Hold My Beer & Watch THIS—10 Reasons Texas Will Beat Harvey

Like a good neighbor, Cajuns are there….. Hey, we have EXCELLENT friends.

That this has been a hell of a week is the mother of all understatements, especially for anyone impacted by Harvey. On my way home to Texas after keynoting for the Romance Writers of New Zealand, Hubby warned me of possible thunderstorms and a bumpy ride into Houston.

Still basking in the fuzzy glow from my trip of a lifetime, I was nonplussed. Meh. It was Texas and crazy weather just part of the deal, right?

I board in Rotorua and learn it’s no longer a mere line of thunderstorms. Now? An inbound tropical storm. Okay. Not ideal but I’m cool. I get to Aukland and now Hubby tells me it’s being upgraded to a Category One hurricane. *nervous laugh* Yeah but it’s a small one. I’m totally fine.

Then this. And YES THIS IS MY PLANE. *deep breaths* It will be okay.

I’m already prepared to endure the eight-hour layover in the International Airport Houston (IAH) even though I’m hurting and so sleep-deprived I’m bordering on passing out. Bad enough. But suddenly I’m praying to make it out before the hurricane hits which now has a name…Harvey.

Seriously? Computers need to be denied permission to name hurricanes if they can’t do better than this.

Writers could do WAY better. Hurricane Vlad. Hurricane Michael Myers. Hurricane Lizzy Borden. Anyway…

My luck with travel rarely is good so imagine my shock when I DO make it onto one of the last flights out. We were literally outrunning a storm band that was already spawning tornadoes.

View from my seat. And it was a LOT darker.

From what I can glean, the airport was shut down about ten minutes after my flight took off. Yay me! ….but no. I know it sounds odd, but once I got home and started seeing how bad things were getting, part of me was wishing I hadn’t made it out.

I wanted to help. Wanted to be there, only I was now hundreds of miles away and WHAT COULD I DO? But this brings me to why Texas will beat Harvey.

#1—We LOVE Texas Even Though She’s Bat$h*t Crazy

First of all it took a special kind of crazy to even settle this state to begin with. Droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, blue northers, hurricanes, and weather so wonky it seriously needs Xanax. Texas changes her mind about weather the way a woman changes her mind about what to wear to dinner.

Then cries and smacks you with a tornado if you forget to tell her she’s pretty.

It’s also HOT here. Crazy hot. As in Texas experienced its largest population explosion in history with advent of air conditioning. To me, that speaks volumes. We Texans take a lot of joy filming all the stuff you can fry on a sidewalk in summer.

Throw in poisonous snakes, deadly spiders, and fire ants and that sounds just like utopia right? Sigh. For us it is.

#2—Our Unofficial State Motto is “Hold My Beer and Watch This”

Just tell us we can’t do something. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah. We have a long history of taking stupid dares, probably most accurately demonstrated at the Alamo. A hundred Texians gathered in a mission about the size of a Trader Joe’s were given a choice.

Leave, run for safety, or stay knowing the vast Mexican Army (1,500 strong) was on its way. If you’ve ever visited the Alamo, you’ve likely seen this painting of Tapley Holland who was the first to step across the line and volunteer to stay and fight. The line in the sand is a dare, which apparently Texans are biologically incapable of ignoring. In fact one could argue Texas itself would never have happened without a dare 😉 .

I hear the doom and gloom all over the media how we will never recover, how it will never be the same, how Harvey has somehow defeated us and all I can think is…

Hold my beer and watch this.

Yeah it will suck for a while, but keep it up. Just tell us Texans we CAN’T do something and, well, you might wanna stand back cuz while others are talking? We’re a bit busy, thank you, kindly.

Yes, we Texans are known for bravado, BS, bluster but not for sense. In a part of the world that can be this tough to live in, sense can get in the way. Anyone with sense would have endured one 115 degree summer complete with rattlesnakes and brown recluse spiders and moved somewhere else like…Napa.

#3—Psychological Preparedness From Country & Western Music 

Virtually all Texas children are inoculated early (often in the womb) with steady doses of Country and Western music, which means we know all about losing the job, the truck, the house, and the dog. We also know a bass boat and a reliable pickup cures most of what ails you (and in the case of Harvey, cures what ails others).

#4—Texans Never Lose Hope

We are a ridiculously optimistic bunch and we don’t throw in the towel even when times get hard and it seems it will never get better.

Any longtime fan of the Dallas Cowboys is proof of this.

#5—You Can’t Keep a Texan DOWN

When life gives you lemons, we Texans just add a shot of tequila and salt. We’ve been through so many disasters we’ve learned when you can’t choose your circumstances, you can choose your attitude. We know sometimes the best thing to do is to laugh.

Or even SING!

