Leaving the spin studio this morning, one thing was for sure: fall was in the air. My usual stroll back to the car turned into a sprint as I scrambled for my keys and attempted to smooth out hundreds of goosebumps. Welp. It was nice while it lasted... 14 sunny weeks have come and gone. We've held on as long as possible, but I guess it's finally time to say farewell to the dog days of summer.
I'm sad to see it go, but as always, I'm excited by the fresh start that the new season brings. There's something about the crisp temperatures, autumnal colors, and butternut squash (YASSS!) that gets my adrenaline pumping and sets my focus in gear. While there's no back-to-school this time around, I'm preparing myself for a different challenge: moving out.
This summer was different than most, as I spent a good portion of it at home in Chicago with my family. After four years of internships, summer school, and college sports madness, I unpacked my suitcase and climbed up to the top bunk for the final swan song before my move to NYC. And although we were a bit over-crowded in the condo due to construction on our house, I have to say, this summer was one of my best. From our walks with the dog, recipe experimentation, and visits to see the progress on the new house to Saturday morning spinning, Sunday tennis, Coldplay, and cozy nights in on the couch, it was a summer filled with simple pleasures and family. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have people rather than just a place to call home.
The people of Houston, however, are not so lucky. Watching the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey unfold on the news this past week, I was in tears. As the water recedes, the unprecedented destruction of the storm becomes real for so many. 7,000 homes destroyed, close to 75 missing or dead, clothing, toys, memories, years of hard work all ruined overnight by something far beyond their control. It's difficult to cope with destruction of this magnitude, but in every interview I've watched, one conclusion remains the same: "It's just stuff... we'll be able to get it back eventually. Lives, though... you can't get those back."
Some people were not fortunate enough to escape the natural disaster with their life, and in times like these I realize how grateful I am that, near or far, I am surrounded by people who love me. Rebuilding your life and replacing years of hard work will be no easy feat, but knowing that you have a community of support behind you surely eases the burden. I am humbled by the outpouring of love in the past few weeks as strangers from neighboring cities navigate their way through the flood waters with boats, supplies, trucks, and a helping hand. There's still so much more to be done, but Hurricane Harvey reminds us that, despite these mad times, this country is full of kind and decent human beings.
Houston, we're here for you. And although the news stations may flip to the next big story, we know that it's going to take you a long time to get back on your feet. I've included a few ways to help (you can also contribute through Amazon wishlists). Please comment any other Houston organizations/Harvey relief funds that you know of below!