Saturday, December 03, 2005

Port Bolivar Lighthouse



I woke up this morning thinking about lighthouses. When I was a child, every year we would go to Galvestion Island, even if just for the day. Since my mother hated to travel, that was the closest thing to a vacation we usually got. It was about an 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive from our house to the ferry landing at Port Bolivar, and we had some traveling games to help keep us occupied. One of them was to try to be the first person to spot the ocean. Whoever did spot the ocean first had to call out, "I see the sea!". As soon the ocean was beside us--Old Highway 87 ran parallel to the coast--, the next point we looked for was Rollover Pass. Rollover Pass is the narrowest part of Bolivar Peninsula, and it got its name from the pirates and smugglers who would roll over their barrells of contraband from the ocean to Galveston Bay to avoid customs and searches. Despite this romantic history, Rollover Pass is best known today for its fishing. In fact, it is usually called Rollover Fish Pass or Flounder Pass by the non-locals.

Once we passed the Pass, all eyes were peeled and the excitement would build as we eagerly waited for that first glimpse of the Bolivar Lighthouse. This was the coupe de grace of the trip--next to the ferry ride of course--spotting the lighthouse as it stood seemingly out in the middle of the ocean due to the curve of the land. A tiny toothpick of a thing sticking up from the mists, we watched it grow bigger as we got closer to it, until finally we drove by it and only the one sitting by the window on that side of the car could see the top. Finally, we had arrived at the ferry, but I'll save that story for another day...

Back to my original idea, I wanted to sketch a lighthouse, but not just any lighthouse, the Bolivar lighthouse. While searching for images of it, I found this article. It is brief, but well worth the read: http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1523.htm. It kind of gives an insight as to why we are still so attracted to lighthouses, even though their era of usefullness has given way to modern technology. It's a sad thing, that.

The Ladies Christmas party was fun, even though attendance was down from the last few years. There were only 20 ladies. I still ate too much. This little santa is what I ended up with. He reminds me of the Ghost of Christmas Present from A Christmas Carol. We play the take-away game. How it goes, is we draw numbers according to how many people are present. Whoever has number 1 goes to the tree and opens a present. Whoever has number 2 can go to the tree and get a present, or she can take away the first person's present. And so on...now to make it a little more fair, there are a couple of other rules. You can only take away one time. So if number 2 takes number 1's present, then number 3 takes number 2's present, number 2 has to go to the tree to get a present. If someone takes your present, and you haven't taken away, you can't take your present right back. If your second present gets taken away later in the game, and you haven't taken away yet, you can go get your first present back. It is very fun, and can get quite ruthless at times.

Now, just so you won't think we never eat anything nutritious at Christmas, here is one of my favorite dinner casseroles. I got this recipe from Mrs Brimm, my cousin Judy's mother-in-law.

Squash Casserole

1 1/2 lbs yellow squash
1/2 c water
1 or 2 chicken bullion cubes
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 medium carrot--grated
1 small onion--chopped

Dissolve chicken bullion cube in about 1/2 cup of boiling water. Add squash and cook until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Put into greased baking dish.

1 1/2 cup Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Stuffing Mix
1 stick(1/2 cup) butter or margarine

Melt butter and combine with stuffing mix. Spread over squash mixture. Bake at 350' for 35-40 minutes.

More healthy recipes coming later...

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