Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More from Texas

Today I will share with you more from our 'interesting' visit to Texas. First, since some of you asked, I will show you some photos of my son's beautiful home in Seabrook, TX. This son (age 39) is in the home-building business ---and with the help of his company, Mark built their new home. They moved in a little over a year ago and the home is truly a dream-come-true for them. Above is a picture of their swimming pool which takes up most of the back yard. See the little round pool in the middle??? That is a hot-tub---which George and I always enjoy!!!! Below are more pictures.

Their home is an 'open' floor plan --with a large living, dining, office and kitchen area downstairs. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a recreation room. This picture was taken from the kitchen area --looking toward the front door. You can also see a small part of the upstairs and staircase. The staircase and the upstairs is carpeted, and the downstairs is tiled. You can see their doggie, Annie, in this picture.

This picture was taken from upstairs looking down toward the living room and kitchen area.

This is the front of the house.. See that basketball goal near the garage????? WELL---in the bad storm on April 18 (when we were there), the goal fell on their two vehicles (van and truck). It put a dent in their van. The storm was strong enough to break the bungee cords which were attached to the concrete --holding the goal up!!!!! We had some really strong winds (and flooding) that afternoon. George had to move our Prius out of the street --onto the driveway due to street flooding. Scary!!!

Speaking of that storm on April 18th when we were in Texas, WELL----look at their heavy propane grill... The winds were strong enough to turn that heavy grill over. It's so heavy that it takes two people to lift it..... Mercy Me!!!!!

This storm hit their area with NO warnings... If we had have known that there were tornados and heavy winds around, we could have picked up all of the lawn furniture. We stood inside their home---watching the lawn furniture go flying all over the yard. This one chair propelled RIGHT through their wooden fence, putting a hole in the wood. Can you believe it?????

On a gorgeous Sunday (following the storm on Saturday), Mark drove us all around the Galveston Bay area --showing us the damage STILL left from Hurricane Ike (which devastated that area last September). When I saw that pile of rubble, I almost cried---thinking that this was someone's LIFE before Ike hit!

This is the area along Galveston Bay south of Seabrook, TX.. Mark and Lara live 'inland'--so luckily, they didn't have any damage much. But--all of the homes near the bay had total devastation. Only the people with MONEY have rebuilt... Many folks have just walked away and left everything. It's just so sad!

This is a typical house --near Galveston Bay in the community of San Leon. This damage is typical of what most of the homes look like. As I said, many people just left. Others are living on their property in RV's. They seem to be trying to renovate and rebuild as they can. The homes on the water are more expensive homes ---but the homes near, but not on the water are more modest homes. There are many shrimpers in that area. Even the homes built on several levels not only had water damage, but also had lots of wind damage.

Some people just totally cleared their lots---and all we could see was a slab and maybe a driveway or sidewalk. After leaving the San Leon area, we drove down to Galveston. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Galveston is coming back nicely. The strand area (which had 7 or 8 feet of water) is beginning to come back. They have brought in new sand for the beach areas --and the businesses along the seawall are thriving. There's still alot to be done --especially on the back streets where there is so much damage to many of the older homes. But---Galveston WILL come back!!!! That is the good news...

I don't want you to think that Texas is all about storms.. I lived there for 12 years --and we never had storms like these... It's a gorgeous state and area (southeast of Houston) ---and my kids love it down there. Here's one last picture of my son and his sweet little family...


P.S. We drove to Hendersonville yesterday to check on George's Mom and Dad. They still seem to be doing well in their home, despite the fact that both of them have macular degeneration. Mom will be 89 in May and Dad will be 97 in August... Neither of them take ANY prescription drugs. Amazing, isn't it?????