Rain, rain go away!

The rain has been relentless in my part of the world. H-town has made national news this week, with photos of our soggy city and Mother Nature’s destruction relaying the misery.

Here’s a shot comparing the same freeway before and after our epic rainfall.

photo by Richard Lewelling via twitter

photo by Richard Lewelling via twitter

And another before-and-after shot in the Meyerland area (although the way the photographer arranged the photos, it’s an after-and-before shot).

#houstonflood via twitter

#houstonflood via twitter

This photo was taken Tuesday morning near the Museum District. MacGregor is the street we exit to go to the Houston Zoo. It’s crazy weird seeing such familiar sites under so much water. The state climatologist (yes, that is a real job) estimates that Texas has received more than 7.5 inches of rain in May.

photo by Getty Images

photo by Getty Images

We haven’t seen rain like this since Hurricane Ike, which hit my city in 2008. In fact, the Houston Weather Service has not issued a flash flood emergency since Ike. Until this week. We have had rain in biblical proportions. Some areas of Houston were drenched with 11 inches of rain Monday night and Tuesday morning. One of our local weather nerds equated that rainfall to 162 billions of gallons of water.

In the suburb I call home, the aftermath of the storm was less dramatic. Thankfully. Our house backs up to a bayou that has a small stream running through it; normally we can’t see the water out our back windows. This is what it looks like on a normal day (sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of sweet Pedey, sunbathing or napping).IMG_2564

And this is what the view over my back fence looked like on Tuesday. IMG_4115

Water. Lots of it. IMG_4118

See that small gravel patch in the middle of the photo below? That’s the end of the little gravel road we use to cross the bayou. The rest of that little road is completely under water. IMG_4117

It was hard to tell just how deep the water was, and I had a fleeting thought about crossing that little road to get a photo of the other side of the bayou. A very fleeting thought.IMG_4119Several steps in, the water was halfway up my boots.

IMG_4121

A few more steps, and the water was coming in my boots.

My beloved bayou was flooded. I wondered what this meant for the wildlife we love to observe just beyond our back gate. No sooner did I wonder when I heard a splash and saw a young deer swimming across the bayou. I watched to make sure she got across safely and made a mental note to throw some kale and dried corn over the fence for her. The lush foliage and wild berries she normally nibbles on were washed out.

A parting shot of my bayou after the big storm is quite serene and lovely, despite the epic rain.IMG_4120

Advertisements

New house, vol 1

I’ve been totally remiss in posting about our new house. Building a house is a long, complicated process. Moving out of one’s house is a long, exhausting process. Moving out of the only home my kids have known was especially exhausting. Existing with most of our worldly goods in storage has been interesting and has been a study in “how much stuff do we really need?” Living in a temporary house, generously provided by our dearest friend Eddie (known for his wise comments on this blog), has been a challenge, but dare I say we’ve risen to that challenge and perhaps even thrived within it?

It’s been a long process. We signed the contract on the new house April 15th yet construction did not begin until July. A booming housing market and a shortage of skilled labor have created even more delays (gotta love the great state of Texas and its bustling economy!).  Tired of waiting, we broke ground ourselves, unofficially. If you ever needed a contrast in my children’s personalities, here it is. photo

Our lot, all green and lush in the late spring. Seeing the house staked — at last — was very exciting!

photoAfter it was staked, the plumbing stumps went in and the foundation was re-barred. While it looks like a giant tornado is about to level our long-awaited progress, it’s just a cloud. photo

The foundation is nearly finalized here. photo

The view out our front door. The Port-a-Potty will stay the whole time the house is being built, so it’s featured in a lot of photos. We’re working a deal to keep it, but on the side of the house, for the teenage boy who resides with us. photo

We have a foundation!photo

And then it gets framed!photo

Once the framing is done, the house starts to take shape.photo

With windows and a roof, it really starts looking like a house!photo

Once the outside of the house is done, they can start working on the inside, and that’s when the real fun begins. Stay tuned.