Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Galveston Sunrise

Galveston Sunrise
9" x 12"
We were moving to Galveston, much to my delight. Had a new job, and my new mobile home was being moved there. We had the last load of things in the car and arrived at the mobile home park, only to learn that the movers just deposited it on a lot, and left. Didn't hook it up or anchor it. Just left it blowing in the breeze.
We couldn't live in it like that. They weren't coming back to set up the mobile home. And the park manager said we couldn't leave it there like that, blowing around. I finally told the people they could come and get it if I couldn't even live in it. And we looked for an apartment.
I had not found anything that I could begin to afford when it was closing time. We had a picnic on the beach for supper, and I knew that I didn't have enough money with me for a hotel room. So, I drove around while the kids slept. I was a little afraid to camp out on the beach. Not only did I not know about the tide, but I didn't know who might be out there, looking to do harm to a woman and a couple of children.
Eventually, I couldn't drive much longer, and gas was getting low. This was before the time of all night stores. I was trying to ration my last month's paycheck.
I pulled up on an area where other cars had been parked earlier . The sun would be up soon and I could resume my search. If a policeman came along, I would just move and drive some more. My route was mainly on Seawall Blvd. Back and forth. I didn't want to get lost.
My eyes closed as I watched the moonlight glistening on the water. My spirits were sinking as everything seemed to be going wrong. I had wanted to come here so badly, but nothing was working out. The waves lapped gently on the sand below where I was parked, assuring me that this was the place I should be.
The blue sky of night gave way to a soft pink glow in the east. Heavy clouds turned brown as the sun touched them. They seemed to break up and become smaller as they made way for a new day. Everything was touched with gold, except for the shadows that were a cool, deep blue.
Old posts, timbers, and rocks threw shadows on the sand. A bit of cool to soothe humans before the blistering sun of an August day in Texas broke above the horizon.
A fisherman stood, chest deep, out in the surf. A boat bounced by out in the distance. Overhead, birds began to glide in their search for food.
The golden day seemed to hold promise. I drove to a convenience store and bought breakfast for us to eat while we started our search for an apartment. Sure enough, we did find an apartment, right across from the seawall and the beach. I was tired, but I had to arrange for my furniture to be moved into the new place, and all the things that go with moving in . And it was a lovely place. It would have been even lovlier if I had had someone to share all that with, but, as it was, I just plugged on and did what I could.
I stayed busy. Things kept going wrong, but I hung in there, as they say.
When the first storm came along, I wanted to stay and watch. But, of course, the apartment managers boarded up the windows, so I couldn't see anything. I decided that I might as well evacuate, with everyone else, and I did.
It was nice to have a holiday so close to the beginning of school.
In my painting above, I showed some of the things that I would see on golden mornings on the beach in Galveston. However, I did add an airplane instead of a bird. I have heard so many times that, if you drip paint, just make a bird out of it. I have about decided that, anytime I see a bird in a picture, it is because someone had a little accident with their paint and they are just trying to fix it. So, to be different, I started adding things like an airplane or a hot air balloon instead of a bird to finish out my picture.
I guess that, after Ike, it will be a long time before we can see any scenes like this at Galveston. I've been just glued to the tv set, watching the storm and its effects, and hoping that it wouldn't come here. We all hope for the best by everyone who has been affected, all along the coast and inland, too.
While Ike's power did so much damage elsewhere, the wind was no stronger than a good Texas norther here. We had over 3 inches of rain and had some leaves all over everywhere. Communities around us lost power, but we didn't have that problem. Some schools are closed indefinitely and people are suffering without air conditioning, water, ice, food, gas, and good communications, among other things. There are shortages of things from gas to generators, ice and some food items. People are driving here from the Houston area to get gas and a meal, or a generator, or a room. Hotels are all full, and there is an Aggie game in town this weekend, where rooms have already been reserved. There is some scrambling to see how to handle that.
Counties and communites around us were not so lucky. Ike did his damage far and wide.
The pictures out of the Texas coast are just horrible. I still would like to know, "Where is the national media? " Fox, CNN, etc. covered the storm until it hit, then they were off, not to be seen again. They helped so much during Katrina. And, with mysteries and some problems, not to mention all the loss and suffering, it would seem that the good reporters would be on hand. I know, someone else assigns them. But, there were repeats of programs going on, over and over, while the coast was being almost destroyed, and no reporters.
Thankfully, local folks, and a couple of local reporters, got in there and made things happen. The media has certainly fallen down on this story.
It is going to be a long, hard journey to bring back our coast. I wish for the best for everyone and hope that they will have all the help that they need.
Local news has had some coverage, but not nearly enough. I'm sure that the evacuees who have come to this area and can't get news of their homes and families, are even more upset over the lack of news.
We only get one Houston tv station, and that is Channel 13, KTRK. Usually, the cable company cuts them off in favor of a station from Waco, that is supposed to be Bryan. This time, however, they kept them on, 24/7 and their coverage was excellent. They asked the hard questions, went in where no one else seemed to want to go, and were there for the viewers. Just now, on Wednesday, they are staring to go off and have regular programming. Personally, I think it is too soon, with so many people still displaced and suffering. But, I guess they have to make some money.
Fearing that I would lose the only station that was giving news, I looked at their website. Sure enough, they have live streaming and even a message board where people can look for family and friends, and ask questions. I started watching on my computer, as long as they were on. I even sent them a Thank You e-mail for the good job they were doing.
For those people who are still displaced and may not have Houston area news on your tv, here is some of what I found.
KTRK tv Houston Live Streaming news and a message board
KPRC tv Houston Live Streaming and excellent videos that give walking and air tours
KHOU tv Houston message board
KBTX tv Bryan/College Station
KBTX is having a food drive today, to benefit victims who are in this area. They will be open until 10 p.m. at the Brazos Center, taking donations of money and nonperishable food items that don't require a can opener. So many do not have electricty and do not have manual can openers.
Good luck to everyone! I hope that Galveston can be restored, even to the fishing piers and attractions over the water. It could have been so much worse, if that sea wall had not been there, and if the storm had come in at a little different place. I know that is little comfort to those who have lost homes, businesses, and loved ones.
And I hope that those who are trying to get some information can find it and gain a little peace of mind, and will be able to soon go on with their lives.

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