Friday, September 19, 2008

Hot Night At Toot's

Hot Night at Toot's
8.5" x 11"
pencil
Public Service Announcement:
Click on the picture of the Bolivar Lighthouse in my sidebar, at the top of the page, and that will take you to the KTRK tv website.
I've been watching this station a lot since Hurricane Ike headed our way. It seemed to be about the only station with 24/7 complete coverage. And, I discovered that they have live streaming broadcasts that you can watch on the computer, even if you are not in their broadcast area. That should help those who are displaced, and those who are interested and concerned.
Under the lighthouse photo, I have listed some places where you can get Hurricane Ike news.
These are the tv stations that I have been watching. KPRC has some excellent videos, touring the area, and sometimes they, too, have live streaming broadcasts that you can watch on your computer.
KHOU has a message board and pictures, but I haven't found that they have live streaming broadcasts.
KBTX is our local station and they have been giving more coverage than the national news.
I also put a link to the Galveston County Daily News. They are publishing from Texas City, apparently. Their building in Galveston was damaged, but they are getting the paper out still.
Check out Virgina Vaughan's blog for some of her Galveston area paintings. You can find the link under Artists and Authors in my sidebar.
With so many people without power, all over this part of Texas, I decided to show a drawing that I did a few weeks ago when our air conditioner went out. It was a long few days before they could come replace it. We felt like we were going to expire before the new unit arrived!
I remember how it was before we ever had air conditioning. Even fans were rare when I was growing up.
The pencil drawing above, shows one hot night when I was spending the night across the street from my house, with my great-aunt, "Toot". That isn't her real name, of course. It's what we called her. Her husband was known as "Honey".
"My" bedroom at Toot's was the guest bedroom on the back of the house, northeast corner. Toot loved her home and her yard and worked very hard on both. She was very proud of the Magnolia trees that she planted in her yard, along with her roses, ferns, and other plants. There was a young Magnolia tree outside "my" bedroom windows on the east side. (It was my bedroom when I visited. Otherwise, it was the guest bedroom.)
Toot had redecorated this room and had a small closet added in one corner. There was a french door between the bedrooms and there was a window shade that covered the glass in the door for privacy.
The bed, dresser, and chest appeared to be around 1920s or earlier furniture. She married in 1913, so, perhaps, they had come with the house. In remodeling, Toot had someone cut off the bottoms of the legs on the bed to lower it. She thought that the tall bed was too old-fashioned. I have the dresser and bench, chest of drawers, and the headboard of the bed.
Moonlight appeared as blue and silver on the leaves of the tree, the hedge surrounding the back part of the yard, and the empty lot and street between her house and the school.
I tossed and turned in bed on hot nights, listening to the clanging of the chain as it hit the flag pole and echoed from the school, and the chatter of nightbirds, crumpled my pillow and looked out the window toward the school, hoping for a tiny breeze, or for the dawn to hurry and arrive. It seemed to be a little cooler with the morning dew. And, it would be time to get out of bed, move around, and head for school or a shady place to play.
Honey wore one piece summer underwear in the summer, long underwear in cooler weather. He got up at 4 a.m. every morning to get produce for his grocery store. And Toot would get up at that time, too, and make breakfast for them. As Toot would make the beds, she seemed a bit dismayed that Honey's pillow and sheets would be soaked with sweat each morning. She didn't say anything about my rumpled and slightly damp linens and pillow, or my soaking wet hair. Of course, she was a lady, so she didn't sweat. That wasn't considered lady like. Ladies might "glow", but that was it. No sweating allowed, no matter what happened.
The old houses were built with 12 or 14 foot ceilings and the doors had transoms over them to allow more air into the room. Windows were placed so that there was cross ventilation. It didn't help a lot when there was no breeze.
A lot of people still used kerosene lamps back then. Especially if they lived outside the city limits.
Now, we can't take it if we are without our air conditioning, our electric lights, tv and electronics, even for a short while. Many who have lost power due to Ike, are having to adapt to life in Texas without power. And many are having to adjust to life in strange places, and without a home or belongings. It may be a long time before all the power is restored. At least the temperatures have been a bit lower, with a little breeze from the north.
Good luck to everyone on the coast. This is so devastating and unbelievable. There has been so much confusion and chaos. Not quite as bad as Katrina, but still terrible for those who have to endure this tragedy.
And, still, there is little coverage from the national news stations.
Hopefully, the links will be of use to you in learning more about the storm and what is going on, no matter where you are.
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1 comment:

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