Thursday, May 12, 2016

Adulting in Wylie

Photo credit: https://thatcareergirl.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/tumblr_np30ff9e2q1qhqo9xo1_500.jpg?w=620

Normally I don’t care for Wylie First Baptist Church’s politics. Not because they don’t mirror my own in most ways, but because they hurl a crap-ton of power within the city. I don’t care for the fact that their restrictive no alcohol practice affects votes on our city council. I don’t care for the fact that they took over the downtown area, making it virtually impossible for anyone to sell alcohol down there. Let’s face it, if we want the downtown to become like the next Shops at Legacy, we are going to have to face that demon like rational adults. Like adultier adults. Giving the people what they want is often better than proving to be a stranglehold on growth and maturity of a city.

The Wylie Economic Development Corp is tasked with helping grow the city and they intend to expand the downtown and make it more hip and trendy. But where upscale restaurants were quasi-promised, we get a Chick-Fil-A instead. Yippee, eat more fast food.

I cannot blame the FBC for those disappointing decisions. I cannot blame the WEDC either. I blame our city’s inability to prove we know how to adult. In fact, we missed the adulating boat completely as Rowlett wooed a massive Bayside Lagoon Resort at Lake Ray Hubbard. I cannot help but feel like Wylie really screwed the pooch on this one, when our lake sits completely untapped of all it could offer, all it could be if only we were good at adulting.
Photo credit: http://www.essex1.com/pages/paul/it-should-head.gif

That could have been us, and as much as I didn’t like former Councilman Bennie Jones’ refusal to take responsibility for his stupidity with his City of Dallas foibles, that was one of the most brilliant things we discussed during our many visits at the local yogurt shop. He was spot on with regard to building up the lake and he had a lot of good ideas. Too bad he could never materialize them. Talk about a rebirth. I've blogged about developing the lake before and it's such a shame that it hasn't been tapped as a revenue source. Such a project would have been practically biblical for Wylie.

Photo credit: City of Rowlett
People truly do not understand what Wylie is facing at the moment with the hailstorm recovery. Every street I drive down causes me to gasp and utter, “Oh my God!” Even streets I go down often as I pick up insulation foam and duct tape from the local Home Depot, cause me to shudder. There is a change in the landscape, and it's not in a good way at the moment. The tarps are getting larger, and the roof paper is blowing in the breeze. The trash piles at the curb grow, are picked up, and grow again as citizens tackle yet another job that needs mending in the renewal process. I don't think anyone can grasp the full effect without driving around town and through the neighborhoods. This wasn't like a tornado that rips through a block or three, this is the entire city!

Though I don’t care for the FBC’s power, I can’t help but like Pastor Kris Segrest. He's a small bundle of calm and patience. Though some have confided to me that he rules like an ogre, I like his positive message for the city. I like how he was part of taking lemons and making lemonade after the hail from hell. He even had a little something to do with the hashtag #rebuildWylie, and I love that. As I read his message in the Wylie News opinions column today, I know exactly where he’s coming from. 

Photo credit: Wylie First Baptist Church
Though Segrest focused on the crumbs and being at the mercy of God, I am going to take that a bit further and consider the rebirth the hail brought. As the city rebuilds, there is a renewal about us. Citizens have had to learn to trust their neighbor; trust they won’t loot their homes before boards could be put up, trust their advice on contractors and insurance, and trust that everyone will pull themselves up by their bootstraps rather than languish in a damaged house because they cannot afford to repair it. 

As a city, everyone seems to be pitching in and providing each other the emotional support that will be necessary for the long haul. They readily chat at the grocery store, they readily chat at the restaurants. The trauma is forefront on every citizen's mind, and frankly it is energy and creativity sapping. I can see why barely more than 2% came out to vote in last week's election. Just the energy it takes to even think about something that doesn't involve getting windows, a roof, fixing siding, or replacing that garage door, oh and then there's painting trim and ugh, you get the point. It is very difficult to deal with much else these days as we anticipate this rebirth will be continue clear through the summer before everything is touched. It is absolutely exhausting and to think about anything else is just an assault on our patience. Though we must look to the power of God to help explain what has happened, we also have it within us to accept what has been done and help make that lemonade alongside all the other citizens that are in this with us.

Let's just hope that with the rebirth, neighbors will continue to wave at each other as they pass on the streets, let’s hope that the city can rebuild better than what we were, and make some positive impacts that show we can adult like Rowlett and even Plano. We have been given a chance to be adultier adults, let us not waste it.