I'm so angry for so many reasons - losing everything, anger at the landlord for lying about area flooding, the craptastic crackerbox we lived in that flooded like it was made out of paper towels.
So Many Things
We had been in Central Texas for five years after my husband was transferred for a job there. He then was transferred back to close to Houston. We moved 4th of July weekend 2017. It was a great time because we just found out we were living in a home with black mold and were getting no where with the landlords, in Central Texas. Part of the ceiling caved in due to water damage we didn't know about; that added to a long list of repairs which the landlords never fixed. It was a nightmare that I am still trying to rectify with landlords ignoring our every request. At this point, I feel like giving up because my health has gotten somewhat better and it's wasted energy on my part to keep fighting this.
We found a home in Conroe for rent. Conroe, because I was not wanting to live any sort of 'city' life. It was a 2ooo sqft one story home in a large property that I thought felt perfect. It was country livin' with our own pump house and septic system. It was cute, quaint, private. It had a huge front porch that I couldn't wait to get decked out and drink my morning coffee on. I put up several bird feeders to watch humming birds, blue jays and cardinals visit. our dog was getting used to having a HUGE yard all to herself and acquainting herself with the ginormous but totally friends neighbor dogs next door. We were getting in the swing of things.
Never got proper photos of the dining room. And thank goodness
never got my grandmother's table and chairs moved in yet.
I refinished a vintage table and made an acrylic floral
arrangement for what I wanted to become a little window reading nook.
The living room was coming together.
Adorable 'greenhouse' window for my daughter's
plants that she loved so much.
My grandmother's dresser made the perfect storage piece
for my kitchen. Thank the lawd I was able to save this.
It didn't come without challenges - like bugs ...BIG bugs every day and
night, cracks in the tiles, septic issues and the above.
The guest bathroom shower was clogged via the prior tenant that
called for digging up a mess for more than two weeks leaving us to all share
In between burning boxes, we even made s'mores in the
sweltering heat because we could...and that's what was
Then comes hurricane season.
Now, I've lived through every tropical storm and hurricane that has hit Houston since 1970; including Hurricane Alicia, TS Allison, Hurricane Ike. I've never lost anything except electricity and one time part of a fence. I've never been flooded in my home and never lost belongings. Harvey would change that.
We, like everyone in the area, were trying to gear up for the impending hurricane. I got water, candles, flashlights, food. Moved everything off the porch to inside. Secured yard tools to the house. The handyman came by to check the trees. We moved all the vehicles to the back of the driveway where it was the highest. I secured all the yard tools to the house. Made sure we were prepped with food. All the things I've done for years.
Sunday morning, August 27th 2017, my husband woke me up saying we had to get out. Just like that. "The house is flooding! We have to get out!"
The house was indeed flooding. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen to see water flowing inside like a river. I ran to the laundry room, the very back of the house, and it's flowing in more. At this point it was ankle deep and rising.
I go to my daughter's room and wake up the kids and tell them to get up, we have to leave. They had just followed us down from Central Texas. We all had still had things in boxes on the floor in rooms. The attic had a lot of stuff in it that the handyman hadn't cleared out yet.
We're all frantically packing a bag - I grab my computer, camera bag, as many photos as I can while everyone else is packing clothes. Then we grab the dog and the cat and all pack in my husband's car. The one thing I forgot to do in preparation, was get gas in my truck.
We tried to make it out of the neighborhood, but were met with dead ends at every turn.
Then shock set in.
We were relieved we had our animals and each other.
If we didn't laugh, we'd cry - my husband had to walk our dog
with my sports bra as a leash because I never grabbed it
out of the house.
We stood and watched the rain for days.
We were at the hotel for about three days. I don't think I slept but maybe a half hour in those three days. I just sat in a chair in the corner of the hotel room with a blanket and stared. My heart beating out of my chest thinking of everything we just lost.
We were able to make it back to the house after a couple of days when waters receded. It was a nightmare. I know other's had far, far worse than we did...and I'm truly sorry for them, I can't imagine their anguish. This was just a first for us. It was empowering to see my city come together to help each other and watching Mattress Mack, Jim McIngvale, come to the rescue of so many victims and first responders gave us all hope. The lives that were lost are truly heartbreaking.
New furniture, personal belongings, things we've had for YEARS...just put out on the street. Everything else inside was getting ravaged by mold and mildew, so we had to work fast.
We could see the patchwork when we moved in and were told
it was all recent renovations and perfectly fine.
However, it wasn't and fell in which allowed the higher part of the
house not ravaged by flood, to be infiltrated with water from the hole
and water damage everything in the room.
We still had so many boxes from moving and the flood waters
toppled and soaked through everything.
The smell was horrendous and it was just awful to walk through each
room looking at what was just trashed.
We saved what we could - dishes and some photos. A lot was just over taken by mold and mildew and just gone.
What hurt worse was seeing just how bad the house was to begin with.
This hole wasn't cut to allow these cords in, it's a hole that was there all
Then I went outside to see the wood rotted away.
We truly believe if the house was properly maintained, as we were led to believe before renting it, we'd not be in this mess. If we were told that the house was easily flooded, maybe we would have moved everything to the higher level. I don't know, but seeing daylight through every portion of the house was frightening.
On top of all the personal things we lost, I lost everything to do with my business, sans my camera. All my product, inventory, molds, tools, packaging, shipping and labeling. I'm SLOWLY replacing everything to re-open my store and ship out the last orders prior to the hurricane. They were all ready to be shipped on Monday, until the hurricane took them on Sunday. I returned everyone's money but I'm determined to get their orders back out to them. Slow going...but I"m determined to rebuild everything I lost.
One thing that didn't get lost was a painting I was commissioned to do for a new restaurant to be opened up near Dallas, The Wharf. I was able to get it out of the house shortly after the hurricane and just do some touch up work on it. It's not happily hung in it's forever home.
Upset and anger just sits in my gut and still does. Moving back and trying to get settled and just being in the house for barely over a month to just lose everything? Yeah, sticks in my gut like a lead weight.
I'm sure, over time, it may fade to feel more like a lead potato....maybe. So, we'll see.
We're still displaced as my husband lost his job a little over a month after the hurricane, as did many at his company, due to the hurricane. It's been tough all around. So, we just gotta suck it up and move forward.