I moved from Connecticut to Houston when I was 4 years old, and with the exception of the four years I was away at college, I lived in the city until I was 22. I called Houston my home for 18 years. NASA and Kemah were practically in my backyard, and I had daily views of the Gulf of Mexico. And while it’s been 10 years since I moved away, there are many times when I dearly miss the Lone Star State.
Every March, when Boston is still in the thick of winter and the snow has not stopped falling, I long to be in Texas, taking pictures of my kids in fields of bluebonnets. I have yet to find decent Tex-Mex food in New England (many restaurants try, but they just don’t know how to make queso the right way). I miss the bayous, the ocean, the armadillos… but most of all, I miss the people. I loved walking through my neighborhood and being greeted by a friendly, “Howdy!” Or being called “ma’am” by every person from age 4 to 90.
Today, my heart is breaking for the people I love so dearly.
Watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey from far away has been nothing but horrifying. In particular, I burst into tears as I watched two parents trudge through chest-high water with their two children on top of their shoulders. This happened in Dickinson, a town 15 minutes from my hometown, on a street I have driven through dozens of times. Daily, I’m watching the landmarks of my childhood surging underneath feet of water; I’m even seeing fundraising pages for friends of friends whose homes have been destroyed. My heart aches to see these images while I am thousands of miles away, wishing I could do more to comfort and help the people of my hometown.
To my friends in Texas, I want to say that you are not alone. Our hearts are with you here in New England. Even though we are far across the country, people have been gathering supplies to send to shelters, and service providers have been deployed from across New England. I’ve also seen people heading to blood banks to give in whatever way they can. Even animal rescue organizations, including the one where we adopted our dog, are working to help the animals who are suffering due to the storm. While Hurricane Harvey has devastated the state of Texas, its impact has been felt across the country, even thousands of miles away in New England, and we are here to help in anyway we can.
Houston is a strong and tough city. Having experienced Hurricane Sandy on Long Island, I can attest that the recovery process is not easy — but Houston will emerge stronger than ever. The stories that have come out about so many people’s bravery and kindness will unite Houstonians like never before and inspire the entire nation. I’m incredibly proud to see the resilience and strength of the people of my hometown.
So from the Boston strong to the Houston strong, we’re sending all our love and support to you.
For more information on how to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, take a look at these posts from our sister city sites: