By: Ms. O
A very sad anniversary is happening this week…one that still makes my heart cry…if hearts did indeed shed tears. This week marks the tenth anniversary of the closing of Astroworld. Sniff…sniff.
When we moved to Houston I was thrilled at the proximity of the park. We were season tickets holders each and every summer…and more than got our money’s worth out of price.
The Texas Cyclone was the Grand’Mere of all wooden roller coasters. I remember waiting in line, hearing the cars climb and fall ….the wooden structure bending and shaking….the screams of riders making you more nervous the longer you stood there. I know I can still feel the trembles in my stomach as we climbed that first hill…dangling over the hump waiting for the back of the car (because of course I rode in the front so I could see what was coming) to reach the crest before it free fell. I know it was a mix of sheer terror and the feeling of conquering this fear of coasters that kept me riding it each season.
It was always worth the wait in line for Greased Lightning… Viper….XLR-8. I was there when they opened Batman the Escape….Mayan Mindbender….Serial Thriller… Dungeon Drop ….the last I rode only once…urp…I like to keep what I ate IN my stomach.
Spending the day at the park was brutal during the summer months…so Tidal Wave…and Bamboo Shoot….always came in handy to cool off. I knew where every “misting machine” was located around the park…along with the rides that had shade while you waited.
Astroworld was a big part of my children’s growing up years. When family came to visit, it was THE place to take them. It was a banner moment when my kids were old enough to walk the park by themselves. This park was prime for taking the youth group….not too expensive….a lot of bang for the buck…and close enough that you could stay till the park closed and make it home before it was too late.
If I close my eyes I can still remember the lay out of the park. The ticket gates….the gift shops…where to get funnel cake…lemon ices. I knew where the pictures were taken at the primo rides so we could pose with horrified looks on our faces….hands held high in the air. We knew where each “cut through” was….ideal places to meet if we got separated….the best strategy to map out how to get the most of out all the rides.
Maybe part of the mystique of Astroworld is because it’s now…gone. It is a vacant lot…grass growing up….no trace of what was there. It seemed to disappear overnight…and now it is just a “remember when” place in our minds. It does not exist anymore…but for many of us…it will always be a part of…us.
Casting Crowns put out a song years back that captures that feeling for me.
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am…I am Yours.
David speaks of God’s great love for us…even as “insignificant” and temporary as we are…in Psalm 8:3-4
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, when is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
In the grand scheme of creation, we are so very temporary…only here for a bit. It may seem at times that my life has stretched for eons….but in all reality…it is a blink of an eye for our Father…and yet He is ever mindful of me. His desire is for me to live a FULL life here on Earth…spreading His gospel…His love….so that others will know Him also. I am here to tell the “tale”…..
I think it is always important to “relive” my life with God….to be reminded of all that “we” have done together…how He set things in motion…and invited me in…to join and be a part of this…life. One day when I am in Heaven, I hope that memory stays with me…that I have the ability to look back…and be so very thankful of the adventure that I lived….because so far it has been a wild and crazy ride. There have been times in my life that I feel like I am waiting in one of those lines that zig zagged FOREVER…but in retrospect…I know it is well worth the wait…amen…and amen.