Floods, Snakes and Gratitude

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Sometimes things happen in life which make you really stop and think about how fortunate you really are. We certainly had an experience last week which made us stop and think about how precious family and friends are.

We have been staying in Houston over the summer whilst our daughter is at the Ballet School there. We had rented a vacation home and had been very lucky to find not only a great home but also some very special people – the owners of the house who live just at the back of the huge property. We had been enjoying our summer with so much space, and the huge novelty of having horses and chickens on the property.

The last week the weather had been horrendous. Never experienced thunder and lightning quite like that! It rained for days and days and days.

Really didn’t think it would end up quite so dramatically with us having to leave the house at 5am on Friday 13th. Not really superstitious but perhaps will be now!

All was well at 1am. My husband got home from the airport and said that there were some roads with a lot of water on but that was miles away and we really didn’t think much about it. Until we were woken by shouting at 4am. We got up to see what was happening and were shocked to see that we were surrounded by water!

The house was high up on ‘stilt’s fortunately. Otherwise we would have woken, as some of our neighbors did, to the sound of water pouring into their house.

We have been in emergency situations before – fires in California are something that we have experienced too. Floods are new to us though!

The water was about 2 feet high Our fabulous friend and the owner of the house, Sam, came over to the house in his waders. We just wanted to leave before it got worse. Having seen that it rose so quickly, from nothing to that high in less than 3 hours we just wanted to leave. We always said we would never wait anything out if we got the chance to leave.

It was scary as we could see the water rising really fast. Sam drove our car out to dry land. Then we decided we would leave in his car and drive to ours. Seemed like the only way out. He literally carried us to the car (yes I wish I had started the diet a long time ago)! He is an amazing person and we will always be glad to have met him and his lovely family. One of those true people who really cares about others and will do anything for them. Thanks Sam!

Driving out was also scary. Obviously we couldn’t see where the road was and Sam had to guide us out as there was a drop either side of the narrow drive. Then water started pouring in to the bottom of the car – probably about a foot deep buy the time we got out. There were snakes in the water – have to admit that rather freaked me out.

Being in a situation like that does make you count your blessings and realize just how precious people are. And how replaceable things are. What did we take with us? Computers,phones. passports and credit cards. Not sure what that says about us or the world we live in, but those were the easily portable things that would have been annoying to replace. Everything else just didn’t matter (but fortunately was fine – many people on our street have not been so lucky and have lost a lot of things).

The water did get higher after we left. People told us it got to about five feet high in places. The horses had to be reduced, including a month old foal who only just had their head above water by the time they got to it.

Take some time out now to think about what you would need if you have to get out of your house quickly. At home I have an emergency kit, and keep essential documents close to hand. When you are making a quick decision to leave your house you do not want to think about what you can take and what to leave behind. Go through the thought process now – it makes it much easier if we do have to think quickly.

Fortunately no one was hurt in these floods. Yes it was scary, but everyone is safe. The same cannot be said of the devastating floods which have hit Japan which have caused 250,000 to leave their homes and have left at least 28 people dead, with many more missing.

We can all make a difference in a crisis. Donating to the Red Cross is one way you can help people in an emergency situation.

Donate to the Red Cross

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