A very dear friend of mine is going to collaborate with me on the development of his site, www.southpadreskycam.com. This is where I plan to have my features and articles showcased. This will still be a place to come for inspiration, encouragement and hope. I am doing the best that I can to write about this beautiful area and attract more winter visitors but if I could centralize my work here and then have people come to it, it would be better for all involved. My friend is going to enlighten me with the technical aspect of it soon so that those looking for a place to go will have a taste of what it is like down here in the Rio Grande Valley. I will be shown how to put pictures into my work as well so that readers can see how incredibly beautiful it is down here. This is a great blog and will be a source for all to use to get the inside info on this balmy tropical paradise. This would be a great place for people in Florida and other generally “tourist” areas to come to to help them decide that this area of South Texas is the place to be.
Now that it has been a week since Hurricane Ike has come and gone, I am grateful that it bypassed us but sad that it did cause so much destruction to people in Galveston, Texas. It was as scary as Katrina in that people had to find out whether family and friends survived or not. That area of Texas will now be dealing with hurricane-related things as we, Louisiana and Florida residents did this year as well. I hope many Florida residents choose to become Winter Texans and come visit our neck of the woods. It is gorgeous, warm, virtually no crime compared to other places and the people are genuinely friendly and helpful here.
Dealing with FEMA and having your claim rejected, being without power for weeks at a time, having lost all or most of your possessions are things that many people in these storms’ wakes now have in common. One popular thread in the forum I like to go to was even about “Things You Learned From Dolly.” I learned to clean EVERYTHING out from the fridge before you leave because you WILL lose power and you WILL come back to a stinky mess of a freezer and/or fridge. I learned to get the phone number of a neighbor who can tell you the status of your house while you are gone. Now, in the aftermath of Ike, there is not much people can do but wait for their FEMA claim denial letter and work with that. Good luck.
South Padre Island was spared Ike’s wrath and the beaches are open, business ready and waiting for visitors and fishing is good. Black and red drum trips are soon going to be offered by the local fisherman.
Florida Keys officials closed schools, opened shelters and urged visitors to leave as Tropical Storm Fay threatened to strengthen into a hurricane Sunday, but residents and tourists seemed in no hurry to evacuate. We just got our dose of rain and floodwaters down here in South Texas. I hope and pray that Miss Fay stays at tropical storm level and does not increase to hurricane level. We are still dealing with the aftermath that Miss Dolly left us down here in the South Padre Island area of Texas. The devastation was not as bad as it could have been but for some people who were not financially prepared for the mess Dolly created, it was bad enough. FEMA just set up shop this weekend on the island and is still helping people deal with Miss Dolly’s damage. At least now I know firsthand what Florida is going to be like for the next few weeks: crowded with huge trailers and trucks that were just here. Even in destruction, there is rebirth; the construction, contractors, glass, roofing, and air-conditioning businesses will all experience a boom in business. Insurance adjusters will swoop down into the area. Housekeeping and cleanup crews will find lots of work as well. The restaurants and hotels that service these workers will also see business come their way. Even in destruction there is construction. That is the beauty of life, that in even in death, there is birth. The end of something almost always signals a beginning of something else. How many of us did not want to see something end or were saddened by it only to find out it meant the birth of something else? How many of us did not see that everything is part of a cycle, a master plan and that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord”? You may not see it or feel it but sometimes horrible tempests in our lives had to occur for a new beginning, perhaps the birth of a new you or of a new chapter in your life. I hope that whatever happens in Florida that it is more of a rebirth and an economic surge than anything detrimental and that no injuries or deaths occur during their upcoming trial.