The Dust

I know a thing or two about dust

A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground

Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs

Days of dust

And tumbling weeds

When gray choked skies obscured and

Scouring winds grew teeth

I thought that was how the whole world worked

Nature’s castigation

For our sins.

(I do not miss those days.)

Minimalist Challenge, Puttin’ on the Ritz Day 26

Last night Studly Doright and I were watching the University of Kansas basketball team play Texas Tech for the Big 12 championship on television. It was a great, too-close-for-comfort game, and Studly worked up a powerful hunger while cheering for the Jayhawks.

Late in the second half he asked, “Do we have any snacks? I feel like I need to eat something if we’re going to win this game.”

Rather than throwing something at him or telling him to get his own damned snack I hoisted myself out of my chair and went in search of some munchies. The first likely snacks I came upon were several boxes of Ritz cheese crackers and a few more of the peanut butter version.

We don’t normally keep these on hand, but I recalled buying them in preparation for hurricane survival last summer. There’s nothing like a Ritz cracker to see you through the dark times, am I right?

Before asking Studly if the crackers would fill the bill for his snack I thought to check the expiration dates. November 17, 2017, was stamped on each box. So while they didn’t get to fulfill their destiny as snacks, the crackers were pressed into service for today’s minimalist challenge.

Twenty-three packages of Ritz crackers plus three of the boxes in which they were stored makes a total of 26 items for February 26.

I found Studly another snack, and the resulting energy revived him enough to power the Jayhawks through to a two-point victory over the Red Raiders and KU’s 14th straight conference championship. I doubt they’ll publicly thank us, though.

Texas Tech Connection

I didn’t attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, but a good many of my childhood friends are alumni of that institution. I grew up about 60 miles from Lubbock, and we followed the Red Raiders religiously. In fact, for my 16th birthday gift all I asked for was a date with my daddy to a Red Raiders football game. That date remains one of my best memories of all time.

Today I drove into Tallahassee for a solo lunch while Studly played golf. I was in line to order at Firehouse Subs when I realized the guy in front of me had on a red polo shirt with Texas Tech stitched on the back of the shirt in black. I did a double take and then tapped him on the shoulder.

“I like your shirt,” I said. “What’s your connection to Tech?”

Well that started a whole conversation with the man, his wife, and kids. They live in Alabama now, but he and his wife met at Texas Tech and are still rabid fans. They invited me to sit with them for lunch and I had such a great time. We threw out names of people from the Lubbock area, but never found anyone we knew in common. They both knew where my hometown of Floydada was which made me grin like an idiot.

The family was headed to DisneyWorld in Orlando, and as soon as we finished our lunch I wished them safe travels and we went our separate ways. That little connection made my day, though. Is that weird? Am I that desperate for conversation?

Discuss and talk to me. Apparently I need to connect.

Peace, people!