Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do Oysters have Ears?

During the first weekend of every March the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department has their big fund-raiser festival. This is the 31st annual Oysterfest and it's grown into a significant event for the surrounding Coastal Bend folks -- one that really signals the arrival of Spring. Years ago, oysters were thick in the shallow bays all along the gulf coast and oyster boats filled every slip in every harbor around here. Oyster processing was a big part of the economy. But today the industry is almost non-existent, at most a mere "shell" of what it was at the peak. Over-fishing and other factors are supposedly to blame. But Oysterfest continues and attracts thousands of people from around South Texas who enjoy the music, beer, arts and crafts, and the carnival amusements.

Since it's within walking distance from Sandollar, we've gone Oysterfest-ing twice in the last couple days. Not a big fan of lines and crowds, that was more than enough for this kid.

My cold virus is gone and the ol' body is busy clearing out the remaining congestion. During the worst days of this cold, some of that thick green head-yuch became lodged in my middle ear and plugged things up real good. With no outlet for the pressure, my ear drum eventually ruptured and has been slowly draining at times. There's been no pain since the rupture, just an uncomfortableness and somewhat impaired hearing on that side. According to some online medical research this should heal itself as the congestion abates. Dr. Dar is keeping a close eye on me and my flapping ear drum.

We're still planning to leave Sandollar on Tuesday and are still unsure of where we'll go. We'd like to stay close to Austin in order to see the Capitol, LBJ Library, and some other attractions, but the next two weeks are peak "spring break" weeks for the Texas schools and many campgrounds are packed. In addition, Austin hosts some large nearly-month-long rodeo event in March and there's a big music festival in town too. Trying to eschew crowds and congestion is one of our prime directives, so spring break and summers require a little effort to find some solitude.

What's that you said???