Life

7 Months Later: Houston, Harvey and Home Remodeling

Yesterday marked 7 months since the date Hurricane Harvey dumped a massive amount of rain onto a city that had no idea what to do with it.

Around this time, just 7 months ago, I was putting what I could in a backpack, trying to find a raincoat, and wondering where I could walk within the neighborhood that the water wouldn’t be too deep.
Just like my dad did 16 years earlier during Allison, I grabbed my backpack, and out the door I went. I walked a mile in waist deep water, and fully realized how out of shape I was.

My family and I spent four days at our ranch, and watched as the city we love, go underwater.
As a Houston Fire Fighter, my husband had to stay. During events like these, there is no leaving. So for four days he stayed there, and I just watched.

We were already concerned because as I left, the water was at the front porch.
The house flooding had become inevitable at that point.

There are things people never tell you about when your house floods.

Today, since it’s been around 7 months,
I’m here to tell you

7 things you learn when your house/city floods:

1. Your house will smell. For a LONG TIME. 

You know when you forget about a load of laundry in the washer, and then like a day later you remember, and your clothes smell?
That’s literally what your entire house smells like when you first come home.
After Demolition, that smell is still there.
During cleaning, it smells like that smell, but now mixed with bleach.
Then finally, during remodeling that smell starts to subside. Slowly. Oh, so slowly.

2. You find random things in your home and yard.

Who’s shoe is this? What even is this?
Someone has an alligator under their dining table down the road.
You will start to find random items, and critters in your home.
They float down and around to you. Just ask your neighbors if they are missing any of the items you find.
Unless, like in the neighborhood down the road, you have an alligator. Then you should call animal control, and deem your house as a wildlife sanctuary.

3. During Demolition you think you’re Joanna Gaines.

If you’ve never had a “Demo Day” in your life, and you’re forced to have one, you go full Fixer Upper.
Then you realize Chip and Joanna make this look way easier on TV, and this stuff is actually pretty hard.
They also never have to rip out Wet Insulation which is HEAVY.

4. Home Depot becomes your second home, and you stalk their delivery trucks.

We need to go to Home Depot again… for the fourth time… this morning.
I now know the staff at the local Home Depot, and my whole family has also memorized the store number.
Also, 50 Gallon Contractor Trash Bags are worth their weight in gold after a flooding incident, as well as the Waste Management Trash Bags that they come and pick up. You will also stalk an 18 wheeler to get those items. Promise.

5. You no longer care what you look like

Literally everyone within a 50 mile radius look just as exhausted as you do.
I didn’t do my hair, make-up, or leave the house without my Camo Crocs for a solid two weeks.
P.S: Crocs are very comfortable shoes, and should you find yourself in this situation are quite handy as they are able to get wet. You also have to wear shoes around your house for quite some time, so they might as well be comfortable.

6. People bring you Pizza and Beer

No, seriously. They do. Awesome people drive around afterwards and see you rebuilding your home, and bring you pizza. Other people come around with Beer. It’s glorious, because you are definitely not cooking anything anytime soon, and the stores are usually out of any sort of alcohol.

7. Flood Line Rulers are Sacred

I will literally fight someone who dare tries to take down the Kingwood Torchy’s Taco Flood Line Ruler, and so will 99% of Kingwood, TX.
(Yes, an incident with the ruler happened. Yes, it was a big deal. Yes, that bad boy is back up where it belongs.)

But on an honest and transparent note:

While this post may be a little humorous, it’s how I chose to deal with what happened.
If you talk to some people who’s homes were damaged during Harvey, they will joke with you just like I did. Then calmly walk back into the construction zone that is their home.
It’s extremely devastating to have such an event take place in your community.
I had friends who were rescued off of the top of their homes.
I bawled watching the news, as I watched my hometown go completely underwater.
Our HEB took on 9 feet of water, and just opened up last month.
Some of my friends lost everything, and are still not back in their homes.
The recovery didn’t end 7 months ago, and the recovery still isn’t over.

My city has never captured such a huge part of my heart as it did after Harvey. It restores your faith in humanity. It is amazing to watch how much people will do to help someone out.
Like I stated the recovery isn’t over.
If you have various home items, email me and I will tell you where to bring them.
There are still multiple families who have absolutely nothing.

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