Those of you who don’t live in Houston (you lucky dogs) have probably been seeing the visions of destruction left over from Ike’s rampage through the city. The few of us in Houston lucky enough to have power have been seeing them too. Kind of feels like a kick below the belt.

But this is a tough old city. I’m not from Houston originally but have lived here, on and off, for 13 years. And I’m very proud of my adopted hometown.

I was proud of us in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which dealt New Orleans such a crushing blow. Our city fathers opened the Astrodome and the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as countless other places, to house Katrina refugees. Our local hotels put them up, in many cases for as long as a year. Local churches and civic organizations did everything they could to make these people feel welcome. It must have worked, because many of them stayed.

Now it’s time to take care of ourselves, and again not only the city fathers but regular Houstonians have risen above the call of duty. I’ve seen images of thousands of utility trucks from all over the continent being staged at the race track, ready to help with the monumental task of clearing out the fallen trees and restoring power. I’ve seen images of extension cords snaking across streets from those on the one side who have power to those on the other side who don’t.

And what I’ve seen first-hand is the general upbeat spirit of this city, whether it’s in a line at a gas pump or a line at one of the few restaurants that managed to open the day after the storm. Everybody is in a good mood despite not having air conditioning or sometimes even ice and water.

Every day a few more businesses reopen, a few more neighborhoods get power. There are no longer lines at the gas stations. Hopefully soon there will no longer be lines at the points of distribution because nobody will need any back-up supplies. We’re not there yet. But I have no doubt that this amazing city will rebound and be stronger than ever. We’re just like that.