“I am a retired nurse and go to disaster areas. I came to Houston for high water rescues and started pulling people out of their homes in the middle of the night to keep them from drowning. I rescued 30 people and 10 animals by myself. The current didn’t bother me because my father is a retired fisherman so I know how to handle boats. Looking back, I probably should have worn a life jacket and tied myself off to the truck bumper so nothing could sweep me off my feet and carry me away. The good Lord protects stupid people.
I am married and live in Arkansas, 479 miles from here. On Friday, I drive 10 hours home and get there at 5 AM on Saturday morning, take care of business, go to church on Sunday morning and drive back here to be working on Monday. I am going on 22,000 miles. My son, Chad, graduated college in May and was looking for a job. When I went home to switch vehicles, I told him he would learn more about life here than with any bachelor’s degree. Chad and I are living in the church and sleeping on air mattresses. We have been home about three weeks since September.
I drove home for Father’s Day to surprise my husband. I realized he had started letting our chihuahua sleep with him, which is a no-no and she has gained a little weight. I got into bed about 3;30 in the morning. He was sound asleep. When he turned over and opened his eyes to look at the clock he was startled to see me there. He said ‘When the hell did you get home?’ I said, “Who the hell were you expecting? What is her name?’ He laughed and said I was lucky I didn’t get shot, but I have a gun under my side of the bed, too.
I am held together by pins, plates, and screws and can hang in with the best of them. I re-broke my arm down here. I took Aleve and put ice on it and kept working. It bothers me sometimes and I have to keep putting it back in place, but I keep going.
Neighbors helping neighbors is why I am doing this. I was a nurse for 45 years and I am going to help people in tough situations for as long as I can.”