#6—Texans LOVE Getting Dirty & Making it BIGGER

Oddly these go together about as well as chips and salsa.

Whether it’s noodling (sticking your hand in a slimy hole in a lake to catch catfish), ATVing, or just plain sliding around in mud in monster trucks, it’s tough to keep a Texan clean any length of time.

Texas is the mutt you just gave a bath. Probably best not to bother.

Y’all might hear that everything is bigger in Texas and that’s because often it is. Show us a disaster and we’ll top that with Redneck ingenuity at its finest. We love the mud and love our lifted trucks even more. Sure some folks might think a Cadillac Escalade on GIANT tires is silly.

That is, until you need one 😉 .

Rednecks with Paychecks is a group of everyday guys with love for lift kits and a mojo for muddin’. Who better to rise to the challenge? These everyday heroes broadcasted the call and turned their lifted truck passion into a mission. Maybe the Texas National Guard can add a few of these fine vehicles to their own motor pool 😀 .

#7—Texans are Pathologically Helpful

We aren’t called “The Friendship State” for no reason. Our duty is to be a good friend because 1) it really is in our nature (possibly from beer and fully belly of amazing tacos) and 2) being a good friend can literally become a matter of life and death. We Texans often need friends, ourselves.

Looking at you Louisiana *blows kiss to Cajun Navy*.

Even before we were sure how bad Harvey was going to be, folks from all over Texas (and all over neighboring states) instantly gassed up and headed toward the storm to help. Social media and the news is filled with everyday people rescuing strangers with anything that could float or just power through high water. Boats, jet skis, canoes, TRACTORS, you name it.

Paddle board? It’ll do in a pinch!

We don’t care if you’re a stranger…or even you’re human. Come along!

We have a soft spot for our furry friends and Texans risked their lives time and time again to rescue dogs, cats, possums, bats, horses, livestock, and even…carp.

Saving a fish! Now how awesome is THAT?

#8—Texans Have Never Met a Stranger

I know many folks hear this and believe it’s more Texas BS…until they visit Texas or meet a Texan. Sure we shovel plenty of BS but not when it comes to our reputation for hospitality.

Before I left on my trip a fellow writer who I only know on-line gave me her number in case I got stranded in Houston where she lives. She gave me her number when I was on my way out, but a couple weeks ago, my greatest concern was some silly mechanical issue that might have me sleeping on my luggage.


Anyway, when I returned to the States and a hurricane, I knew I could call and she’d come get me. But since never in a billion years would I EVER let her risk her safety, I didn’t call.

But when I got home, I texted her immediately then got worried when she didn’t respond. I called and left message after message begging to get an update she was safe.

Only later in a FB IM did I find out I had the wrong number (had transposed the last two numbers). So what did I do after blowing up the phone of a complete stranger? Duh, the only “reasonable” thing!


#9—Texas Per Capita Has the Highest Number of Casserole Dishes

Okay I totally made up that statistic and normally I would worry about the backlash but according to some news sources Mississippi is no longer with us and has apparently been clandestinely annexed by Alabama while we were all distracted.

Well played, Alabama. Well played.

So if Mississippi was still part of the US I might have a fight on my hands regarding my casserole dish density statistic, but until they win independence from Alabama, I should be okay.

Why is the casserole dish so important? Well, natural disasters can be a lot like a funeral. A lot of people show at the moment of the heartbreak but when the real pain surfaces is often weeks, months or even years later. Sure we need rescues and the immediacy tended, but when the adrenalin wears off and the news has found some other story, it ain’t over.

There’s a lot to clean up, rebuild and people who will need a lot of love. When others might move on, Texans will still be here. We’re here for the long haul (Refer to Cowboys Fan reference).

#10 Texans Remember FOREVER

Elephants got nothing on a Texan. We remember everything. The Alamo, helloooo???? We remember the state flower (Bluebonnet), state bird (Mockingbird…ok, Mosquito), state nut (Pecan), state pepper (Jalapeño), state mammal small (Armadillo) and large (Longhorn), state insect (Monarch Butterfly), and state @$$hole (Fire Ant).

We remember everyone impacted in this storm, not just Houston. And we are here and not going anywhere until the job is done 😉 .

Granted, this post was to share some levity in a very dark time, but honestly we have so many folks to thank who are not Texans. Volunteers from EVERYWHERE, all over the US, all over the world, rushed to help and *bawls in Kleenex* and we will remember that and cherish your love and generosity.

It was a joy to see convoys from New York, Maine, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Minnesota, and on and on rushing to do all they could for us in our time of need, even risking their lives. We are infinitely grateful that y’all could be the boats on the ground, so to speak.

For those who would like to help, human or critter, I’ve linked to a number of ways we can keep helping those in need, even the furry friends. It will take time to rebuild, but we’ve been honored to watch how such a tragic event could bring out and reveal so many everyday heroes and we love you!

