A good friend of our family who used to live in Calgary sent me an e-mail today asking how we are doing. This wasn’t the first e-mail I have received from concerned friends so I thought I would post my response here.
Thank you so much for your concern. My little family is doing more than okay (and so is my brother and his wife). It is hard to believe that only 6 km away from us the city is under water and yet to look out my window you would never know that anything is going on. Our little 1955 bungalow sits on top of a hill and has never had any flood damage so we knew we would be safe. My day today was surprisingly normal: Moira and Fionnuala played with a friend while Oonagh lay in a puddle of drool and practiced her rolling over. I worked on making cashew smoked tofu burgers and raw brownies. (Ah, the life of a stay-at-home quasi-hippie mom.)
All of my interaction with the flood have either been online looking at photos or talking to friends on the phone to make sure that the ones who did need to evacuate had a safe place to stay. Not surprisingly none of them wanted to stay at a place with three children five-and-under and only a crappy futon to sleep on.
This isn’t to say that the flood hasn’t effected us. We were supposed to leave for Kelowna, B.C. yesterday for a family vacation but the highways are washed out in many places. The Mister has cancelled his vacation this week because the power to downtown is out and will be for a couple more days. That means the I.T. infrastructure is down for his company (and every other oil & gas company in the vicinity too I expect) and he will be needed to bring it back online safely. But these are all small beans compared to what other people in the city are going through and when we compare our flood to Katrina, well, there isn’t much of a comparison. We are a rich city full of resources. Calgary has a well established emergency response infrastructure in place – we need to with all the oil and gas wells in the area.
We also have a wonderful mayor in Naheed Nenshi. I’ve been getting a lot of my information off of his Twitter feed and at one point the citizens of our city were demanding he go home to have a nap.
It must be heartbreaking to have ones home wrecked but there is so much help out there and so many places for people to go if they need the help that hope has never been lost. I’ve been asking around about what I can do to help and so far the best answer is to stay home and out of the way so the first responders can do their jobs – so that is what we have been doing. I have seen photos of one of my old apartments buildings being well underwater on the first floor and I am having a hard time tearing myself away from Twitter and Facebook for constant updates.
At this point we just wait and see what happens and bask in the feeling of gratefulness that permeates our home. In a way I’m glad we hadn’t left earlier for our vacation. Even though there isn’t much I can do right now it still feels good to be here just in case my city needs me.