Happy, Hippy, Hillbillies

Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”

At this writing, I watch the still unfolding news of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in Houston and all along the Texas Gulf Coast.  This area has a special place in my heart. For years, my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandmother, and for a time, my mother lived near Houston and Galveston.  I’ve spent many days and nights in my childhood and adult years enjoying the hospitality of my mother’s family down there.

Let me explain a bit about these folks. First, there is Pat, my mother’s younger sister, and her husband Don. These are true salt-of-the-earth people.  It’s important to understand that we do not agree on politics or theology.  We have enjoyed many a spirited debate, relaxing by the fish pond, watching the koi do their fish, thing.  Our favorite family description of their disposition is happy, hippy, hillbillies. We share a love of music, literature, and all things motorcycle. We all know that we will disagree and keep right on loving the stuffing out of each other.  Pat will greet you with a hug and a kiss, and Don will hand you a beverage of your choice, and tell his newest story.  These folks are so laid back, they were late to their own wedding! Eventually, Uncle Glenn got them hitched, and they headed off to their honeymoon in their VW van.

VW Van

Eddie, my mother’s youngest brother, is only two years older than I am. Therefore, we grew up more like brothers than uncle and nephew.  He spent many hours trying to teach me to surf, but the skill still eludes me.  I love to fish, but I only actually catch fish when I am with him.  We had many adventures in our youthful years, most of which will go unmentioned here. Patty, Eddie’s wife, has served as a tempering force in our escapades.  (Yes, Eddie’s sister is Pat. Eddie’s wife is Patty.  My cousin, Chelsea, was briefly married to a fellow named Ed – not a happy ending – and is now with her true soul-mate, Glen. We often have to clarify Pat or Pattie, Ed or Eddie, and which Glen.)  In the annual Reece Reunion campout, we can always count on Pat, Don, and Eddie to devise some “hillbilly” technology that is far superior to traditional boats, beds, campers, etc.

Pat taught English and drama for 30 years at Bishop O’Connell High School in Galveston. Although his true love was working as a longshoreman, when work on the ship docks played out due to mechanization, Don taught math for over 20 years at Houston Baptist University.  Countless lives were touched by their work.

We have learned that Eddie, Patty, and their daughter and son-in-law, Leah and Josh, as well as their other daughter, Missy and her friend Amber, are all safe and homes relatively intact.  Pat and Don’s daughters, Chelsea and Carolee, along with their families, are also doing ok.  My aunt and uncle, however, have lost all.  Their home is totally flooded, car and camp trailer destroyed, and essentially homeless.  These are folks who would literally (and have frequently) literally given the shirt off their back for someone in need.  If you don’t mind, join me in a prayer for my Coastal Kin. In addition, if you would like to do something tangible, you can click the link for instructions.


Pat Don

Published in: on August 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Whenever I get confused about all these people, I’ll know where to go to get untangled. Many prayers for Pat and Don and all the others who are suffering in ways I can’t come close to imagining.

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