Monday, January 1, 2018

Connecting In Houston

Happy New Year!  We hope you are well and warm!

We are 'holed' up in Houston for a couple of days.  We are waiting for better weather and then will head north to the Fort Worth area to see my brother Brad and wife Sue.  Their two boys and daughter in law and granddaughter live in Houston.  Which is why we are here.

Their youngest son Drew lives in Houston and met us at Mark (oldest son) and Dean-na's Saturday evening.  Mark and Dean-na and daughter Kayley were flooded out of their home during Hurricane Harvey.  Drew lives on higher ground and had no damage.  It had been a couple of years since we had seen all of them and we were pretty excited to visit them again.

It is absolutely one of the best things we like about this lifestyle!  -- Being able to touch base and see family and friends.

We all met at Mark and Dean-na's house that is still being repaired. They have lived with friends for months and months and only in the last few weeks were able to move back into their own home. They are able to live upstairs while the downstairs is being renovated.

The national media and news of the day is covering other things like the New Year and football games, but the millions of people who suffered during hurricanes, floods and fires of the last few months continues.  Hopefully most are making progress and getting back into their homes.

Mark and Dean-na's house has a ways to go.  You can see the water line on the garage door.
And damage around the front door.  
Currently they have new drywall from the floor up to about three feet.  There are also some new hardwood floors being laid down which are about halfway done.  Then they have all the rest to put back together downstairs.  Lots to do and things are moving along.

A couple of months ago I asked Mark what was the hardest thing for them dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane?  They have very good friends who have a big home and insisted that Mark and family move in with them.  They did and were very fortunate.

They are dealing with all the ups and downs of getting back to normal or the new normal and handling it all very well.  For the months that they were staying with their friends, the toughest thing it that they never had any down time.  They never any private time they could just totally relax and kickback although their friends were more than generous and accommodating.

I can say, "I understand" but not really.  I've never had to deal with that.  And then to think of the millions of people in our country and other places who have been displaced by disasters-- its a pretty sobering thought.

When we met, we looked around downstairs and saw where the damage had been inside the front floor. Water rose about two feet inside the house before it receded the next day.  The damage was done and all the furniture was ruined.  The drywall was removed up to about 24" and had been replaced.  They had time to many most things upstairs before the hurricane hit.

Currently the entire first floor is empty and new hardwood is being put down.  That is about 1/2 done. Next will be the sanding and floor refinishing before they can bring in kitchen cabinets and appliances.

The slow part of the process right now is the insurance money.  The submitted their claim within a week and yet they don't really know how much they are going to be reimbursed so they don't know what their budget it.

They also had two vehicles that were paid off.  But both were totaled in the storm so they bought one used and one new.  Often times it is difficult to replace a vehicle of the same type and year with the the claim reimbursement, so that is another unexpected expense.

Some neighbors are starting to get settlements, so hopefully they will get the insurance claim processed soon.

They are handling it all very well and are definitely not the complaining or negative type.  The bulk of our time with them was all about learning getting to know them and Kayley.  We went out to a Mexican Restaurant and had a great meal and just had a very enjoyable time.  I got to sit next to Drew and hear a little bit about what his life is like and what his job consists of.  Its fun to get into their world a little bit but very interesting when they open up.

And then on Sunday we went to the church where Mark and Dean-na were married.  For some reason I just loved loved loved the service and the singing and the worship.  It was inspiring and relevant and just a very good time.
After the service we had even a better time at the "Egg and I" restaurant.  Kayley had a coloring book and then ate her pancakes and was just having a good day.  She's three and a real joy to be around.  she is about as cute as they come.

While she was occupied, we got to talk with Mark and Dean-na about anything and everything.  They are a great couple and we enjoyed every minute of our time with them.
Mark is a MD and splits his time between ICU and making his rounds as well as teaching.  Dean-na worked for years in ministry and as a senior office manager for a very large entity before she had Kayley.  Now she's got the Worlds Most Important job - mom.

We will be in Houston until mid-week when we will drive to Aledo which is outside of Fort Worth.  Hopefully the weather will warm up some and get above freezing during the drive.

Thanks for joining us on this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. I'd call that keeping busy not holed up.
    Wishing your entire family a Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year.

    It's about time.

  2. It's pretty humbling as you hear and see the story of people/friends who have lost so much and had their lives somewhat turned upside down. Glad you were able to spend some time with them.
    We have some friends who also have an Oliver RV who live in becomes a small world after all.