If you're like me, I'm sure you have been glued to the Weather Channel, the news and Facebook with all the heart wrenching images of the flooding and devastation in Texas. I have been through many a hurricane here in Eastern, NC, some of which had massive flooding and destruction. However, none of them come even close to what has happened in Houston and the small towns like Rockport and Port "A".
I've been thinking about when the water recedes, the rescues are over and the news media goes away. What most people don't see is how long and how much work it is to get things back to some sense of normal. In 2011, my dear friend Lydia, had her home destroyed by hurricane Irene in our small town of New Bern, NC. Her house was flooded in September and it took until the end of March to get it fixed. Six full months on one house that had flood damage. People don't realize that dealing with contractors, FEMA, insurance agencies and the nasty scam artists who turn up are also part of this, not to mention the places of employment that have been destroyed.
I write this post thinking about the Quilt Festival that is coming in just 8 short weeks. It's something I've been looking so forward to, not only because of my dream being realized as an instructor there, but also because of the wonderful friends I will finally get to meet in person, as well as, my dear friend, Sallieann who is coming from England.
The festival is held in the same convention center that is now housing thousands of displaced, homeless, people. The hotels, restaurants and businesses downtown are flooded. It is one giant mess. As of today, the festival people are saying that the show will still go on. For the life of me, I can't wrap my head around how it will. Again, just knowing how long it took for Lydia's house to get fixed with not nearly the amount of water that is in Houston.
Plus, the festival brings in 55,000 to 65,000 people. I know the city can really use the money, but with all the people who are currently homeless, not to mention all the volunteers and emergency management people, etc. where are they going to put everyone, let alone feed everyone?
Now I don't mean to sound like "Debbie Downer" or "Negative Nellie," but I guess knowing first hand how long and awful the recovery can be, my heart is with the people who are suffering. I would rather have the festival cancelled so people can have a chance to grieve and start rebuilding their lives. I would much rather go to the Houston Quilt Festival next year in celebration instead going this year in the mist of sorrow.
We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.