Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yo ho ho...

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~  


The middle kids and I have been working on Texas history, and finished up learning about Pirate Privateer Jean Lafitte, about the same time I needed a motivation refresher. Solution: off to Galveston, with the secondary motivator of being able to spend a little time with Max between his study sessions. 

First stop, Pier 21 historical movie on Jean Lafitte. We arrived at the top of the hour, sure, ticket lady, we'll go ahead and see The Great Storm as well. The Great Storm is a more or less a slide show with music and narrator, dramatically detailing the horrors of the great hurricane of September 1900 which wiped out Galveston and estimated six to ten thousand Americans were killed. I saw the movie many years ago with the older couple of kids. I now have one in this middle group that is very sensitive to things she reads, see and hears, and I am sure I have added hurricanes to her worry burdens. I'm thankful there aren't any storms brewing currently. 

We stopped at La Kings for a quick treat, then went to the Pirate museum off The Strand. It was a very small exhibit, and a little pricey for what was there. But the enthusiasm of our pirate guide made the experience exciting where the exhibit left off.
He started the kids with a treasure map, with the promise of trinkets from a treasure chest if complete, and it encouraged them to read every fact about the history of pirates in Galveston to complete the treasure map. Strangely some museum guests think it's fun to pry off the randomly placed letter clues so we were missing three clues, but we guessed puzzle anyway and were awarded plastic doubloons, gooey plastic eyes, Mardi Gras masks and little treasure bottles; strange assortment, but kids like free stuff!

We had time for the beach and a dip in the hotel pool before meeting Max for dinner, and a different kind of late night Ghost hunt.

Tourist town and the history lessons with a single focus sell the area short.
I would imagine that much more has happened in Galveston than hosting pirates and it has survived many as strong a hurricane thanks to the 17' seawall built following the 1900 storm. But Galveston has been scarred deeply, and never regained the pre 1900 wealth and status. There were casualties on every bit of that island. A fact that made my kids a little squeamish, the pirate museum was in the building that was a temporary morgue to thousands of victims. 

We lived in Galveston when my oldest was born, it is one of those tight knit communities - identifying natives as BOI- born on the island. I didn't make lasting friendships while there, but I fell in love with the island itself. I don't mind the flat, brown sandy beaches, (the kids always ask, "Where'a the sand?") and I love having the place all to ourselves.

When visiting, first I like to drive along the seawall, windows down, to smell the salt air, feel the breeze in my face and soak in the cries of the gulls, it all clears my head of any other thought, except: how beautiful Lord, thank you!




Lilly wants to catch seagulls, always just a half step faster.

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