Island Life. Beach Life.

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I am on to some new travels away from the island but my heart will remain for sure. I will be back and I will always love Galveston Island. The place I made my first sand castle, first learned to swim, my first sting by a jellyfish, and the place I came back to as an adult. I have lived here for six years now and have planted my feet firmly in the sand since I was a tiny little sea urchin. I plan that I will spend many of my older days here and perhaps even settle to rest eventually.
Until then, I will share my island life and it’s many amazing moments.

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Island Living. The Beach In Spring.

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I am on to some new travels away from the island but my heart will remain for sure. I will be back and I will always love Galveston Island. The place I made my first sand castle, first learned to swim, my first sting by a jellyfish, and the place I came back to as an adult. I have lived here for six years now and have planted my feet firmly in the sand since I was a tiny little sea urchin. I plan that I will spend many of my older days here and perhaps even settle to rest eventually.
Until then, I will share my island life and it’s many amazing moments.

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Walk the Walk…Artwalk that is.

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This is an old blog post from a little Island Blog I did for awhile. It’s a good one that shows a little bit about the #Art world of Galveston and a little bit about my life at one point.

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Art on our island this past weekend was fantastic!

This past weekend, March 9th, was Galveston Island Artwalk, held every 6-8 weeks ( schedule can be found on Galveston.com ) . The week leading up to it I myself was helping Becky Major prepare the Artspace’s Galveston location , National Artist Lofts Gallery at Market St. and 23rd.  They held a benefit show of photography from the travels of Christopher Jones , benefiting Project Kajsiab Laos Trisha Thompson Adams (tinyartshop) , Elizabeth Punches,Frank Lankford, John Debris, Tom Clark and Matt Mejia Music also kept the crowd entertained.

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JImageElizabeth Punches ” Galveston Mermaids”

ImageObserving art of Christopher Jones. at The National Artist Lofts.

My Art walking didn’t get to visit nearly half of the galleries and shows but I did stop by Elizabeth Punches location. I advice you to see  The  kabuki Painting…

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Island Living. A different view.

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I am on to some new travels away from the island but my heart will remain for sure. I will be back and I will always love Galveston Island. The place I made my first sand castle, first learned to swim, my first sting by a jellyfish, and the place I came back to as an adult. I lived there for six years and planted my feet firmly in the sand since I was a tiny little sea urchin. I plan that I will spend many of my older days there and perhaps even settle to rest eventually.
Until then, I will share my island life and it’s many amazing moments.

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WIP: Release 2. Behind The White Gate: A Novel: I can’t Control The Rain.

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Makeup streaked down my face, tears hidden by the pouring rain and hair drenched as I sloshed through the knee deep street’s trying to get…

Home.

It is said that no one comes here who isn’t running from something. But I had spent my entire adult life running from here.

A Bump. Just a bump. I kept telling myself. Not a roadblock. I can’t control the rain. The streets purely flooded around me and hard hitting rain drove straight into my eye’s like nails as I walked from the bus station. This was how it was here. Houses built up high just for this reason. The rains came hard and swift bringing along rushes of floods. Most often gone so fast that some never knew they’d existed.

All while freezing cold this January day. Not wearing rain boots after spending sixteen years in mostly rainless Southern California. Coming back to Galveston Island I was being met with what seemed a storm ready to wash the island away into the Gulf just as I decided to return.

It was a sign.

It wasn’t a sign. Shaking my head I immediatly tried to push my creeping negative thoughts back. Sadly trying to convince myself. I wanted to turn and run like I had then. But I now ran from where I’d run to, before.

Just a bump. Not a road block. I can’t control the rain.

I reapeated this mantra again and again just to get me through the three mile walk. My new shoes soaked, my slacks and light sweater hanging on my wet frame. The wind so fierce I gave up on the umbrella when it pulled and tore inside out and long ago ripped from my hands. A cold had wrapped the island and my hand froze around the handle of my suitcase. Almost two weeks ago so similar….this coldness. That coldness had come from within though. This coldness from the weather and the God’s.

God hated me…I was being punished. I believed this even as I didn’t believe in God. I couldn’t shake the negative feeling. I couldn’t imagine positive in my life again at all at this moment. Or had I for the past two weeks.

