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Thankful, Day 1

November 2, 2015

I am home.  I am so grateful to be home from a grueling 10-day business trip.  I am safe, healthy, exhausted, and totally blown away with gratitude.  I’ve expressed all along how I’m blown away by my relative health, but yesterday took my gratitude to a whole new level.

I was working in Houston and God spared me from disaster on my way to the airport yesterday morning.  Houston has had a touch of rain (touch = a hurricane last week and 5 inches of rain all at once yesterday) while I was there and it caused some problems.  Problems like:

  • the swimming pool overflowed at the hotel
  • there was a river in the parking garage at 3am when I checked out to drive to the airport
  • I drove in a foot of water from the parking garage to the hotel door to collect my luggage
  • when I tried to leave the hotel lot, cars were backing up the one-way highway to get away from rising water
  • i drove through another foot of water to re-park my car when, realizing I was stranded, I checked back into the hotel to rebook my flights and try to get home later

The water eventually subsided.  I rebooked my flights.  I drove to the airport past multi-car accidents and disabled vehicles that were caught in the high water.  I saw the right lanes blocked off as retaining walls collapsed on the highway. The last 15 minutes of my drive to the airport were pretty awful.  Another band of storms was over the airport and it was raining sideways and possibly upwards.  The water was rising as I was driving.  The windshield wipers were insufficient to the task and I could barely read the signs for where I needed to go.  I was driving in the middle of the road (highest point) passing stalled out vehicles where the water was deeper.  I just wanted to get out of that car and into the safety of the airport.  As each driver exited their rental car at the garage, they had my same “I’m so glad I’m no longer driving in that!” look on their faces.  I had no idea how long I’d be stranded at the airport (as it turns out: 5 hours. not terrible).  After several delays and rebookings, I flew home.  My seatmate on my first flight said his rental car “floated like a boat” on the way to the airport and he had to be towed in.  Can you even imagine his fear?  And the paperwork!

After I got home, I had a serious case of the “What if…?”s.  What I had left 10 minutes sooner?  What if the road at the hotel hadn’t been flooded and I made it out to the highway when the waters started rising?  What if my car had been caught and swept away?

Two people died in the waters yesterday.  It was seriously awful.

So, I am grateful to God that I saw the beginning of the flooding and didn’t have any choice but to stay put.  I’m grateful that I made it to the airport dripping wet but safe (had to refill the rental car’s gas tank and it was beyond raining).  I’m grateful that I know how to rebook flights without any stress.  I’m glad that I know how to sleep in airports if necessary.  I’m grateful that I know the best way to book airport hotels had I been stranded.

I’m grateful to be home.  I’m grateful to be here with my husband; I missed him.  I’m grateful to have slept in my own bed last night.

I’m grateful.

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