galvestonislandI just returned from the Texas Association of Realtors Conference in Fort Worth, and I’m happy to report I learned a few things — more out of the classroom than in.

We live in a very optimistic, entrepreneurial state. Being around such folks only makes my smile wider. Next year, this conference is coming to Galveston, and it was great to hear so many people telling me how much they are looking forward to seeing the island, especially those who haven’t visited since Hurricane Ike hit in 2008. It will be a great opportunity to showcase our island.

The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau had a booth at this year’s conference inviting all the attendees and did a great job! It’s a great feeling when people comment how fortunate one is to live in a place where they take a vacation. I couldn’t agree more!

I learned as a kid to be thankful for what I have, not what I wished I had, and this week gave me a great perspective on what Galveston has to offer. I never ran out of things to say to my fellow Realtors.

I told them that we have a mayor who stepped up and donated the admission for 40 kids for their end-of-the-year trip to the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. I told them of a neighbor who wrote a grant to include a butterly migration center in our community garden. I extolled our grass-roots eforts by Galveston Urban Ministries to start a curbside recycling program that has gotten so successful it has reduced its price to $10 a month. I applauded Joe Huf, director of public affairs at Galveston College, and his Leadership program (I’m a 2000 graduate) and the people I met through this program who have become great friends.

One, Beau Rawlins, started a junior football league, the Riptides, about eight years ago. The league has grown and the kids have enjoyed success not only in the win column but in the life column. It will be helpful to its participants in myriad ways. Beau, by the way, is a trustee on the Galveston school board. I explained all the innovative programs our schools ofer and how more and more of us are choosing to send our kids to island schools.

I talked about our colorful historic past and how it inluences us and cited our recent Juneteenth celebrations and its signiicance 150 years later. And I bragged on us, its residents. There is something special about living on an island, and we realize how valuable everyone is and how our outlook is just a little bit diferent from mainlanders. I’m not sure how many understood what I was trying to say; however, when they visit, they will get it!

We have a wonderful fall to look forward to, after all, Blue Bell is back, Ball High won the Battle of the Causeway, and there are great balls and parties to attend — all going to support wonderful charities — making those of us lucky enough to live by the sea lucky enough.