Posted by: morrowsl | July 16, 2019

Maybe In Distance…

66685714_10162043855435201_776879177763651584_nI should have known when the box appeared in the mailbox and I knew I hadn’t ordered anything.
Mike asked, “What’s that?”, to which I shook my head, as puzzled as he. The return label bore a man’s name, foreign and unfamiliar. Nothing to do but open it and see.
Inside the box was a coffee mug. On the mug the story of a friendship.

We “met” online so many years ago I can’t count them. It took a few of those years for us to actually meet face-to-face, but the friendship would have been just as strong had we never found ourselves in the same spot at the same time.
From the start we had enough in common to feel a connection and enough differences to keep things interesting. She is from New Jersey, born and raised. I am from Texas by way of Oklahoma. She had one marriage and one child. I had three of each. She is careful with her appearance, always looking fresh and stylish. I am happy if I remember deodorant and to brush my teeth.

But we work!

I’ve visited her and we’ve vacationed together. So, when Mike and I moved to Remote and our guest accommodations increased, it was assured that she and her husband would visit me and mine. Hopefully, we’ll be trading visits for many years to come.

This year they brought their daughter and her family. We would have a week, but we could pack a lot into seven days. There will be repeat visits and new things to explore.

In fact, we were so busy, I took almost no pictures. Thankfully, everyone else did!

The day after their arrival we had a home-cooked Tex Mex fiesta with most of our family. Mike made salsa and that pretty much sealed the deal for future visits.
Monday we tootled around our little town, working our way down the list of “must see” spots (Petrified Wood CampThe Waggoner Mansion,) from their previous visit and those added by their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons in their research before arrival (Old Stone Prison, NRS, longhorns and buffalo).

We had a coffee from the Trinity Street Coffee Bar, ate at Rooster’s since we were already in town, and the boys found a sweet spot at Hey Sugar.

We didn’t see nearly everything, but we saw what we could with the time available.

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Finding time to get in touch, old school.

With our bellies full and our feet restless, we moved on down the road.

It is possible to visit Texas and spend a lifetime trying to see it all. The cities are filled with cultural wonders and the backroads wind through decades of rich history. Unfortunately, our friends weren’t going to be here that long. So, we opted to attempt to hit the high spots and promised to fill in the gaps on subsequent trips.

No visit to Texas can be called complete without at least one stop at Buc-ee’s. It just so happens that there are two of these, equidistant from our door. There were buffalo and pump jacks and old cars along the way.

My own first encounter was a cross between visiting a Texas version of Disneyland minus the rides and costumed characters and a trip to the largest gas station food counter in all the land. Buc-ee’s has at least one of everything and a shitload of the rest. Pulling in, you will never wait for a gas pump to be available because there are never less than 80 pumps to choose from. You’ll never have to ask for a clean up in bathroom stall four because Buc-ee’s has the cleanest bathrooms in the world. It’s true!
Our friends thought I was kidding when I told them that one local Buc-ee’s serves as the main gathering spot for local teens on date night. If you doubt me, check out the Buc-ee’s location near Texas Motor Speedway on a Friday night. The northeast parking area fills up with pickup trucks and it’s best to just pull on around the corner to park.

All in all, I think they enjoyed themselves. At the least, it was surely their first real encounter with a solid wall of jerky.

Dinner was The Prairie House and time with the rest of the family not already met.

Tuesday was for planning and packing up for a couple of days and nights on Lake Bridgeport, “glamping” and fishing and playing UNO Attack. We’d rented a pontoon boat, so fishing was not exactly keen, but we did try. The day was sunny, but not overly hot. The breeze was strong and the anchor weak. The lake wasn’t busy and we were relaxed.

SOME of us succeeded splendidly! One very nice Crappie went home for dinner.

The rest of the week was spent closer to Remote and catching up. We intended to see a rodeo, but didn’t want to chance the late night ahead of an early morning wake-up call and a flight home. And, as it turned out, that was our best decision since their destination airport shut down due to weather and they were diverted. Nothing like heading home on a three-hour flight and not arriving until a day later!

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Suddenly, they were gone. The house was eerily quiet. Neither of us seemed to know what to do next, so we didn’t do much of anything.
Going out to fetch eggs wasn’t half as much fun without the boys tagging along and asking to help. Sipping coffee in silence isn’t nearly so interesting as coffee and conversation. Washing dishes alone, I kept catching myself moving over to make room. I didn’t go upstairs until sometime on Monday, and that was only because I had to use the computer. Lonely doesn’t quite cover the feeling, but it gets pretty damn close.

 


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