To all who have expressed concern for my well being in Austin, thank you. But I’m coping and okay. 

We were told yesterday to evacuate our home due to no power, no heat, no water, and burst water pipes, as well as concerns that even sewage disposal pipes were freezing up and on the verge of bursting. Our longtime home is 8 floors up in a comparatively “low-rise” condominium on the edge of downtown Austin. Even emergency power was out. And that meant no elevators. So after four days of hunkering down and determined to tough it out, we got the order to find a new place to go to immediately. Another deep freeze was descending.

Unlike many, we have relatives nearby whose power had returned. We’re now huddled up with them – improvising, coping, trying to make the best of it with a “this too shall pass” spirit. But we’re lucky, and we know it. We have resources and the help of family and friends. Many of our fellow Texans are in dire straits. The homeless and destitute are always the most vulnerable. But this also hit broadly. There are so many other hard-working, proud, and decent people who are suffering. They are the backbone of our state.

A broad community effort to help them is needed. So is accountability. Many state officials and special interests sold out their fellow Texans. And now, even in this time of reckoning, most of them offer little help beyond just saying a version of, “hey, it’s life; deal with it.”

There are some massive betrayals of public trust behind what has happened in Texas. It’s sad. And even more so because those responsible remain convinced that they’ll never be held accountable.

But at the same time, the communal spirit of people helping people is inspiring. We can rebuild. And I am convinced we will rebuild better, but only if we have better leadership, make better decisions, and have the humility to know we are all in this together.