The Hotel Project, Day Two

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September 26, 2020, Dallas-

Running with my sense that I am as worthy as anyone else, today passed with plenty of service activities, small victories over slight overreach on the part of some members of another agency and the departure of my sole detractor on yesterday’s team-thankfully, as just a normal turn of events, the end of the individual’s time on the project.

We also stood our ground against a person who was seeking to profit from the misery of others. This occasionally happens and the individual may keep trying, but the inclination is to keep on walking, when seeing my smiling face upon walking towards the entrance to the hall.

We still have hundreds of people who are in need of service and have sucured their places here, for as long as they need them. I remained at the Toy Table, and have started to bond with some of the children, who visit each day, to see if anything new has been donated, The items are not extravagant, but these children and families are grateful. A few items are not appropriated for most children, and have been set aside. This is not necessarily nefarious: I can remember when some toy manufacturer thought “Mystery Date” was a cute toy for 7-10-year-old girls. That lasted, maybe, a month or two.

I have stood firm on things like that, not going for anything that makes children feel that rushing their lives is in any way normal. We also want to remediate the stress that all family members are enduring. This may take the length of time our team is here, or it may take longer. Hopefully, the hurricane season has come to a de facto end.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 84: The Sodden Ground Trembles

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August 23, 2020, Beaumont-

A tall, gracious young woman greeted us at the door to Cracker Barrel, which was the group’s dinner choice, this evening. Jarae then found herself to be our server. A delightful person brought delightful comfort food, and we continued to prepare, physically and mentally, for what could be a double whammy-or a bust.

What concerns me most about the Bayou Country-from Aransas Pass and Matagorda to the south, Spring and Katy to the west, Livingston and Lufkin to the north, and everything east, as far as Dothan, is that the ground is sodden, saturated. The bayoux, the creeks and the rivers can take some more water, but the ground around them is spongy and won’t absorb much more. Two storms in a row may or may not overwhelm the area, but they will deposit a goodly amount of water, and there will be twelve more weeks of Hurricane Season remaining, I see the potential for shades of 2005-and if you remember, we ran out of people names for storms that year, It even sent a hurricane into the South Atlantic-in January, 2006.

So, on that cheery note, I can only say, we are the A-Team, from Arizona, and LA/TX is in good hands.

As We Rise

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April 15, 2020-

Many parts of the world are slowly, carefully seeing the retreat of COVID-19.  Others, especially in the United States and Russia, have yet to see the disease peak, though it’s coming.  There have been several approaches to the threat, most have worked, for the people in the areas in which they have been implemented.  The concept of “One size fits all” may very well end up being shown the door, when this is all over.

It is never too soon to PLAN, to have several contingencies for the months ahead.  The school year is finished, yet there are likely to be summer sessions. Whether the services of substitutes will be needed then is a good question.

My friends in the restaurant and coffee houses around town are unlikely to even consider re-opening for in-house services, until close to Memorial Day weekend. The hospitalizations must peak, and decline, before that would be prudent.  I am supporting several of them, with take-out orders, in the meantime.

The hard-working staff of the Farmers’ Market are maintaining a food box service, over the next few weeks, at least.  They may be able to re-open the full market, next month, but the hospitalization peak will impact their decisions, as well.

My own meanderings will be rather tentative, anywhere outside of the immediate area, until there is a clear indication that the danger is passing and that my presence will not be more of a hindrance than an encouragement.  Red Cross deployment remains a possibility, as even with the virus subsiding, the hurricane season is seven weeks away and tornadoes have certainly not taken any time off.

The quarantine has given rise to the popularity of virtual meetings, so anywhere I happen to be, into summer and fall, will not impede the vital work that has been initiated here, during the course of the past four weeks.  My inclination is to mostly stay close by, though.  No one wants to be part of a second or third wave of COVID19.

We will cast off some of our old practices and adopt new ones.  Which will be which, is long in evolution.  I only know that we will rise back.  The spirit of the nation,  of the planet, of humanity, will  not be denied.