The house is quiet and dark, but we still have electricity on Day 3 of Texas Snowmageddon. We're among the very lucky (and very few) who haven't been subjected to rolling blackouts or power failures. Apparently the electrical grid here operates independently of the rest of the country, because, it's Texas. Of course it does. We're all guns and freedom and rugged individualism, or whatever, because regulating the maintenance of electricity is somehow socialism? Which, as many smart people have informed me, means that the entire state is collosally fucked, but it's fine because a few rich white guys can probably buy more helicopters now. Because, you know. Yay, capitalism, or whatever.
I know I've said this already, but it's bad here, y'all. I mentioned yesterday that we've been working on collecting water and boiling it, because a treatment facility had some equipment failures. Thankfully, although the water pressure was practically non-existent yesterday, it's close to normal for us again. Still potentially rampant with flesh-eating bacteria, but as long as we boil it first, I guess it's fine? Statewide, though, a lot of people's pipes have just completely frozen, so plenty of folks have no water at all. Like I said, we're very lucky.
A lot of people here have been without power since Monday morning, and the temperatures have stayed well below freezing. They don't have heat, and they're doing dangerous things to stay warm. In Houston, a mother and her daughter died from carbon monoxide poisoning because they tried to get warm inside their car, while it was running in their garage. When I say it's bad here, I don't just mean we're inconvenienced. It's lethal, and it's not over.
And yet, every time I look for news on our water situation, I see posts from state and local elected officials passing the blame on to someone else. Or just dismissing the direness of the situation entirely. Collectively, it seems like our state has just pointed a finger, chucked the hot potato out the window, and yelled, "NOT IT!" While families freeze, and the electric companies assure everyone that there's no end in sight.
Does anyone else just feel like they're along for the ride while half of this state finally experiences the shitty consequences of their even shittier decisions? Because, seriously, this is what happens when we continue to elect people who want to eliminate taxes and regulation.
I just really feel like we should have listened to Bernie Sanders on this whole "tax the rich" thing, you guys. And not just because he blew up the internet with his mittens. I'm about to get lecture-y for a second, so if you're not in the mood for Mom Font, go about your business.
I don't always believe that everyone should share everything all the time. Like, I don't teach my kids that if someone else wants their toy, they should just immediately hand it over, because "Sharing is Caring." Contrary to whatever the fuck OANN is telling people, the left doesn't want to take money from people who work hard and buy everyone on food stamps a Rolex.
But can we at least, I don't know... Use our tax dollars to make sure kids aren't dying of carbon monoxide poisoning when the electric grid fails? Can we give an extra dollar to make sure that people don't freeze to death? Or sacrifice a few cents in the name of mandatory equipment maintenance, if it means the water plants stay functional? Or, can we, at the absolute bare minimum, ask that ANYBODY who holds a position of authority admit they may have made some mistakes? Is it even remotely possible that anyone in this state issues some form of apology, here?
Or, is that just radical leftism on my part?
I don't know, you guys. It's all just so heavy and shitty and sad right now. I don't want to turn on the news, because I don't think my heart can handle it. That's incredibly privileged and shitty of me, I know. But if I've learned anything from therapy (which, I mean-- I should have learned A LOT at this point, because I've been in A LOT of therapy) it's that sometimes you can't do anything for anyone else until you've made sure you're okay first.
And that's basically all we can do right now.
I hate it. I hate this. I want to be a helper, and I want to feed everyone, and chop down the trees for people's fireplaces, and give them all of our water, and empty our pantries for them. I want to give everything to everyone who hurts, and make it all stop sucking for one godforsaken minute.
But before I can do any of that, I have to make sure I can put one foot in front of the other. Take a deep breath. Close my eyes. Remind myself how fortunate we are. And just wait it out, here in the warm part of the house. Because I'm no good to anyone if I'm not good to me.
If you're struggling and feeling guilty right now, wondering what you can do or feeling like it's not enough:
You're not alone. What you're doing for you is what you're doing for all of us. We're all in this together, even if we have to do that by taking care of ourselves. It's okay to ask for help, but if the only thing you can do is be there for you and your family, that's okay too. I see you, I'm there with you, and I love you. We've got this.