A Stronger Person

Dear Flylady,

I’ve never written a testimonial before. For anything. But I needed to write and tell you how you’ve helped me get through the past few weeks.

I live in Katy TX, a suburb of Houston TX. Just over a week ago, we were hit by hurricane Harvey. When the news people started telling us to get ready for the storm, there was a mad rush on bottled water, bread, batteries and gas.

The Flylady program helped me before the storm because:
1. I already had most of the disaster supplies on hand. Purchased a little at a time over the past several years. I knew where they were and how to use them.
2. My pantry and freezer were fully stocked. I knew even if the worst happened we wouldn’t go hungry in our home. It might get boring after a while, but we had enough to feed us for a couple months.
3. My menu for the upcoming week was already made, so I went shopping and stocked up on perishables but really didn’t worry too much. My fridge was cleaned out so I had room for all of the extra food. I didn’t need anything else.
4. My gas tank was already full. I had a break earlier in the week and had refilled it.

My neighborhood was spared from flooding. We never even lost power. It was nerve wracking, watching several neighborhoods and all of the major streets around us flood. Our little neighborhood was basically an island for several days, with no way in or out. But we were safe and fine.

Since the storm has passed and the streets and neighborhoods are starting to drain, clean-up efforts have begun. Your program has helped me so much in the past week because:
1. My two teens bedrooms aren’t perfect but they aren’t terrible. We were able to give temporary shelter instantly (without me feeling stressed or crisis cleaning). And I knew where the extra sheets were for their beds.
2. The stores are still low on food, its hard to find bread or milk and very little fruit. But I haven’t had to go to the store because we aren’t out of anything. In fact, we have fed extra people at nearly every meal. I had a plan and was prepared. And that has allowed us to bless others.
3. Laundry. So much laundry! My husband was asked to coordinate all of the relief and clean-up efforts for our church. He and my son have been out mucking all day every day. Mucking after a flood means pulling up wet carpet and wood floors, removing sheetrock and insulation, and then bleaching everything. Trying to get things to dry before mold grows. And then sorting through wet, ruined possessions. Its dirty and smelly and hot sweaty work. They walk in and basically strip down in the laundry room to try and contain the mess. But again – because of my habits, the laundry hasn’t gotten out of hand.
4. Pretty much all of my regular routines have been suspended right now except laundry and shining my sink. Keeping up with the dishes makes everything better. Somehow, if the dishes get done the rest of the house stays reasonably clean.
5. We are making it fun. We started something that we named “The Five Minute Clean-up.” Every evening before the two little kids go to bed, we set a timer, turn on some fun music, and everyone cleans like crazy. We’ve found that in 5 minutes, most of the house can get straightened up. The floors get swept. The toys get put away. It’s not perfect, but it isn’t chaos either. When the timer goes off, as long as everyone worked the whole time, we sit and eat a treat (usually just a small candy or something) and laugh. If it’s fun, it will get done. Right?

Please don’t think I’m bragging. I am in no way a Master-Flyer. My bathrooms need to be scrubbed and my craft closet is something that would scare small children…But I am a stronger person because of your program. And I am learning that small steps and small habits really do make a difference. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A fluttering (and sometimes swimming) Flybaby in Texas

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