LISTENING TO KATRINA
PAGES IN THIS BLOG ARE RATED 'R' AND DO CONTAIN
PROFANITY, VULGARITY, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, NUDITY,
SCENES OF HUMAN EMOTION, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, MAYHEM, AND VARIOUS
HYST - Not Just 4 U
Remember our mantra: HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BEFORE IT HITS THE FAN!
At 10:15 PM on Sunday, August 28, 2005, after being on the road for 15 1/2 hours, we crash landed in Houston, Texas.
This was both a disastrous failure of planning, and the best thing we could have done.
"But wait! You're supposed to tell us about death and destruction and looters, Oh My! Besides, you said we were going to document our Plans next!"
Well, yeah, but I warned you that I might skip about. Now, where was I... AH! Yes. Crash landed.
You see, we had no idea where we were going, except that Andrea has a lot of family in Houston. Not the kind of family you see on the Jerry Springer show either, but Family. With few other options, none of which was more appealing, we crash landed at Andrea's mom's brother's house. Uncle Ken and Aunt Aggie.
I had enough composure to smile and make pleasantries while we unloaded our cars and began occupying one bedroom - which had been vacated by one of the cousins who had to double-bunk. We had brought a queen sized Areo-bed with us, and Madeline's port-a-crib. The bedroom we were in came furnished with a desk and a single bed. Once the Areo-bed was inflated, there was about 10 square feet of free space on the floor by which we could shuffle around. I set up Virginia's DVD player on the desk, and we were about done.
I'm here to tell you, though, that while that sounds somewhat meager, I couldn't have been any happier in a Hollywood mansion.
I wasn't entirely sure of my protocol with Ken and Aggie. I had met them, yes, but now here I was with wife and children like some kind of refugee. Refugee is, in fact, the right word. Ken pulled me aside and we had a talk which clarified my situation without any reservation. Actually, all he said was four words.
"This is your house."
They were the four words I guess I needed to hear because I suddenly felt a tremendous mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual relief.
Ken and Aggie successfully raised seven children, and so they were (and are) used to the commotion of children. In a matter of about an hour, I felt like I had always lived there, and it was the most normal thing in the world. While I had arrived in a state best described as 'freaking the F**K out', I went to bed with the sense that everything was gonna be OK. I felt loved. Over the next few weeks, Ken, Aggie, all their kids, and the entire rest of the Houston clan proved something so incredibly clearly that it was almost shocking.
These people absolutely and beyond a shadow of doubt had their shit together.
That's a part of HYST that the survival books never seem to cover. You don't just have your shit together for you, but you have your shit together so that if a situation arises that you suddenly find refugees on your doorstep that you aren't at all bewildered by this. We are going to start documenting The Plan now, but as we do we want to think of that Plan from two directions. The first direction is how we make that plan serve ourselves, but the second direction is how we make that plan serve other people who are important to us - even if we may not know those people very well.
This is one of the things that pre-Katrina I had thought about, but never seriously considered.
Well, I'm here to tell you that if I ever open my door and I find some lost
relatives who have become refugees in their own country, this is going to be
their house. I am going to pull out the stops and make sure that they
have what they need when they need it, but more important than that I'm
going to make sure that they have the love they need too.