I Think I Just Saw Noah….

As many of you know, I now live in Houston, Texas and no doubt you have heard we are now living through likely the worst episode in the city’s nearly 200 years of history. Even though we have been consuming quite a bit, it does not seem right to write about wine right now.

Instead, I thought I would offer up my assessment of our current situation.

By most accounts, we have another twenty-four hours to endure before there is even a semblance of a break in the storm that has dominated the area for close to a hundred hours thus far.

As I have mentioned on Facebook several times, we have had it far better than many. Our house, which is newly constructed (we closed on it in October), has a few leaks in the roof and a couple of windows, but otherwise it has held up well. The street, after a couple of instances of worrisome but luckily brief flooding, is handling the water well, too. Or as well as could be expected.

The back yard is also draining exceedingly well, but in my rather water-soaked brain I am worried that an inevitable saturation point is somewhere in the not too distant future and the draining system for either the street or the yard (or both) will soon wave the white flag and exclaim “no more!”

We lost power yesterday, but only for about two hours, so we have been able to monitor the storm on T.V. much like many of you. We also have the “advantage” of access to local news coverage, which seems to want to report the more tragic episodes of the storm, interviewing people who just escaped their house with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing.

[I do not know about you, but after I left all my worldly possessions behind, seeking higher ground, warmth, and dry clothes, the last thing I want to do is talk to a reporter.]

Even though we have only lived here for a little less than a year, I have ridden through many of the neighborhoods that you see in the reporting. Buffalo and White Oak Bayous both have bike paths that I frequent with regularity and I have ridden around the Addicks and Barker reservoir areas (water is now being released from both to avoid pressure on the dams) countless times.

I shudder to imagine the damage.

When the storm first hit on Friday, I have to say I was initially not all that impressed—I have weathered a few hurricanes on the East Coast and those, based mainly on the wind, seemed to be far more severe.

Yes, the key word there is “initially.”

Since Saturday afternoon (when we were able to hold an impromptu birthday party—that we had initially cancelled—for our nine year-old Sebastian), the rain has been heavy and relentless.



And the amount of rain we have received boggles the mind. Growing up in the mid-west, we rarely had large rain events, but we certainly would get some heavy snow. When I was young, my father told me that, essentially, an inch of rain is equivalent to eight inches of snow. Thus, when I heard about rainfall totals in various storms across the country, I would do the calculus to convert it into snow so I could better grasp the intensity of the storm.

I think the largest snow storm I experienced as a kid was just under two feet. In Philly we had one storm that dumped almost 30 inches on the city.

Two feet of snow is roughly three inches of rain. 30 inches of snow? Almost four inches of rain.

Here in Houston they say we are getting 50 inches of rain.


That would be four hundred inches of snow. Over thirty-three feet of snow.


All told, we are holding up fairly well. We have enough food for at least a couple more days, and heaven knows we have enough wine (quick math: at even two bottles a day, we are good until well into 2019 on that front). Everyone is more than a bit stir crazy, however, and if I play one more game of Uno or Sorry I might scream.

Both my wife and I are eager to get out and help, but there does not seem to be a shelter within walking distance of our house and driving at this point is simply not a good idea.

So here we wait.

I am sorry about the long diatribe, but I wanted to let you know that we are fine. Thank you all for your direct messages, texts, and comments on the various social media—even though I have not responded to you all individually, I have read them all and really appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Last, I want to point out once again that I might not do many things well, but I certainly seem to marry quite well. When we were trying to decide where to live in Houston, my wife, despite assurances to the contrary by our real estate agent, demanded that we live outside of any flood plain. No 100-year flood, no 500-year flood. No flood whatsoever.

So far, that seems to have been our saving grace.



About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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38 Responses to I Think I Just Saw Noah….

  1. Lisa Rosenberg-Howard says:

    Really glad to hear you are okay. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elizabeth says:

    Glad to hear that you’re doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. talkavino says:

    Glad to hear you guys are okay. And following your blog for a very long time, one thing I learned for sure is that your wife is very smart. Early on in your life, you made a wise decision, my friend.

    Hope this horrible weather is done really, really soon. It is a pain to be anywhere near the TV with all the images and thinking about all the people…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jimcaudill says:

    It’s as oddly comforting to read your compelling posts as I’m sure it is to write them. Kudos to the strength of your family and the insights of your wife. My brother moved to Houston the same time you did and is having a similar experience. Stay thirsty and most of all safe my friend. Michigan snow was never quite like this….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill Barth says:

    I’m stunned for you and your folks down there. Nature takes her upper hand freely, and I am praying for relief, peace and safety for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad to hear you are safe and well. As a comparison, where I live in Northwest WA, we average about thirty inches of rain per year. So much for that image of relentless Seattle rain. Fingers crossed that the storm passes soon

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sean Munger says:

    Good luck! Glad you’re making it through. Your wife’s great advice is something we should all take to heart in the era of worsening climate change.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kerry Forbes MacPhail says:

    I was (am) happy to see your blog come across my morning inbox. I am even happier to hear (read) you and your family are okay. I’m glad you didn’t go out on your bike to check things out. Keeping dry thoughts your way. And a giant hug to your Missus for sticking to her guns.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Winesmacker says:

    We’re following it all from a great distance and our news media are keen to show those in the direst of needs. Glad to hear that you’re upholding well and that you and your family are sound and safe and even more glad that you have enough wine to get through this. 30 inches of rain per year is average over here (and we complain that’s a lot!) so we can appreciate what you’re enduring! All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Frank says:

    Good to read your update! Let Tammy, Seba, and Nathan know were are thinking about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jeffeckles says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective of what is going on, Jeff. Our thoughts and hearts remain with you, your family, and everyone in the path of Harvey. If there are any places local to donate to in order to provide some assistance from afar, please let us know, for now it’ll be the Red Cross.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. All the best from Vienna!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. flippenblog says:

    Wives are clever that way…😆 Glad all is fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. dallaswinechick says:

    When the water drains, you know our place in Dallas is completely open for you if needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Katie Blaske says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you, Jefe. Glad you and your family are safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. barnraised says:

    Glad to hear you’re ok for now. Sending goid thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Our local news is doing a great job keeping us up to date on everything happening in Houston and coastal towns. It actually feels like we are watching Houston news. If you guys need anything please know we are here, just a quick 4 hour drive north. Really. I am so sorry this is happening to our neighbors. No matter how long you have lived here, Texans help Texans – no questions asked!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I am watching the news as I type this and am saddened and astounded at the devastation in Houston. I lived there throughout high school and college and I know this is unprecedented. I pray for the safety of you and your family and everyone in Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am glad that you were able to weather out the storm and still maintain some semblance of sanity. You deserve a well earned bottle of wine or two.

    Liked by 2 people

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