I happen to love it here. A lot. And a WHOLE lot more than when I lived long ago in other parts of the state.
I can drive down the road with my darlin' man - as we did the other weekend - with the windows down and that central Texas breeze blowing and just singing that song...remembering when we were still in Georgia and wondering if he'd get that letter...our hands reach across to each other and tears roll and dry in that breeze.
I can't say why we found each other or why we both wound up back here. But it's a fine place to land for this last part of our lives. The closing chapters will be spent looking over its grassy hills or barren desert, holding hands and remembering these days.
But there are other reasons, too, to be thankful for this place. For the price of a single steak dinner (without drinks) in town - well, we have our own beer and our own table and the glory of the rib eye. And not just any, no - gorgeous, gigantic, Ranger bone possessing, delicious rib eyes.
Before.... And After....
Now, seriously, can you beat that? The monsters are two meals per. Trooper prefers his leftover portion the next morning with his eggs.
I like to put mine on a nice salad with some blue cheese.
This one doesn't care how it comes just as long as it does make its way to him.
We feasted and then just lay there, too full to consider the lemon pound cake. Ranger ate on that bone for 2 hours, just savoring the dang thing.
I wish I could express this place in clearer terms. It isn't like Dallas or Houston with buildings everywhere. It's rural with boots and hats everywhere. No one looks twice and everyone knows everyone else. And even if you don't you do the lifted finger on the steering wheel greeting as you pass on the road. Or wave at the farmer driving his tractor 15 mph down the road as you go by.
Back in the fall, I think it was, we drove by as some guys were using their implements to turn the hay into square bales. I made Trooper pull over so I could see it all work. Before long, the gentlemen took a break and the driver walked over to the fenceline. A young man, Trooper just explained, laughingly, how I'd never seen a baler at work and wanted to watch. He just pulled on his cap and gave a shy smile. They spoke a bit about how much land they had and some arcane farming stuff and then we went on our way as the man returned to his work.
It's the small stuff like that, you see. Men tipping hats or bending heads to ladies as they pass. Holding doors. Fields full of prolific wonder that took men long hours and gallons of sweat to manage. Time moves...differently here. It isn't the clock that dictates the work but the sun.
How I love it.