It’s ok, It’s ok, It’s ok….Oh God I can’t even see! My thoughts screamed louder inside my head than the rain pounding on the outside. Mascara and sharp rain blinding me, I plunge into the the next deep pool. Sloshing crossways through another intersection that cars couldn’t even drive through, water reaching past my knee’s.

I stopped and looked up when I reached the statue that pointed me home. A feminin figure long ingrained into my memory. Her hand held aloft, finger pointing, directing everyone and all lost souls that come to the island. As a child I’d been fascinated by this womanly form, headvine crowned. I’d always felt she’d held her share of secret’s.

People think of men as being leaders, who to follow instruction by, but really we often follow the female in lead. Even in the wild mustang bands of horses, the stallion follows, the lead mare leads, chooses the path.

I had chosen my paths.

Now I stand there, stopped, in the middle of the torrential street, The island is drowning…I am drowning…

Car Free on Galveston Island, Texas.

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Living Car Free on Galveston Island for six years has had its up’s and down’s.

The biggest down side for me has been that I am a Down Town gal and the grocery store’s are two-three miles ether way of me. Now sometimes a bike ride down the Seawall on a summer evening and seeing the sunset is a real treat. Even walks on the beach that take me there will have me there before I know it, lost in thought (the coming home not as great.)

And other thing is that everything on the island is about double to triple the price off island. And we don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Food’s option, Krogers is the best I get.

On Sundays there is a small Farmers Market in walking distance real close as well as SunFlower Bakery to get my bread and Katie’s Seafood to get my fresh fish and Macio’s spice is a good place for pre-made sauce, spices and pasta’s as well as a few choices in cheese and good picnic and lunch items. They also have chickpea’s and the best coconut milk.

And Mod Coffeeshop for any coffee, including beans or ground coffee to take home. I can’t leave out the newer Hey Mikey’s Icecream to bring home fresh island made icecream that won’t be melted by the time I bike ride or walk all the way home.

This is how I often try and do my shopping, though it hasn’t always fit my time table and budget to allow for. So factoring in many things can really change how one shops much more than just car-free.

However, being car-free and living down town has also been a part of my way of life…in shopping local. The library is also in walking distance as is the Galveston bookshop, two stage theaters and any live music venue’s.

The island is also about 7 miles between point to point of where you might actually need to go (longer in some cases of where you live) and about 1-2 miles wide depending on the part you are on.

So Down Town is where I live and many shops, clothing, and restaurants plus entertainment (even free) right there. The beach is one mile away…if standing in the middle of the street you can see it (well, for us, you can see the ride of the Seawall where the beach is.) And the other way is a nice sunset walk area also with restaurants at the Galveston Harbor.

A good early morning entertainment is to watch the cruise shops come in and turn…seriously insane. And I can see them from my loft.

Needing to bring big bulk items home is the toughest but again I will often do two big stock up’s (toilet paper, any shampoos ad bathroom supples and cleaning products, caned goods and pantry items) a year and this allows my grocery trips to be about produce, milk, eggs, cheese for the most part. Weirdly…it’s not expensive and makes a huge savings to shop like this as well.

I have spent a year living outside of Down Town and farther off and all this caused was a slight bike ride into Down Town, not a problem at all. Two miles on bike is only a few minutes.

Sometimes getting around car-free on the island is easier than with a car…during events which we have like…a million a year, and many roads get blocked off as well as so many cars that the fire department has had to shut the island causeway down for capacity limits (Bike Rally) and really we have a lot of weird stop sign area’s that is hard to see at in a car to know if it’s safe to go.

And during things like Biker Rally or Mardi Gras it’s impossible to drive anyway. And tourists never get our one-ways.

I never have to pay or worry about what the pay options are for Down Town or Seawall parking and I never “Can’t find” a parking space on the Seawall, Down Town, or on a trip to The Spot.

We do have a bus, and though it’s not the greatest…it works for some cases when on a hot or bad weather day I might need to get farther and do’t wish to bike it. And if needed nothing is very far so TaxiCabs only cost so much. Which when you aren’t paying car payments, insurance, gas, can’t be beat. Off island trips to a mall and Houston are what I crave to be able to do car-free. Hopefully one day a train will  be available.

WIP: Release 1. Behind The White Gate. A Novel. Where does it come from?

