OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – Hurricane Harvey hit a bit too close with our family.
Our son Chip, a 2000 Bulldog grad, and his family live in Houston.
He, his wife Kristen and Addie, their 2-year-old daughter; Kristen’s parents and Bob and I vacationed together in Upper Michigan the Tuesday prior to Harvey. Their two dogs were in a Houston kennel during the trip.
The four were attending a wedding and Chip invited us to see that area and visit Mackinac Island, of which Kristen’s family is quite familiar with living outside of Detroit. We also planned to babysit Addie while they were at the wedding. It sounded like a great way to see all again and babysit. It was all well intended – until Harvey arrived, hit land and flooded a large portion of Houston.
Phone calls, texts, checking security cameras and praying were part of the vacation. Water was rolling down their street, but all seemed OK. Then their Internet – and cameras – went out. Reports of burglaries and looting in their area were reported. Panic set in. The wedding included hours on the phone trying to reschedule canceled flights. The rescheduled ones were later scrapped. Plans were redrawn.
They rented a car, drove to Cleveland and flew from here to Dallas, rented a car there and drove to Houston to pick up their truck at the airport, then head home.
Granted, we parents were worried what they might encounter along the way, such as flooded roads, flash floods, well, whatever. They kept in constant contact with neighbors, friends who lived in different areas, folks who drove up from Houston to Dallas, phone apps that showed routes and reached home safely – as did their pets. Their neighborhood was sound, as well as others in that area. Less than a mile away, that wasn’t the case.
They, like many others, not only brought supplies for those who needed them, but have spent the time since being home helping friends not so fortunate.
The devastation isn’t over yet. The damage will take weeks, months and some say, years, to improve – and another hurricane looms in the distance.
Prayers are needed above all, but monetary aid and goods are as well.
I sometimes look up and think, God does have a plan. When people turn, well, evil, a tragedy occurs that brings all people together. Why does it take that to turn our hearts to disregard politics, religion, color and ethnicity to show love and compassion to others?
I’m just shaking my head. Let’s hope that camaraderie and love of neighbor continue. As the song goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Hurricane aid – Some local folks are helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The combined Falls-Lenox & Early Childhood Center PTA has adopted a first-grade class in Houston. Supplies such as glue sticks, crayons, notebooks, pencils, Ziploc bags, baby wipes, markers and gently-used or new books for the classroom library. Go to its facebook page to learn more where it will take you to the sign up page.
St. Mary of the Falls’ Christina Dupre, musical director, Helping Hands to Houston and The Answer Generation have partnered with Dino Palmieri in aiding Houston. There will be a semi-truck at St. Mary of the Falls on Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1 to accept canned goods, water, juice, baby formula, diapers, blankets, everyday medical supplies, flashlights and canned cat and dog food. The need for these items is apparent not only now, but also in the weeks and months to come. Why not start collecting the named items and bring them up to the church over the three-day period?
You may also help by attending a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Music Box Supper Club, 1148 Main Ave., Cleveland. Tickets are $ 18 in advance and $ 22 at the door. All ages are welcome. The Answer Generation will perform inspirational rock music. Tickets are available at the Music Box website, musicboxcle.com. The group’s website is theanswergeneration.com.
Kiwanis car show – The Olmsted Falls Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a Classic Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show this Sunday at the Donauschwaben German American Cultural Center on Columbia Road. Registration is from 9 a.m. to noon with judging by participants from noon to 1 p.m. Awards will be given at 2 p.m.
The cost to enter is $ 8 in advance and $ 10 day of the show. There will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, trophies and dash plaques. For more details or registration forms, contact Forrest Franklin, 440-236-5423. The Kiwanis concession trailer will sell food there, too.
Ladies night – Olmsted Falls Post Prom again offers its Ladies Night Out at The Olde Wine Cellar. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the Sept. 14 fundraiser with the group reading at 7 p.m.
The cost is $ 50 a person, which includes appetizers, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, one glass of adult beverage, a gallery style reading by Medium Jim Flynn and a chance to win a one-on-one reading at the end of the night. A cash bar is available. Tickets are limited. Contact Kari Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org, for tickets.
Dementia legal matters – Symphony at Olmsted Falls continues its support group seminar with the next one focusing on legal matters related to dementia.
Attorney Margie T. Karl will discuss these issues at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at the facility, 25880 Elm Street, Olmsted Falls. This free program will discuss guardianships, estate planning documents and other options. She will discuss the difference of the options. Questions on planning for long-term care will be discussed. Reservation deadline is Sept. 8 by calling 440-235-2750.
Cub scout open house – Boys in grades 1-5 and their parents are invited to a Cub Scout Open House from 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Lenox gym at Falls-Lenox Primary School.
Representatives from local Cub Scout packs 102 and 252 will be there to discuss the scouting program. For more details, email Pack 102 at OfallsPack102@gmail.com or Pack 252 at email@example.com.
Jenkins Place – Barbara Richardson will share her career experience in color with seniors at the Jenkins Place Senior Center. She is the owner of Emerald & Violet Studio on Columbia Road. She inspires all to bring color and design into their homes and lives.
Every third Monday of the month at 10 a.m., she will help seniors explore color schemes, shading, blending, layering, patterning and more. Just bring your passion and she’ll help you do the rest. For more details, call 440-427-2519. To register for the class, contact Joelle McNea, firstname.lastname@example.org. The next class is Sept. 18.
Reminder – The Renaissance Retirement Campus’ Classic and Modern Car Show is from 6-8 p.m. this Thursday at its John Road location. Stop by and enjoy the cars, DJ music and refreshments. Admission is free.
To include news, tidbits, honors and activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at email@example.com. She also is available on Twitter @JoanneDuMound. The column’s online version at cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links for many news items.