T’is the morning after Valentine’s Day
When all through the house,
No water flowed from the taps,
Not even a drop …

Thus started the week last Monday, for us on Kadin Lane, and for millions of people in Texas, when we woke up to nature’s fury, splayed in white, on our yards and rooftops, causing our pipes to freeze and elsewhere, power grids to collapse.

By 10 am, few of our neighbors had gathered outside our house and they stood alongside us, in freezing weather, helping us thaw the pipes, somebody had already whisked away our kids for a play date, someone else dropped off hairdryers and multiple invitations came from folks of the lane to use their bathrooms, for meals and really, to just come over! A couple of neighbors brought us buckets and more buckets of hot water to thaw the pipes but to no avail. Both the pipes and weather continued to be wicked and so we had to give up.

The second day, we set out with renewed vigor. Right from setting a space heater against the pipes and covering them with a blanket to create a warm environment, to more hot water therapy, we tried it all, but the pipes simply wouldn’t yield. We abandoned the whole operation and decided to wait for Mr. Sun and Mr.Plumber to fix the issue. 

When we finally got our water back on Friday, sure, there was relief, but what we felt more was a deep sense of gratitude, for all the unbridled kindness and generosity that we had experienced.

In the days that followed the freeze, our neighbors threw open their hearts and homes to us. They fed us, housed us, watched our kids, checked on us, offered their heaters, gadgets and their time to help with the pipes and above all, reassured us. And they did all this while managing their own kids, full-time jobs, guests, pets, pregnancy, you name it!  

Our friends (not neighbors), who were in quarantine for the past 11 months, set aside their inhibitions and welcomed us into their home. The virus might have robbed us of our immunity and more, but when it came to our compassion, it didn’t stand a chance. 

And just when I thought that I had seen it all, we came back home to find, four big crates of water bottles stacked outside our front door, from a neighbor that I’ve never met before, with a message that read – “dropped off some water bottles. Heard that your pipes burst just like ours. Call me if you need more”. Here was someone in distress herself and yet, she had found it in her heart, to part with, what in these times is a rare commodity (bottled water) and that too, to someone she’s never met before. What can I say, my cup runneth over!

When they say that it takes a village to raise a child, it’s not just about the child. The village got your child and your back!

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