We see a lot of bravery every day.

Firefighters who run into a blaze, instead of away from it, trying to save people and their belongings.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw bravery exhibited everywhere. I remember sitting in front of the TV for hours, watching heroes sweep people up in their trusty little boats and get them to higher ground, never even considering they were risking their own lives in all that water.

Brave people usually don’t think they are heroes, but they are. One by one, they say, “I was just doing my job.” But some of those jobs are just unbelievably dangerous.

Some of us put the heroes in danger unnecessarily, and that’s bad. But they do their jobs anyway.

I was reminded of true bravery last weekend, because my No. 2 Son drove us to a birthday party in La Grange through the middle of Houston.

To me, that has gotten to be the bravest thing anyone can do. And yet some people, working at jobs in the big city and living in houses out here in the ‘burbs, do it every day.

They are always subject to being hurt, or killed, in a terrible wreck. All the other people on the road are at least partially crazy.

But the terrors they face are not really of the accident variety. They are just the sheer numbers of cars on the road and the complete jumble of highways, overpasses, underpasses, feeder roads, alternate routes — horror after horror.

I don’t know how they survive. If they don’t get physically exhausted, they must at least be mentally unwound.

My son, who blessedly got us through, admitted when we finally arrived in the comparative safety of Texas City, that he had been a nervous wreck.

Well, amen to that!

I think, had I been driving, I would have just been tempted to throw up my hands and say, “I quit.”

The problem with that is there’s no place to go to throw in the towel and give up. If you’re on those freeways through the city, there are no shoulders.

No shoulders to cry on.

I told my son how proud I was of him. I assured him he was a true hero. I thought about also assuring him he would never have to make that trip again.

But I couldn’t make that promise. We probably won’t have access to a helicopter in the near future.

It looks like that route that circles the city isn’t going to get built.

And the trip on state Highway 6 takes too long because of the stop signs everywhere.

One thing we will never do is die of thirst. My children and every other younger person I know have a water bottle everywhere they go. It’s a thing.

Incidentally, if you want to get brave and go, the land around La Grange is a beautiful sight to see.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

(2) comments

Karen Alberstadt

Hilarious! And I couldn't agree more. I moved to Galveston from Houston 14 months ago. Now when I go back I can't believe I lived there for 35 years! I'll stay in the small towns from now on, thank you very much.

Charles Douglas

In a few more years League City will push Houston a little, probably will not overtake them, but things are getting bad up there. I guess that is one of the prices of growth which must be paid.

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