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Stormy Days

January 1, 1970 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

My wife and I recently moved to Houston. We bought a house there in March, about a month before our wedding. Expecting the house to be empty, we were surprised to discover a large crate in our garage. It contained dozens of square and rectangular plywood boards of all different sizes. Because both of us grew up in the interior of the state, neither of us understood the significance of the crate. We assumed it was left over from some home improvement project.

It was not until early June, when hurricane season became prominent on the local news, that we fully understood the purpose of that crate of window sized plywood squares. This realization prompted a series of discussions: “What would we do?” We eventually concluded that whatever we decided would inevitably be the wrong choice. If we packed up and left, the storm would either turn and miss us or weaken to a typical thunderstorm. If we stayed, the streets would flood, the power would go out (and stay out), fresh water would be scarce, and our meager supply of food would not be enough. We never did decide a course of action. Fortunately for us, we were not forced to make that choice this year.

Reading the news about Hurricane Sandy, I cannot help but reflect on our discussion. I am sure that there were many families facing the same decision, struggling with the same dilemma. I read about the lives lost, the homes and possessions washed away, and the struggle to rejoin civilization and I am left with sadness, relief, and guilt: sadness for those who have been lost and who have lost, relief that I am not in the same situation, guilt for feeling relief.

For those of you that weathered the storm and are currently weathering the aftermath, take care of yourselves. Once you and your loved ones are safe, Fleming, Nolen & Jez stands ready to help in rebuilding what can be rebuilt, replacing what can be replaced, and consoling for what was lost.