Island Life… By Clint Bennetsen

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info, Island Life
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 18 Jul 13 - 3 Comments

Find The Shade – Survive The Island

Greetings from the island everyone. Hope all of you are doing well and enjoyed your Fourth of July weekend, wherever you may have been. As with all summer holiday weekends, Barnacle and I stayed on the island and enjoyed watching the annual POC fireworks show across the bay. This year’s show was especially good, with non-stop huge displays of bright vibrant colors. Kudos to those in charge of the POC fireworks.

Also, as is the norm on summer holiday weekend,. there were more part-time islanders spending time with family and friends out here. The beach is not in the prettiest of conditions right now, as the sea grass continues to wash ashore and pile up, but everyone still enjoyed fishing and walking in the cool Gulf waters.

Speaking of cool, that word has been rarely used in regards to the weather lately. Between noon-5:00 p.m., three words are a must during island summers. . . shade, shade, shade, and a continuous supply of sweet iced tea. I know one thing, the older I become, the less tolerable I am to the sweltering heat. And the fact that I do not use an air conditioner at night or during the heat of the day, pretty much compounds the heat issue. Yes, it’s nice when I go to the mainland and can enjoy cold AC somewhere, but it’s not required to survive (even though Barnacle might disagree with that, as he immediately covers the AC vent with his big body when he gets to Mom’s every visit).

The bottom line is, to lead a tolerable summer island existence, you just gotta find shade, hope for a little breeze and have plenty of cold iced tea at the ready. Having lived out here full time for over seven years, I’ve pretty much acclimated to the weather, now if I could condition Mr. Dog to do the same.

Well, given the fact that the island has not seen any measurable good rain in about two months, and it has been so hot, I’ve pulled all but two tomato plants from the ground. I easily plucked 500 cherry variety tomatoes from the nine plants I had, and probably another 100 lbs of larger tomatoes from those plants. With no rain, I was watering them every two days, about three gallons per plant. I gave away or traded LOTS of tomatoes this season, but kept my larger beefsteak varieties for myself, as these are wonderful on a sandwich.

You would be hard pressed to find a better Texas summer lunch, than a delicious homegrown tomato BLT sandwich with a cold glass of sweet iced tea. Toasted bread, Helmann’s mayo, homegrown beefsteak tomato, crisp cold lettuce and thick sliced fried bacon. . . are you kidding me?? This should be the state summer sandwich of Texas! I believe that eating a BLT, with a homegrown tomato, will make you a smarter and happier person. Well, happier anyway.

My cantaloupe and watermelon plants are doing very well right now, probably because they are much more tolerant to dry conditions, even though I water them every three days. But the RATS are chewing the new growth vines and eating on the developing melons. I hate rats! I’m sure they are coming from the fields in search of water and fresh green growth, but I ain’t gonna provide it. I’m slowly trapping and baiting them, keeping Barnacle away from the melon patch, but I know it’s gonna be a war against the rodents. To the victor go the spoils!

Another enemy emerging from the fields lately has been the rattlesnakes. After finding one three inches from being inside my front door, that’s way too close for comfort. If I could at least get the snakes to eat all the rats, I’d be a little happier. I’ve scattered mothballs around the outside of the house in hopes that this will repel the viper demons, but we’ll see.

Well that’s it from the island for now, everyone take care, stay cool and have a great day.

3 comments for “Island Life… By Clint Bennetsen”


I enjoyed your comments. I live in the Fort Worth area and have been considering a trip to Sea Drift and stumbled across this page during my research.
I am now hungry for tea, a BLT and will admit that sometimes I just have a tomato, cheese and Miracle Whip sandwich, just to taste the tomato. I never thought about rattlesnakes near the coast, but apparently they are enjoying the warm, dry weather. The reason I bring this up is, while I was researching yesterday, my Google search brought up images of rattlesnakes! Now I know why! It must be a common problem right now.
Again, I enjoy your comments and will check back now and then to see how things are going with you and Barnacle.

July 26th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thank you very much for your comments, Darla. The rattlers are simply a way of life out here. Barnacle gets his snake vaccine shot every year, wish they made them for humans! Thanks again and please contact anytime. Have a great day. Clint

July 27th, 2013 at 11:37 am
Raymond Rhoden

Mr. Clint. Lucky is my brother in law and he won’ts to know if you put any of that Hog he gave you on that BLT. sandwich. HaHa.he won’ted to say Hi.and how are you doing.and how is everything on the Island.Frank Lucky. I enjoy reading your storys on here.Ray Rhoden.

July 27th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

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