DUNGOG, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 22: Sonia Sharrock rescues her horses from flood water on April 22, 2015 near Dungog, Australia. Three people have died and more than 200,000 are still without power as cyclonic winds and rains continue to lash the Sydney, Hunter Valley and Central Coast regions of New South Wales. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)

As the rains pour down here in Louisville, Ky, and we await for a short break in the precipitation so that we can begin our trek down to Kentucky Lake for the holiday weekend, I can’t help but think of the people along the Texas shoreline and the city of Houston, both of whom have been wrecked by the havoc of Hurricane Harvey.

The images are still so vivid.

People being rescued from their homes by volunteers going door-to-door in boats and other floatation devices.

Dogs and other pets being transported to higher ground.

And, the pictures of horses being led through waist high waters to safety.

At a time when it appears we have become a nation divided by politics, ideology, and deeply rooted values to such a degree that we now have little regard for compromise and no room for forgiveness, it is so good to see people — of all colors, religions and convictions — lending a helping hand and a dry shoulder.

At a time when it appears that we have become a people that are easily led by pretenders — not leaders — who are fueled by hate and harsh words rather than civility, it is beautiful to watch total strangers become complete friends.

At a time when it appears that Washington, D.C. has drifted even deeper into a cesspool of belligerent behavior, and crass name calling, it is rewarding to know that people can still be people of heart and soul.

My good friend, and horse partner, Tina Halpain, owns a home in Rockport, Tx. I have never been there, but I have seen the pictures of her home.  They are amazingly scenic and capture the beauty of both my friend and the shoreline. Gorgeous, yet open to all.

But when I contacted Tina this week, via text message, she captured the same spirit of those survivors and sustainers.  When I wrote this, “Hope you are ok…thoughts and prayers” on Sunday, Tina typed back, “Just got word my house has minor damage. God is so good.”


I think I probably would have been cursing and saying, “Why me, Lord? What did I ever do?”

But it goes on.

When I wrote, “We have been so worried! If you need anything at all…,” Tina immediately wrote back, “Just your love and prayers for all of us.”

I have never met a more generous, giving, loving soul that Tina Halpain.  Anything she has, she would give to you willingly.  Everything she does, she does it enthusiastically.  She is all in, always. In the best of times. Even more so in the worst of times.

There is no doubt in my mind that she has been taking food, clothes and other essential goods to others. There is no doubt, whatsoever, that she has been calling friends and checking on their homes and well being. There is no doubt, that she is exactly the same kind of person we have been watching on TV — caring for others.

It’s just too bad that it takes something so awful to bring out the beauty in some, or recognize the beauty in others. But it is in times like these that we know that despite all the rhetoric; the hatred; and the intolerance of others, there are still people that give; care; and love.

They are the ones that lift us up on higher ground. They are the ones that make America great again.  They are the ones that don’t have to say it or get a hat made in China with the slogan scribbled on the front of it.

They are the ones that wear it on their sleeves and wear it in their souls. They are the ones that make a difference in our lives and in our country.  They are the ones.