Make me an angel…

“…that flies from Montgomery…”

That’s a line from a very old John Prine song I love, as sung both by him and by Bonnie Raitt.

Well, I have an angel who flew all the way from England.

You may remember that years ago, Marika secretly sent out a call to friends far and wide offering to send them angels to color for me as a surprise at Christmas. I think I received nine angels that Christmas, and a few others in later years.

That was in 2009, y’all–eight years ago! Marika recently expressed concerns about the tin of angels that friends, family, and I have colored through the decades. Had they survived the flood? Were they okay?

Trust me, the angels were stored high above the flood waters, and in any case, Debby and I emptied that bookcase as quickly as we could because we’d seen bookshelves in her apartment and Tim’s go down fast, with loss of books in both places. We moved everything to a safer, more stable place in case that happened here. Now the angels are in storage instead of decorating the house this holiday season.

Except this one. After all these years, Mark a longtime LiveJournal friend from England, sent a beautiful Christmas card as he does each year. In it I found this bookmark and this stunning angel. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mark, it was a delightful surprise–and I know Marika will also be thrilled. Right now your angel is keeping me company on my desk, and soon enough, she’ll join her band of angelic friends so that next year, they can all grace Houndstooth Hall with their beauty.

Photo Friday, No. 571

Current Photo Friday theme: Vivid

The mural is by Nicky Davis. The text says, Picture yourself here, because we all need to give back. #givehou

I took this on August 20, a week before Hurricane Harvey became Tropical Storm Harvey and dumped 50 inches of rain on Houston. Houstonians have been giving to one another ever since, as I well know. Thank you, Houston.

East Downtown

This is a mural I shot in EaDo just before the flood. I remember that I was going to research it, so I didn’t put it on the blog. Or did I? I feel like I’ve lived in a kind of fog for the last month. Happy mensiversary*, Flood.

Best I can ascertain, the artist is Walker Wooding, though when I try to find it online, there’s a different background. Maybe there is more than one mural, or maybe he changed it for Pride, or maybe he changed it for the Rainbow Coalition.

Regardless, I love the mural.

*Google it.

Portrait of the Artist

I think I did pretty well after the flood as we started pulling stuff out of the house and I ruthlessly decided what was trash and what wasn’t. “I don’t care” became my stock response to every item someone else expressed sympathy about. But when I found this in a flooded bin, it made me physically ill. I didn’t know I still had it. I’d even asked my brother last year if he had it, and he thought he did.

This discovery about broke me.

Debby and Lynne painstakingly lifted it from the water and found a way to place it where it could dry. It did dry, and the truth is, there was already some staining on the sketch long before our flood, but nothing like it has now.

Written on the bottom: HERE’S AN ARTIST’S CONCEPTION OF ME. I can’t read the artist’s name, but I think the date is 1949, which would corroborate what my mother once told me, that the sketch was done of my father by one of his fellow art students while he was in college.

Today’s Daddy’s birthday. The sketch is weathered but it will be okay. Like me.

He was one of the biggest reasons I’m a strong person.

Backdated post re Harvey No. 1

It was raining when I went to bed Saturday night. In fact, Lynne was with us and left just before the hard rain began. I could see water moving steadily down the street toward the bayou. I wasn’t too worried. We’ve had heavy rains, even flooding, in Houston since we moved to Houndstooth Hall, and we’ve been okay.

Tim was away house- and dogsitting, so I slept at his house with his dogs. Around six AM, I heard a dog whimper next to me and thought, Oh, they’re probably hungry. I swung my feet out of bed and put them down in at least two inches of still-rising water.

That’s when I knew things were bad and likely to get worse, because the rain was torrential at that moment.

The below photo sums up a few things. I had to bend that screen to get it out of the window to hand Pixie, Penny, and Pollock out to Tom because there was less water in our house at the time than in the apartment. Dogs came first.

But immediately upon getting out of bed, as I was texting Tom and evaluating the water levels at the doors, I thought to do two other things. The first was to make sure Tim’s violin was safe (that’s his guitar case pictured here, because by the time I was shooting photos, Tom had moved the violin even higher). The violin was built by his great-grandfather and was one of the only things Tim kept with him wherever we were during previous hurricanes. The second was to move his painting of Rex by Houston artist Kermit Eisenhut to the safety of the table.

Things may be just things, but some of them we shouldn’t have to lose.