I was recently in Austin, TX for a conference and made a trip afterwards to visit my childhood friends still living in my home town of Galveston. We had recently reconnected via facebook and it seemed like a perfect time for a visit; the last time I had been on the island was in 2006. The first thing we did as we drove over the causeway was to go to look at my childhood home. Shockingly, it wasn’t there anymore. Hurricane Ike came to the island in September 2008 and washed it away. Google maps street view has preserved a view of it, though (photographed in December 2007). Look how small and cute it was.
It was strange to drive down the street and see that there was just a blank spot where my house had been, with just a bit of front walkway and driveway left. We stood there in the empty lot for a long time, just trying to make sense of it.
There is a sadness to the island that lingers, and I’m still processing that. There were good things to come from the visit to Texas though, especially reconnecting with a bunch of old friends. Texans are a strong lot, and I don’t think it was a mistake that the morning we left Austin and drove to Galveston I saw this sign: