Is Chaos the status Quo?

“Ever since I met you, my life has been in constant chaos”.  These are not my words reflecting on my relationship with Harvey.  Oh no, my husband uttered those words to me when I was lamenting life in its current state here in Rockport.  He didn’t say it to be mean or hurtful, just plain spoken and honest, like he is.  I’ve been called a lot of things, but not chaos.  My normal response to a comment like that is to immediately comeback with a cutting remark from my “sharp tongue”, but not this time.  I think I’m maturing ;).  I reflected on his statement a moment and then, I had to agree with him and we laughed about it.  Of course, he clarified his comment by saying that it is usually positive chaos, but chaos none-the-less.  Okay, so I have to admit some, but not all chaos I bring upon myself.  For example, when Linda and I decided to start a business in Rockport, pandemonium ensued.  We lived in Tomball.  My husband was still working in downtown Houston and Rockport was our vacation/retirement home.  We had not planned to move there until he retired, which is a several years away.  So, change of plans - we put the house in Tomball up for sale, moved some of the furnishings and personal items to a townhouse near downtown Houston and the remainder to Rockport.  All this happened in just a few months and only a short time before hurricane Harvey hit.  Granted, I had nothing to do with the hurricane, but I did move to Rockport just in time to greet Harvey.  So maybe chaos does follow me, but I like to think of it as an adventure.

Since the hurricane, we have tempered our excitement about our new business because of the turmoil here in Rockport.  We are trying to be sensitive to the heart-breaking losses of others.  Recently a neighbor asked about the progress of our building and I gave her a brief update.  She said something that stunned me; “watching your new building coming up gives us hope”.  Hope, what a powerful word for this town.  Time and again comments are made about how inspiring our new building is.  Inspiring!  That has always been our goal. 

The sunrise over Redfish Bay reminds us of one of the many reasons we are drawn to this special place.

Sunrise 2.png
Sunrise over Redfish BAy.png
IMG_4798.JPG
sunrise 5.png

A rainbow spanning the entire town of Rockport.  A sign of hope and a new beginning.  

IMG_4834.JPG

Harvey, like a bad relationship, is in our rearview mirror.  The people of Rockport and the surrounding communities, are putting the pieces back together with determination to be better than ever.  Progress is slow and painful at times.  Our home is still under repair.  Here is my office/war room.  Formerly known as the dining room.

 

War Room.jpg

This is not chaos.  I like to think of it as a unique working environment.

Bay Inspired Living’s headquarters are looking good.  Air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, roof and insulation are under way.

IMG_7072.jpg
IMG_7074.jpg
IMG_7076.jpg

The new fence is in place

IMG_7068.jpg

Luxury patio furniture MADE IN THE USA has arrived!

Plans for the outdoor space are in the works.  Linda and I have received our first order of American made, high quality and elegant outdoor furniture.  The first to arrive was Telescope Casual which is out of Granville, New York.  Telescope has been in business since 1903.  Their furniture is made from powder coated aluminum with marine grade polymer accents.  Proven durability for the harsh coastal environment.

 

Delivery 2.jpg
Delivery.jpg

It was exhausting and exciting to open the boxes and see the beautiful pieces we ordered.

Next up is Lloyed Flanders.  Manufactured in Menominee, Michigan.  They have furnished some of the Coastal Living Idea Houses as well as fine hotels and historical places with their stunning all-weather wicker furniture.

To provide a wide selection, we will carry the highly popular recycled plastic furniture from Malibu Outdoor Living.  It’s beautiful, durable and helps the environment, what’s not to love?

If you live outdoors, why not make it as luxurious as your indoor space.  You will never want to leave!

Almost all of our orders for indoor and outdoor furniture have been placed and shipments are arriving weekly.  It has been so exciting to open these boxes and unwrap the beautiful products we have chosen.  I want them all for my home!  I promise we will post pictures as soon as we can get them out and displayed in the manner they deserve.

We continue to re-purpose estate finds and search for unique homemade, local items.  We are striving to purchase as much as possible from local artisans, Texas’ artisans and home furnishings made in America.  It’s not always possible, but we will try to make it a priority.

If construction continues to go as planned, we will have our grand opening Memorial Day weekend.  That’s not official yet, but we will keep you posted.  We are so excited about the home furnishings, décor and gifts we have purchased and we can’t wait to show them everyone!  We know you will love it as much as we do.

In the meantime, chaos here, has to return to Tomball to meet a contractor about a pipe that busted during the freeze….

 Be Inspired,

Mary

Trending Now....

ASTROS ORANGE!!!!!

About three years ago I fell in love with the color orange.  It’s such a fun coastal color.  Teal is also a favorite of mine.  They are such vibrant, happy colors.  When I got on the orange kick, I purchased some orange recycled plastic outdoor furniture and then decided to paint my front door with this new found love of mine.  It wasn’t as simple as I thought.  Do you know that Sherwin Williams alone has over 50 variations of the color orange?  I decided on a color called Tango.  It was such a cheerful color and I was so excited.   We had already hired a painter who was working on our home in Rockport, so I decided to have him paint the door as well.  He had his opinion of the appropriate “orange” color.  (Whose house is this anyway?!)  I quickly dismissed his suggestion and went forward with my own idea.  Of course, I thought it was fabulous.  As it turns out, colors mean a lot to people.  They attribute it to things they love.  My daughter, a graduate of UT, obviously loves orange, specifically burnt orange.   My sons like Whataburger orange.  My husband, who graduated from OU, was okay as long as it wasn’t “UT orange”.  Then comes a visit from his family.  They are big, BIG, I’m talking HUGE, OU fans.  Their first comment was it looked like OSU orange.  Trying to be neutral and not getting anywhere near UT, I claim it’s closer to Tennessee orange.  Linda’s husband is an Aggie.  Do I even need to tell you what he thinks of orange or any variation thereof?  Geez Louise, so many opinions on one little color.  How did this color turn into a representation of college sports? I tried my best to deny that orange related to any sports team UNTIL NOW.  We have the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION ASTROS!!!!  Everything orange from here on out, no matter what the shade or name, will be Astros Orange in our shop.  Now that’s a color everyone loves.  The best team, our Houston Astros!  No arguments there.  Loving my door all over again, now it just needs that star.

IMG_3514 (1).JPG

 

Update on Rockport....the new normal, chaos

It’s been a while since I have blogged and I apologize for that.  I can’t seem to get my life stabilized.  Everyone is working so hard to return to normal.   It is hard to come to terms with the fact that it will never be the same “normal”.  There is a new “normal”.  It’s chaos now, but I am convinced Rockport will eventually be better than ever.   The love of this community, the love of the Texas coast, the love of your home, makes you persevere.  These challenges bring out the best in all of us.  We are Texans and that says it all.

According to the Mayor of Rockport, one-third of the town was destroyed.  He believes that 30-35% will probably never rebuild.  300 businesses out of 1,300 have re-opened.  The Coast Guard has removed 50 sunken vessels from the harbors.  Debris remains in front of most residences.  Fifty-three percent of the debris has been removed, totaling 1.3 million cubic yards that have been placed in the median of Highway 35.  The area has been dubbed Mount TX DOT.

collection pile 3.JPG
collection pile 1.JPG

My sons and I went to Port Aransas (Port A) to walk the beaches in search of driftwood.  For those of you who have vacationed and visited Port A, you will feel the sadness when I tell you that it has suffered as much as Rockport and much of the beach side town has been destroyed.

Both Rockport and Port A are working day and night to get their respective communities up and ready for visitors.  There is a lot of destruction, but the beauty of the Gulf Coast still remains.   Fishing is better than ever.  Those that live along the coast are aware of the possibility of a destructive hurricane and are willing to take the risk in exchange for the lifestyle.  Buildings are gone but the reasons for visiting or living in Rockport remain.  The sunrises, sunsets, the ocean waves, salt air, beaches, birds and fish, these things are what draws us to the coast.  I wake up every morning, in my chaos filled home, and walk out and watch the sunrise in awe. I am reminded the important things in life are not the things, but the people we share it with.  Together, we can re-build and recover.

Bay Inspired Living is making waves

Speaking of recovery.  Our building has made huge progress!  Thanks to our builder, Tidewater Properties, we have been able to get things rockin' and rollin'.  Check it out.

IMG_6653[4137].jpg
IMG_6639[4139].jpg

The views are still as amazing as ever!

IMG_4728.JPG

Our temporary sign was put into place.

colleg photo.jpg

Okay, I had to do this….here is a picture of Linda and I back just a few years ago at college.  Love the 80’s hair.  We haven’t changed a bit…..don’t laugh, I bet you were just as cute in the 80’s.  Granted some of you may have not even been born yet.

We are really excited to be focusing on re-building and putting together the inventory for this beautiful new home of Bay Inspired Living.  I’m sorry I can’t be more specific on what exactly we have ordered.  I don’t want to give away any of our trade secrets until we are closer to opening.   We have set into motion the delivery of so much exciting inventory.  It’s beautiful, it’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s hip, and you’re going to love it.  Stay tuned….

 Be Inspired,

Mary

Harvey, how could you?

Sattalite image of Harvey.jpg

I imagine everyone is overwhelmed with video and pictures of Harvey’s devastation.  I have not had an opportunity to share our experience in Rockport until now.  I am staying in Houston for a few days, where there is cell service, Wi-Fi, electricity and, most importantly, air conditioning!  It’s long but I have not been able to connect for over a week and I am feeling the need to share.

When Linda and I went to market in North Carolina we would visit the various retail vendors and they would always ask, “Where is Rockport, Texas?”  I don't think we will have to explain where Rockport, Texas is anymore.  As we all know, Harvey had his eye on our quaint little town and decided to start there in an effort to become one of the costliest natural disasters in America’s history.

As we watched Harvey’s approach to the Texas coast, no one believed it would land in Rockport.   These storms always move around, “it’s not going to hit us."  When the storm did not change its path and was projected to be a Category 4 storm, fear crept in.  The City of Rockport declared a mandatory evacuation.  They were sending text and voice mail messages to get out.  The phone continued to buzz that horrible weather alert signal that scared the crap out of me and I screamed for it to stop!  I tried to keep the panic feeling at bay.  We helped neighbors secure things, tied down the boat, shoved all the outdoor furniture into the house, grabbed important photos and papers and did all the things they tell you to do, but hope you never have to.  With knots in our stomach, we drove through town trying to soak everything in, getting a visual image as it looked that day.  We left Rockport and prayed for our little town and those who remained.

As we are leaving I took these 2 pictures:

Theatre Sign.JPG
framing (2).JPG

This is Bay Inspired Living’s framing going up.  We never even got a chance to send this picture out.  We were so excited to see the framing.  That was a good day.

Linda went to the hill country and I, yes, crazy me, chose Houston.  So we were glued to the TV watching from afar hoping and praying at the last minute it would change direction, but that wouldn’t be. I watched storm chasers’ live feed all through the night, desperate to know how we were doing against this massive storm.  So much anxiety, I couldn’t sleep.  After the storm all we could do was wait.  Wait until someone could get there and tell you if you still had a home.  If your friends have a home.  Heck, is there even a town left?   We waited, hoped and prayed that no one died.  When the sun rose and the news media ventured into Rockport it was unrecognizable.  I could not tell what each pile of rubble once was.  I combed the internet for anything, pictures or video desperate to see if our home survived.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I know it’s just a house, but it’s your home and you put your heart and soul into that house.  As the pictures came in from neighbors both Linda and I were so excited.  Our homes were still standing!  I never thought I would be so excited just to hear it was still there, and not a pile of wood.  Your heart goes out to those who lost everything.   Our homes can be fixed (Texas term used for repaired).  When Harvey headed back out into the Gulf, Linda headed down to Rockport, I was stranded in Houston.  Now we are talking big time anxiety.  Linda was able to call me and tell me our homes were, in fact, both still standing and didn’t look too bad!  We were one of the few fortunate ones.  I was desperate to get out of Houston, to see our home and town for myself.  Finally, the opportunity came that I could leave the area.  On the trip down, I tried to stay upbeat, prayed for strength to handle the situation, and told myself I would not cry.  No matter how much news coverage I watched, I was not prepared for what I was about to see, it was heart wrenching.  Piles and piles of debris.  Homes wiped out as well as the mom and pop restaurants, bait shops, auto repair shops, boat storage buildings and the list goes on. No home or business was left untouched.  Rockport has very few chain restaurants and mega businesses.  The heart and soul of this town is, and will always be its people.  As I drove through my neighborhood it looked more like a tornado had passed through, not a hurricane.  When I entered my home it had more damage than was visible from the outside.  The roof leaked, the doors and windows had blown open (even with the storm shutters closed) and water had come in. Sheetrock had fallen in and our boat overturned in the canal.

Overturned Boat.jpg

It’s still all okay, I can do this, I tell myself.  I took a drive through town.  It was unbelievable the amount of destruction.

Destroyed House.jpg
Welcome Sign.jpg
Lighthouse Inn.jpg

The Lighthouse Inn

Boiling Pot.jpg

The Boiling Pot, local eatery.  Yes, Brian Robison, this is, or was the Boiling Pot.

Debri.jpg

Debris everywhere.

Dry Stack.jpg

This was a four story dry stack, boat storage

Dry stack 2.jpg
Canvas Shop.jpg

A local shop that made boat canvas covers.

Not sure.jpg

Honestly, looking back at this picture, I do not remember what this once was.