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The inspiration of anything I write comes from different sources. Sometimes it’s an item that simply catches my eye and intrigue’s me. Sometimes it’s something that grows on me and forms like a grain of sand into a pearl. Sometimes I work very hard to find it. Behind The White Gate was a story that formed from a mixture of things. Life changes and happenings. My relationship with female friends in my life. My relationship with my mother. My relationship with my sisters. Being able to admit that I had been in an abusive marriage, only years after it had ended. Being surrounded by mental illness and awaking to much understanding of it, findng it in different places in my life, different people connected to me in different ways. Finding my way and my choices as a woman in a different chapter of her life, mistakes and all of time lived. Misunderstanding. This novel is fiction but there is much real emotion put into it. Every day I walked past a white gate and wondered of the history behind it. Not the architecture, but the conversations, laughter, tears and family secrets that the gate, and those gates in our own lives, held firmly behind it a hundred years worth gathered.

Car Free Life.

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In my own experience of NYC, Houston, Galveston Island, and Burbank/Cerritos/Los Angeles not to mention just fun travels which include Europe there have rarely been times that I NEED a car and have been many times when the best way to be was car-free.

It’s a topic to talk about.

Many places are making big changes.

Because everybody is doing it.

Because it’s the future.

The small & The Big.

Eve oil boom towns are doing it.

It’s not just you.

Postoffice West

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This heat and working on another piece reminded me of a summer walk on exactly this road in Galveston. Anybody who knows what I’m talking about, knows what I am talking about. Usually people don’t walk this stretch, it runs through supposed gang and self stated ‘ghetto’ territory to get from down town to the abandoned train cars. It’s a rout us locals with camera and seeking poetic or song writing inspiration take….we explore the abandoned brewery along the way, we sit on the empty 1940’s train cars. But I’ve ridden my bike a few times before and one day I walked it (and was picked up by a Police Officer on the way back to give me a ride to safer places with plenty of warnings about the area, thinking that I was a tourist, camera in hand.) I wish I was there right now with my camera. In my mind are particular angles I have that I have yet to capture…but that is also Galveston…walk by the same place a million times and suddenly see it differently. This, however, is exactly what that walk on the July day in 2015 was like and now July 2016 that I remember. #Nostalgia #Writing #TexasSummer #TexasHeat #Galveston #Heat #Summer #SummerHeat #Itsfuckinghot #allmywritingtodayhasbeenabouttheheat

Postoffice West

It’s summer time.
It’s Summer time in Texas.
It’s Summer time on an island in Texas, and we are nowhere near a location we feel is the beach.
Slap on the side of your neck the mosquitos sharp sting.

Close your eyes.
Feel the heat rising off the pavement you are walking on. Hear the quiet sound…only the slap slap of your feet step on the ground.
Smell the smells carry from the field to your right. The little yellow flowers that grow with the round black button inside.
Smell the BBQ coming from your left, those houses over there. They need paint, you can tell they were once white. The porches sag. There are people and little kids everywhere, playing in the dusty yards, men standing over charcoal grills, woman sitting staying shaded on big porch swings. In a blink you see this heat is playing tricks on you. The houses and yard stand empty. But you still smell the bbq. Along with the field, the sweat, a smell of tired heat.

Close your eyes again and smell. Listen.
Hear the glass that crunches under your feet, the toe of your shoe sends a bottle skittering. Crickets or some bug or another like them from the fields of flowers, dozens…no hundreds.
Wave the bugs you can feel but can’t see from your face.
The sweat dripping from your scalp.

Open your eyes, see the heat shimmering. Over the empty back long ago once paved street, from the cracks weeds creep.
Shimmering heat waves rising from the train tracks you’ve come to. Old, and unused since probably before your even daddy’s time.
Notice the birds don’t come here, the crickets song has stopped.

It’s summer time.
It’s Summer time in Texas.
It’s Summer time on an island in Texas and we are nowhere near a location we feel is the beach.
Slap on the side of your neck the mosquitos sharp sting.

Galveston Island. Have you ever driven Harborside?

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Even though I am leaving Galveston, I am not leaving it behind. This island tells me too many stories.

Some of those stories are sunsets on the beach, flowers and gardens in the Spring. Coffee and antique shops. But many of the stories come from the roads, the back side, the uglier side and the industrial side this island has to offer.

Sometimes one has to go beyond the tourists attractions. Go behind the curtains, to see the magic, the beauty.

And there is much…so very much of that that the island has to offer.

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