My Houston Flood

And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground.  Exodus 9:23

Photo Credit: The National Guard Flickr via Compfight cc Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston, Texas to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey. (Photos by Lt. Zachary West , 100th MPAD)

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 – This morning the sun was shining in Houston when I turned on the news.  Maybe the worst of Hurricane Harvey has passed.

Back in the nineties I lived in Houston for a few years.  By day I worked for an oil company.  At night I took continuing education classes at Rice University.

One evening, sitting in a philosophy class listening to a lecture on Exodus the wind began to blow outside the classroom window.  Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt as I watched the big oak trees bend.  A crack of thunder made me jump and a bolt of lightning lit up the sky.

Outside the rain was coming down, hard and steady.  I ran to my old BMW certain I would be able to drive the short distance—less than two miles—home.  Before I got out of the parking lot, the car started to make a knocking sound, taking on water.

I scuttled back into the building and called Dave on a pay phone to let him know I wouldn’t be home anytime soon.  I had lots of company:  the lobby was filled with dripping students and teachers, waiting for a break in the storm.

Forty-five minutes or so later, Dave showed up in his slicker and galoshes.  I was thrilled to see him until I realized he expected me to walk home, in the dark, in the rain.  But there was really no choice.  We set out on our journey, looking for the safest route, but found water running in the streets, eddying around sign posts, rivers up to our knees.

The next morning the streets were clear.  The only signs of the evening’s deluge were a few tree branches in yards and mud on the sidewalks.  Dave and I shuttled the car over to see Louis, our mechanic, who found no permanent damage.

My tiny, localized flood was one short, scary evening.

The people of Houston are used to tropical storms, heavy rain, flooded streets, power outages.  Harvey is something different:  endless days of record rainfall, entire neighborhoods under water, displaced people, losing everything.  It will take years to recover.

I’ve checked in on a few friends I still keep up with in Houston.  They are all safe.  This storm has made me miss them.  They were the best part of the years I spent in Texas.

It’s hard to watch from a distance and wonder how best to help.  This  article in Consumer Reports gives a few suggestions from providing housing through Airbnb, to donating blood, to adopting pets from Texas shelters.







Weekly Roundup – Kids Rule!


Note:  If the links to Facebook do not open automatically below, click on the date and you will be directed to the post.

Earlier this year I was a judge for the third annual Mexican wolf pup naming contestThe drawings and essays submitted by kids from around the country amazed me with their knowledge and thoughtfulness.  Pictured above is one of the winning entries.  Eleanor’s name, Monty, was given to male pup (mp)1386 (his official identification) a member of the Prieto Pack, a family of wolves that runs and hunts in the mountains of New Mexico.

A former winner in the naming contest, Turner Burns, started a Facebook page, Kids for Wolves,  several years ago after meeting Atka, one of the ambassador wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC).  Today, he has over 4000 followers and uses his page to educate both kids and adults about wolves in the United States and Canada.  In a post earlier this week, he reminded me that I needed to make a call to my representative in Congress about a pending bill that would remove protections for  endangered wolves.

Atka is also an inspiration to Peyton, seen howling in this video with the Arctic wolf.

Run Like A Wolf

11 year-old Peyton is helping to save the wolves by running 13.1 miles this October to support the Wolf Conservation Center and raise awareness for the importance and plight of the wild predators. Please check out Peyton’s CrowdRise page and support his effort here: kiddos like Peyton, the world is looking a little brighter, Thank you, Peyton!

Posted by Wolf Conservation Center on Sunday, June 28, 2015


But it’s not just wolves.  Every few days I see stories about kids finding creative ways to help wildlife, trees, homeless pets.

Best friends, Caroline and Claire, raised money with a bake sale and donated the money to Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco.

Caroline (a sixth-grader) and Claire (a fifth-grader) sent us a donation accompanied by this adorable note. Thank you!Inspired? We appreciate donations of any amount:

Posted by Friends of the Urban Forest on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In New Mexico Dezirae saves her money from chores to give to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

We are so thankful for Dezirae! This 15-year-old amazing teen saves her money from chores and donates incredible treats,…

Posted by Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society on Friday, July 3, 2015

It starts with field trips and camp outs: kids learning about  bats and butterflies, sunflowers and saguaros. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this little guy doing something great in the next few years!

Here’s a cute video of a kid telling us all about what he learned about bats with us here during Pollinator Week!

Posted by Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thanks to each one of these kids for being an inspiration to us all!