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by John Wasowicz

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Texas Winter Storm – February 2021

Last month, I noted my next column would be “Finding your voice.” Well, I hope you don’t mind if I jump in front of that theme with a different subject.

Right now, I want to write about persistence, perseverance, and faith….in Texas and throughout the south and Midwest. In recounting the frigid weather and storms confronted by people this month, there are plenty of compelling stories worth committing to paper…after the clean-up is done and things are back to normal.

“Sorry For The Delay”

In mid-February, I emailed my column from my home in to the Publisher of 50PlusToday, Leslie Farin, in Dallas, TX. It was the day the storm hit. (What was I thinking?)

“Thanks for your patience,” she emailed back a few days later. “Finally have internet – and heat – though no water. Lots of damage. So crazy.”

Thanks for my patience? Are you kidding?

I thought about the level of devastation that she and her husband Larry experienced, along with tens of thousands of others. The cold. The dark. Pipes bursting. No water to drink. It was a nightmare.

Comfort took a back step to desolation in a moment’s notice. Long lines formed around corners for water and bread. And Leslie emailed to me: “Thanks for your patience.”

Taken in context, let me tell you what those four words mean, in addition to patience on her part: Forbearance, faith, steeliness, humor, kindness, pride, appreciation, and a whole lot more.

True Grit

You might think all the stories that came out of Texas during this crazy storm were about panic, depression and hysteria over the weather. Quite the opposite. Many of the stories were about something that comes naturally when you think of Texas: True Grit. Texas style.

For example, there was a story that went viral about an H-E-B grocery story in Leander that allowed people to exit with free groceries after the electricity went out in the store.

The “story” wasn’t about Texans buckling under the winter storm as their electric grid did. No. The ‘story’ was about Texans standing tall, united, and strong enough to see it through….together.

“True Grit Wallops The Big Chill”

This headline from the storm is more like ‘True Grit Survives The Big Chill.’ No, that’s not it. The word “survives” isn’t quite right. Texans didn’t just survive; they persevered and triumphed. The headline is more like ‘True Grit Wallops The Big Chill.’

That little space capsule that landed on Mars the other day is called “Perseverance,” or ‘Percy’ for short. There are a lot of Percys in Texas.

The Next Writing Assignment: How I Beat the Storm!

Now I know you have more important things to do right now. Like fixing water pipes, tearing down drywall, replacing carpet, restocking groceries, and replenishing your water supply.

But after all of that is done, get back to writing!

How did you defeat the winter storm? What was it like when the electricity went out? How did neighbors on your street work together? Who stood out as a true hero through the winter mess?

 

Email your stories to Leslie Farin once order is restored. We plan to pick a few to publish. 

Later we can discuss how writing can be a cathartic experience.

 

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