When it rains, it pours. That’s the way it has been going in Texas this year. Poor Austin. They can’t catch a break in the Hill Country. A relentless drought plagued them for at least five years. When it finally rained, earlier this year, they got epic flooding of Houstonian proportions. We’re used to that kind of rain here. Not so much out there.
Last week my Aunt Pat and I spent a week at a beach house on the Bolivar Peninsula. Unfortunately, the queen had to remain in Houston and do the work thing. She considered driving out one day, but just couldn’t make it. Port B is about 2 hours east of Houston. You can get there by going to Galveston then taking the ferry to the peninsula, or you can drive out I-10 and head south to the Gulf.
The impetus for the trip involved getting a Golden Retriever into the water. Aunt Pat recently adopted a dog that lived on the street before being rescued. His name is Magee. Her vet claims some Goldens don’t like the water. She wanted to prove him wrong, and she wanted to go to the beach. Not a river. Not a lake. The beach. Fortunately, we do have one of those close by. It’s not the greatest coastline, but it’s the only one we have around here.
I found a lovely beach house on the Bolivar Peninsula at Crystal Beach — a very nice Gulf beach with not a refinery in sight. That’s the big problem with the Gulf Coast, oil refineries plague the coastline. They are ugly and disgusting. Very ookie. Don’t like. I didn’t take many pictures because more often that not, taking pictures gets in the way of enjoying the experience. And, sometimes memories are the best pictures. Besides, beach waves and sand and cameras and a dog? That’s a big plate of camera goulash just waiting to happen.
Tuesday afternoon, we took Magee to the beach. At first, he wasn’t sure what to make of it, but I coaxed him in. That’s when the frolicking started. He frolicked in the water, because that’s what dogs do in the water, they frolic. We took him back the next couple of days, but we also hung out on the beach Wednesday night. Needless to say, we took along some wine too. Imagine two, drunken old broads singing out of key on the beach at night. That would be us. We had a grand time but the weirdest thing happened while walking back to the cabin.
My aunt, who is 70, bless her heart, got a little winded on the short journey back to the cabin and sat down in the middle of the street. Thing about Bolivar Peninsula in October, there isn’t anyone around. It’s eerily quite. Plus, there aren’t a lot of lights, so it’s dark. Not pitch black, but the night is night. Not like in Houston where the night is kind of a mucky gray due to all the light pollution. Small subdivisions of beach houses line the coast, but in each subdivision there might be 50 houses at most, and a majority of them are vacant.
So there we were, half in the bag, laughing our asses off, her sitting in the street taking a little rest when this guy saunters up to us. Like he was out for a stroll at midnight. Where the hell he came from, who knows. He asked Aunt Pat if she was ok. Talk about a buzz kill. Amazing how quickly one can sober up when asked how you’re doing by a stranger, while sitting in the middle of the street. She said she was doing fine, told him we had a lovely time at the beach, he should have been there blah blah. He then came up to Magee, petted him under the chin and asked how he was doing. The dude didn’t ask me how I was doing. What am I? A potted plant? He didn’t say anything to me. And then he was gone. Poof, he disappeared. Seriously. I looked down at Magee, then at my Aunt, looked up, and the guy was gone. She didn’t see where he went either. Maybe he’s the ghost of Port Bolivar — a fairly well dressed ghost with a cup of coffee. And yet, it was spooky. Well dressed ghosts are still spooky. But, then again, maybe he was the harbinger of inclement weather.
The next day, my cousin texted us about bad weather afoot. Hurricane Patricia (coincidence? I’m not so sure), was about to slam into Mexico bringing heavy rain and winds our way. This was Thursday. We watched the weather channel all day, but the expected storm was at least a day away, and we were leaving Friday morning. That night, we went back to the beach, sans the drunken glow of the night before, to possibly catch a glimpse of some wild, stormy wave action. We’re daredevils like that.
The waves were definitely stronger and the tide kept ooching up to us. We hung around for about 15 minutes then headed back. On Friday we left, driving up the coast. The sea water was getting closer and closer to the road. There is no sea wall, like in Galveston. There’s the road, there’s a short beach and there’s the water. Saturday afternoon, when the storm finally hit, Bolivar Peninsula was under a voluntary evacuation.