Salvation Army Harvey Relief

Samaritan’s Purse Harvey Relief

Donate to the ASPCA for Animals Impacted by Harvey

Rednecks With Paychecks Relief Fund

I love hearing from you!

Do you have any stories to share? Heroes we don’t know about? Favorite stories? Places to donate with links?

When the world seems so full of doom and gloom, for me, it was such a JOY to see how Harvey brought out so much good. And yeah yeah, I know there was bad, always is, but the bad (in my POV) was dwarfed by the mind-boggling outpouring of love and compassion from ALL OVER. I’ve never been so proud of what people can do when they set their minds to it.




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    • Rebecca on September 1, 2017 at 3:39 pm
    • Reply

    Love your heart, love your spirit. Keep pushing, sister, you’re gonna make it no matter what.

  1. As a fellow Texan (even though transplanted), your comments were spot on.
    Practicing my “Texasese” – y’all hit a home run and I’m a fixin to ROFLMAO.
    I coined the term, but it fits – TEXceptional.

  2. So glad you’re okay!!

    Keeping all of Texas in our prayers, and helping fill semis with food, clothes, and other essentials up here in Wisconsin.

    I’ve only visited Texas a handful of times, but your post still had me chuckling and nodding.

  3. As a native Floridian, I get it all too well. God bless Texas.

    • Jean Lamb on September 1, 2017 at 4:03 pm
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    Check going to UMCOR (United Methodist Church disaster relief arm) as soon as our first of the month money shows up. As for casseroles, did I mention I was Methodist? You don’t get to heaven without a covered dish in our church. Although for disasters, I get out the big spaghetti roaster pan and make Spaghetti for the Legions (granted, that’s the only size I know how to make spaghetti in).

    • tony on September 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm
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    Well said, Kristen. All our best, stay safe while helping!

    • Mary Van Everbroeck on September 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm
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    Great to hear from you, Kristen! Thanks for the Links! Stay safe. We in the East have been watching the heroics of ‘Your People’! Awesome to say the least!

  4. Beautiful!!!! Thanks for this post.

  5. Oh, Kristen, you made me laugh and cry at the same time. If only we could drop all that rain on the fires raging in British Columbia. You have the best heart and attitude. Sending good thoughts from Canadaland. Now I know where I’m sending my donation, too. Cheers!

  6. We’re golden here. In a town (Friendswood) that flooded 80-90%, we got away with a roof leak that took out our living room carpet. That’s IT. I’ve blogged for days to help others, since I can’t physically do the recovery help. Native Texan doing finger work for Oreos (birthday cake kind).

    I put out the word on Next Door (the wonderful app that lets you talk to neighbors, saved our lives this year) that we had water and needed help with the carpet. Some guy walked 4 BLOCKS in the deep water to come over and move stuff and take out the carpet. Why? Because the storm wasn’t over and he WAS BORED. Really. That was the excuse. After it done, all I could do was offer him a Dr. Pepper and signed copies of my series (he took both). That was all he would take. He wanted to help.

    Texas WILL survive, as you so aptly put it. We will because we don’t know any other way (and we are just that cussedly stubborn).

    • Kathleen McRae on September 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply

    Best. Blog. Ever. A Buckeye sending positive vibes, prayers, and $$ down to y’all. Hugs!! Kathleen

    1. Thank you! We sure appreciate it ((HUGS))

  7. I moved to Wisconsin in 1996, and my husband gives me endless grief for still saying I’m from Texas. Sorry, honey, I’m just never going to be a Wisconsin girl. Although not gonna lie, I do love the cheese here. 😉

    • Shelagh on September 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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    It was a joy to meet you in Rotorua and so glad you’re safe. I could imagine your full on Texan belly laugh as I read this. I laughed too. When you’re faced with disaster you can cry in a heap or laugh and get stuck in to sort the mess. Glad to see Texas hasn’t lost its spirit.

  8. Thanks for your hardiness and your sense of humor. Stay safe. We are pulling for all of you.

  9. Thanks for a fantastic bit of levity in all of the trouble 🙂 My kids’ school collected their chapel offering to send down with the relief groups today- we’re keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers!

  10. The stars at night are big and bright…

    Although transplanted numerous times as per USAF, I still have a home in San Antonio.

  11. You know what happens if you play country and western backward? You get your dog back, you get your house back, you get your truck back…
    Good to know your sense of humour hasn’t been inundated!
    Spare a thought for those in Bangladesh, Nepal & India who are battling the floods too!

  12. We headed to Texas fresh out of college in a second-hand Ranchero with a new driver’s side window–because the original window has accidentally been shot out of it. It seemed like the right car for Texas. The thing was limping by the time we made it to Houston and it died right in front of a lovely home in a suburban neighborhood. As my husband was tinkering under the hood, this lady comes out of her house and strolls toward us. I got ready for a lecture, assuming she was going to tell us her street wasn’t our garage and to move it along already, but when she came close I realized she was carrying two glasses of ice water.

