“Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.” — Mark Twain
Texas in my Soul
I arrived in Texas, my native landscape, on December 19, after leaving my current home in Tucson and traveling all the way across New Mexico. I spent the night in a two-star hotel in Van Horn before traveling on to visit a granddaughter and her husband in San Antonio.
On December 20, I drove to West Columbia, to my oldest son’s home where I celebrated Christmas with two sons, seven grandchildren, three spouses, and a brand new great-granddaughter. It’s a family of large personalities but all was peaceful – perhaps because everyone was enthralled with the sparkling personality and cheerful giggles of Savannah Kay, the youngest family member.
The day after Christmas I took the half-hour drive from West Columbia into Lake Jackson, where my middle son currently lives. The city’s moss-covered trees, winding streets and green-green landscape felt familiar, perhaps because I lived in Lake Jackson for 15 years, from 1956 to 1971, when I left Texas — and never permanently came back.
A few days and another road trip away, I celebrated New Year’s Eve in the suburbs of Dallas with my oldest daughter and her husband, a granddaughter and her partner, and a niece and her husband. Dallas is where I was born and lived for the first 16 years of my life.
I remember back when Dallas, the Big D, was Texas’ largest city. Now it’s only third having been surpassed by both Houston and San Antonio. While the Texas landscape of cotton fields, oil rigs and live oak trees still feels like home whenever I see them, Dallas never again felt like home after John F, Kennedy was killed here.
I can’t help but wonder how much of who we are is tainted by where we lived, from our accents to our way of thinking. I think of Utah, where I lived for over 30 years, as a full-blooming flower in my life; Idaho, Nevada and now Arizona are the leaves of my plant-being, varying in intensity and color like the seasons. Texas, however, contains my roots, the first glimmering of whom I would be and the catalyst of my personality.
But it’s the still the road itself that has always been the place I felt most at home. I was born, I believe, with wanderlust in my soul.
On Monday, I’ll be on the road again, although staying in Texas just a bit longer. I have one last Texas family member to visit, a granddaughter, along with her husband and my first great-grandchild, 5-year-old Junior. They live in Lubbock.
And then it’s back to Tucson, where I’m letting the desert creep into my being.
Bean Pat: Miss Pelican’s Perch http://tinyurl.com/nmv9zeh Looking at the world in a different way.