It feels so strange to be writing this post. It's one of the hardest I've written. Mostly, because I'm having a hard time coming up with the words to describe what I'm feeling. All the years that I've lived in Houston, it never crossed my mind that I would one day write about a hurricane. Especially not one that would turn my city into a national disaster.
Here in H-Town, we're used to big thunderstorms, heavy rains and occasionally watching the bayous overflow their banks. We're even used to dealing with hurricanes. At least once every few years, we pack our cars and make our way out of town because that year's storm just might be the big one. What we're not used to is being caught off guard and waking up to a city that has suddenly become a lake.
I'm writing this on Friday, and it's been a full week since we all hunkered down and waited for Harvey to pass. And I still can't wrap my brain around exactly what happened. The storm was a crushing blow for us. The city was drenched in the amount of rain that we usually receive in months in only a few days. The pictures that are being shown on the news and internet just don't the impact justice. It's been a week and there are still people that are looking for their loved ones, or using boats to get to their still flooded homes, or coming back to town to assess exactly what they can salvage from their lives before. So many people have are still displaced not only here, but also in smaller, coastal Texas towns. The devastation has been enormous and wide spread. You can see on everyone's faces exactly how heartbroken they are. The emotion is almost palpable. We're hurt.
But we're also resilient. There's a resolve in the way everyone has set their jaw, rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work. People are helping out their neighbors, and donating their time, money and hope to each other. I spent a lot of my time during the storm watching the news and trying to think of ways that I could help. My fiancé and I live in a somewhat higher part of the city, so we didn't experience massive amounts of flooding. We were extremely lucky and very grateful. I've looked around and still can't quite grasp how fortunate we were. Because of it, I feel that we should do more to help those that were effected harder than we were. We ended up donating a lot of our unused water and canned goods to the shelters set up after the storm. It felt like the smallest thing we could do at the moment. But I'm always looking for something bigger or some other way I can help.
Now that the storm clouds have cleared, everyone is coming together and cleaning up. It feels like that 'good ol Southern hospitality' is being spread far and wide. There are people from all across the US stepping in to help Houston recover. It feels like everyone is a part of Houston right now. Our already big city has gotten much, much bigger. I know that everyone in Houston is super appreciative of the outpouring of love that has come our way. I, personally, want to be able to thank everyone that donates to our city to help us get back on our feet. I decided that I would restock my shop with more handcrafted items, and for every sale, I would donate the profits to the Houston Food Bank. This way anyone planning to donate to a Houston charity would receive something in return. I wanted to be able to show my appreciation to the people helping us get closer to normal. I know that we will rebuild, but I also know that it's not something we can do alone. My personal goal is to be able to donate at least $200 to the food bank. I know that they will be able to make the most of the donation and that it will go directly to the people in Houston and the surrounding cities. If you would like to make a purchase, my shop is here.
Keep Houston in your thoughts and if you pray, we'd appreciate that, too. We’ll rebuild. We're #houstonstrong.
P.S. I know that there's been a lot of debate regarding the evacuation of Houston and I'm not going to get into that here. As someone who lives here and has evacuated for some storms but stayed for others, I have my own opinion. I know what it's like to have to make that decision for yourself versus using the decision it as a discussion point. It's not something that I'm comfortable with discussing now, so close to the aftermath. I don't know if I'll be comfortable with it.
Karra Wade is a lifestyle blogger, boutique owner and content creator living in Texas with her husband and two dogs.
In 2015, she started Feather + Arrow to promote her work and share bits of personal life. It has slowly grown into a place where she can not only share musings about her day but also discuss fashion tips, lifestyle inspiration and peeks into her shop.