Our home is on the East end of Bolivar Peninsula which is just across the ferry and to the East of Galveston, TX. Our house is about 3/4 mile from the water, on a salt dome and is 28 feet above sea level.
High Island is a small town about one mile in diameter due to the dome and surrounded by the remains of a productive oilfield which now hosts a few working rigs and some new ones being drilled as I speak.
The town has all of the features of a dying oil town, big K-12 school with a declining tax base, no new construction seen in the future and miles from any real services other than water and electric. We are here because the school provided our children with as close to "one on one" instruction as you can get in this country. Graduating classes range from 10 to 20 each year. The teachers are are excellent and the program just works for the kids.
Back to the beach. The Bolivar Peninsula is 33 miles long from the ferry to High Island and due to hurricane Ike, which I have been whining about since last September, has changed for the worse. Hundreds if not thousands of homes just washed away and/or were deemed unable to repair for various reasons. Most businesses are gone..and I mean "gone" in the pure sense of the word. There are 125 large FEMA trailers in High Island on school property housing some of the families who have no place to rebuild or no money to rebuild with. Many of these are our friends and neighbors.
As usual, I drove a few miles down the beach today and as usual I got depressed and came back home. All I have good to say is that the beach is still there. People are making an attempt to normalize things but I don't think it is working. Yes, there are positive aspects of the recovery and I praise those who have rebounded. The "Big Store" is open and houses our bank which also washed away. There are about five places to eat some of which you can actually sit down in air conditioned comfort to dine. A couple of stores have opened and Pat's Tire and Automotive is back in operation, smaller but back none the less providing quality services to the community.
The destruction is cleaned up a bit but large gaps in places where homes and businesses once stood, where we visited, played and prayed....are gone. Don't get me wrong...things will progress but not like they were and surely not in my lifetime.
My feelings can be explained as the feeling one gets when returning home from a funeral. The emptiness, sadness and grief are beside you, tugging on your shirt and everywhere you look, everything you think reminds you of that which is gone. Only photos and memories remain.
There are no photos of the beach today. I felt it a dishonor to capture scenes of what was not.
Thanks for listening....I feel better now.