    That was our welcome to Houston–a nice lady offering two strangers some cold water because they looked like they were thirsty. That’s the Houston I knew for the seven years we lived there. God bless and keep you, Texas.

    • Ruth Kenjura on September 2, 2017 at 8:45 am
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    Great blog- I am from Houston and for the first time since hurricane Carla I evacuated. I went to my sons house in Fort Worth and was literally glued to the news station, checking my house on my security camera and watching the local news on an app- we came home on Friday- and the city was alive again, with its wonderous traffic, bustling stores and overwhelmed restaurant staff. Unfortunately one of my daughters home was flooded and still has high water in it- but she is Texas born and Houston strong ( even if she lived in Katy). All of the affected areas will rise again and be better and stronger- so just hold my beer and watch.

  13. Bestcolumn on the hurricane yet. Love it.

  14. I got a real kick out of how you characterized Texans! I obviously need to meet more of them. Love to you all, and hang in there! A lot of our Virginia National Guard and Fairfax County first responders have also headed your way, and they are AWESOME…highly trained and travel to help in disasters all over the world.

    But that Cajun Navy rocks, too! *wink*

    • Angela on September 2, 2017 at 11:53 am
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    Having lived in New England for the first 28 years of my life, and then moving to Arizona four years ago, I have observed that the south is waaaaay friendlier than the north. I was still in CT when hurricane Sandy hit, along with that October snowstorm of doom we all foolishly laughed at. While everyone helped everyone the best they could, the general vibe was to keep to yourself. Here in Arizona, I can make a friend without meaning to just by crossing paths while we’re both filling up our gas tanks at the local Giant station. Heck, the last community college football game I went to, some elderly gentleman saw my dog and talked my ear off for the next half hour without asking my name lol. Twas fun all the same.

    Totally should’ve moved to the south sooner!

  15. Proud to have y’all Texans almost next to Alabama. 🙂 Glad you are okay. Humor is a mighty sword and you are indeed a Jedi.

    • Melissa Keaster on September 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm
    • Reply

    Thankful you are okay! I have friends in Humble, TX who had to evacuate. When they went back, they found a 9 ft gator in their dining room!

    • Barbara on September 2, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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    Loved your article. My family lost everything in Katrina. Floodwaters over the roof. We evacuated to Baton Rouge where we ended living with a friend for 8 months. So many people said it was horrible that we lost everything, but we felt so blessed to still have our lives, our health, and our jobs. What angered us was all the people who said the area shouldn’t rebuild. From mid-LA to Mobile Bay??? We were thrilled to be able made a donation to Samaritan’s Purse for the people of Houston because Samaritan’s Purse were the ones who came around to us as we were mucking out our homes. They not only brought supplies we needed and fresh water, but asked how we were doing and took the time to listen while we talked. That was so important at that time. Just to have someone listen to what you were going through.

    • Jan Sikes on September 3, 2017 at 11:16 am
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    As a fellow-Texan, I have to say I LOVE living in this crazy big state. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  16. You have provided a valuable service here, Kristen: this New Englander now understands the Texan appeal.

    A great overview of the storm. The especially loved the Carp rescue.

  17. The part I’ve noticed the most it that the media, no matter how hard they try, can’t find enough bad to say about the hurricane recovery efforts, because all the good keeps getting in the way. People helping people, not people snarling about how no one is helping them. You go girl, and all the rest of Texas. This Coloradoan is very proud of you and your state.

  18. My friend in Houston, who, last week, was watching the water rise above the level of the road… over the sidewalk… up her garden… but never, thank God, any further, keeps posting that This is Texas. We look after our own.

    Her morale is astounding.

  19. Darn Tootin’ Texas will beat Harvey like a redheaded stepchild! (I can say that because I is one) – But seriously, I am a fellow Texan living in Victoria and have seen first hand how fast the community came together to help each other, how fast SO many others states came down to help us get our power & satellite TVs working again – how giving and kind everyone has been without care to race, religion, sex, or any other divide – and it is truly heartwarming. Local churches and organizations immediately came to the aid giving out water & ice, our local Mosque even gave out free cleaning supplies (which I thought was a great idea after going to the store to buy enough to clean up damage and seeing how much they cost!)
    Kudos to your blog and you definitely hit the nail on the proverbial head – Texas can beat Harvey.

  20. Kristen,
    I reposted this on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaMarieRobertson/?ref=bookmarks.
    My Texas born sister-in-law loved this!!! (And so did I.)

  21. Loved your post! Only in Texas LOL

I LOVE hearing your thoughts!

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