Monroes.jpg

Retail Store

Bayhouse condos.jpg

Bayhouse Condominiums

Motel.jpg

Local Motel

flag shop.jpg

The flag shop.  It’s gone, but they managed to put out some flags for inspiration.

heb.jpg

Texas’ First Responders!  Kudos to HEB.  First to set up help.  I will never shop for groceries anywhere else!

Although the physical damage throughout town was visible, the emotional toll was not.  Not only have some of our friends and neighbors lost their homes but their businesses.  Most are not insured.  They struggled to make it as it was and paying for insurance was not an option.  Those small businesses employ local residence who now, not only don’t have a home they do not have a job.  It was brutal seeing this.

 As I drove through Rockport, I saw the community coming together and helping each other.  With all the high spirits around, I could not help but remain optimistic. 

volunteers.jpg
boat with message.jpg

“Nice Try Harvey!!!  We’ll Be Back!!! Sea Ya in Nov.”  was spray painted on the bottom of this boat.

I don’t even want to mention our own losses, because they seem so trivial, but this is our story.  Fortunately for us, our business was just getting off the ground so the financial loss is minimal.

fallen framing.jpg

The framing came down, as you would expect.  Palm trees snapped in half.

fences down.jpg

Fences down, arbor destroyed.

destoyed boat barn.jpg

Boat barn Bay Inspired Living used for storage.

our unit.jpg

Our unit.

I remained hopeful, although overwhelmed, through the clean out of our home. But something inside of me gave way when I saw the business property and boat barn disaster.  I went into the heap of rubble that was once our storage hoping to find something that had survived.  I kept repeating to myself this is just “stuff” it can be replaced.  But as I looked around and saw the “stuff” crushed and broken, I realized that it all represented much more to me.  It was a new beginning, rising from two difficult years.  I momentarily felt a sense of loss.  Harvey had shattered my dreams.  How could I get that excitement back with so much destruction around?  I hate to admit it but I sat down in the middle of the mangled tin and broken lumber and cried.  I called Linda, had a little pity party and we talked.  I then decided, that was enough and pulled myself together and prayed for strength.  So once again, with His blessings we will continue on.

Another sign of things moving forward.   I’m in the front yard cleaning up in 200 degree weather, looking like Harvey got a hold of me and this nice looking, freshly showered man shows up with a package.  Any other time I would have loved meeting a handsome man with a gift.  But not now!  You go Federal Express.  They were delivering packages 3 days after the storm.  It was kind of comical seeing him walk up to these wrecked homes handing out packages.  I guess they figured we might need the items.  The package I received was fabric samples from a furniture line we will be carrying.  A felt a little bubble of excitement once again.  Yes fabric samples made my day.  I believe in my heart that the things Linda and I do will bring happiness to others too.

So after doing what we could for our neighbors, Linda and I decided to re-visit the storage barn with a renewed sense of strength, feeling like survivors.

linda and salvaging.jpg

Here we are digging through the collapsed storage barn.

salvaging.jpg

ornaments.jpg

Tossed around among the crushed tin were some fragile little Christmas ornaments.  Inspiration!

We’ve decided to incorporate an “I survived Harvey” section of furniture in our store.  We will also have things made from newly discovered "Harvey" Lap and "Harvey" Wood.  Re-Re-Purposed items.  We are getting our mojo back.  As Linda said to me, “we are making lemonade."

We are continuing to help neighbors and the community get their lives back together and the schools open.  It’s a daunting task with the heat, no water and no electricity.  Much help is still needed.

I have a few people I want to give thanks to and mention. 

 Jayme and Brian Robison who called me and wanted to know what they could do for the Rockport Community.  Jayme and Brian are working on several fundraisers through their charity.  www.brianrobison96.com 

My family.  My sister Sandy and her husband Mark Yarborough who came to Rockport bringing much needed items.  They helped us move our elderly neighbors from their totally destroyed home.  Mark hooked up a generator that my sister Shelia and her husband Bill Rowe sent to me.  Thanks to my other sister, Becky Miller who helped pull everything together for us from Tomball.  My family is awesome.

Our friends, Nelda and Ruben Garcia of Providence Care Pharmacy, who personally delivered much needed medication to me on the side of the road of an overpass on Highway 35 (we had a tire blow out and were waiting for a wrecker).  Seriously, it was dangerous, they are crazy!  What great friends.

Thanks to everyone who sent emails, texts, Facebook messages and, most of all, prayers in concern and support for all of us in Texas.  You are the greatest.

We are strong, we are warriors.  We will endure and come through this together.  May God Bless Y’all and God Bless Texas.

 

Be inspired,

Mary