aftermath, anything can be hard to find.


completely moving out of a house can be daunting, and we have to move everything out. everything. and my parent’s aren’t even moving. they have been forced from their home by a bastard of a storm.


without the help of others, we wouldn’t have been able to buy humidifiers, replace my parent’s basic necessities like their molding medications or supplements, ruined clothes, or provide lunches and beers to those who came to my parents in their time of need.


the road is long ahead. there is no flood insurance. floors must be replaced, sheetrock hung, walls re-textured and painted, and even mattresses and furniture acquired. this journey is daunting, so we take one day at a time, breathing deep and slow, taking comfort in our communities, and the souls living thousand of miles away that felt compelled to help us.


thank you, with all of our hearts.  we can’t do it without your help.