*full disclosure: The only danger I was in was dying of boredom from being locked in a hostel for 5 days.

On August 25th Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeastern Texas.

Storms were never my “thing” growing up. Ever since watching the movie Twister in 2002 (ironically enough we were watching it on a road trip to Texas) I’ve had a huge fear of storms. As the vulnerable child of the family, they grasped the opportunity to torture me. Every cloudy and humid day would be accompanied by, “Melina, this is perfect weather for a Twister.” <—-this was usually spoken in a Spanish accent by my adoring father

By the end of the night, you could usually find me in a fetal position with blankets in the bathtub. So after the many nights of crying in fear of death…I never looked at a storm in the same way.

Fifteen years later, I find myself in Austin, TX with a hurricane less than 200 miles away. Every few minutes travelers from the hostel would ask for an update on the storm. As the worker, I’m supposed to keep my composure, but the inner child screamed for help.

We kept a live update going in the office while we sat around eating Chinese food. You could hear the wind pick up speed and the rain pound on the roof. Slowly, my fear dissipated and I got comfortable. I wasn’t going to blow away while living in a house over 100 years old. Right?!

I fell asleep to the song “Staying Alive” and the people of the hostel watched the storm from the balcony. I’ve slowly gone restless, but I’ve found a few strategies to fill my time.

  • Pick a TV series Currently, I’m watching Gilmore Girls. It makes me excited about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Fall.
  • Read a book Luckily, this hostel has a library with a stocked bookshelf. I’ve now learned so much about Ashtanga Yoga and American Psycho.
  • Drink coffee Thanks to the Gilmore Girls’ obsession with coffee I find myself drinking extra cups.
  • Wear fluffy socks If you’re lucky, you’ll have wooden floors available for your entertainment. Knee high flamingo socks and polished wooden floors will keep you entertained for hours.
  • Sleep more I haven’t fully recovered from my emergency room visit a few days ago. I’ve taken full advantage of my time indoors to catch up on a few extra hours of sleep.

Austin is one of the lucky cities who didn’t get damage from the Hurricane. Places like Houston, Rockford, and Corpus were majorly hit and in desperate need of aid. I’ve been in contact with a few organizations in order to help with the damage. If that means working in a shelter or donating money count me in. If you are looking for ways to help, read this article and choose the best method for you!

Help the Hurricane Harvey Victims:

  • They need funding
  • They need provisions
  • They need prayer

I encourage anybody who can help to do so! Let’s be united by love.

Till Next Time,

Merely Melina