Tumbling Tumbleweed

I’d forgotten how huge tumbleweeds can be. The one pictured above tumbled into my mother-in-law’s front yard on Thursday morning much to the delight of my grandchildren.

Imagine hitting one of these beauties while navigating the lonely two lane roads in the Texas panhandle. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

The tumbleweed is the dried form of Russian thistle, a plant common to the plains states and immortalized in a song by the Sons of the Pioneers. I added a link to the song, below. Enjoy!

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Sons of the Pioneers

LYRICS

See them tumbling down

Pledging their love to the ground!

Lonely, but free, I’ll be found

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Cares of the past are behind

Nowhere to go, but I’ll find

Just where the trail will wind

Drifting along with the tumblin’ tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

https://youtu.be/_UiSMyyj-Ac

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!

Last Minute Adventure

Studly Doright has several hobbies: golf, motorcycles, and trading vehicles, among others. Several months ago he sold his pickup truck and bought a sports sedan. I knew, though, that it wouldn’t be long before the call of the wild—namely the need for another pickup—sounded in his ears. I even made a prediction that he’d have a new pickup before this year ended.

So, a couple of nights ago when Studly turned to me and asked, “If I bought a new pickup would you fly to Houston and drive it home?” I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Until I realized he’d asked me to go pick the truck up.

“Sure!” I said, happy to have a new adventure. We bought a plane ticket and I’ll leave on Friday afternoon.

Now, I have feelings of trepidation. The truck has a manual transmission, and while I have owned several vehicles with a stick shift, it’s been awhile. Also, I’ll be driving in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country. Great place to renew my acquaintance with a manual transmission vehicle.

In addition, I’m going to have to find a way to the car dealership from the airport. Uber? Lyft? I’ve never downloaded the apps and I’m not sure how they work. I guess I’ll have to learn quickly.

Did I mention I adore adventures, and that there’s an excellent outlet mall near Gulfport, Mississippi that’s calling my name? Wish me luck, good weather, and a few dollars to spend at the mall.

Peace, people!

Oh, So Young!

This photo of Studly Doright and me literally fell into my lap on Thursday night. I opened a binder and out it tumbled, crudely cropped and slightly faded.

I love this picture so much. It was taken in the spring of 1975 on the night of our junior-senior prom. My mother made the dress, and I felt so pretty in it. Puffy sleeves had that effect on me. Plus, I was so in love I could hardly stand it.

Studly had better hair than I did. At least nowadays I’m ahead of him in that category. You see, I still have hair. I hope I didn’t just say that out loud—he’s sitting right here!

Note the harvest gold pole lamp that almost appears as an appendage on my back. The lamp is an indication that the photo was taken inside my family’s home because Mom was really into harvest gold. Our fridge, stove, washer and dryer were all of the same hue.

I wish I could relive that night one more time, to feel that young and pretty and carefree again. Guess I’ll settle for the next best thing, and kiss this bald guy goodnight. Puffy sleeves might help, too.

Peace, people!

Granddaddy’s Gas Station

I grew up in a Fina gas station owned by my granddaddy. My days smelled of petroleum and cigars,

No wonder I’m a little on edge all of my days. When the world is combustible with the errant flick of an ash,

Everything becomes precious to a precocious five year old. Grandaddy kept candy and red fuses in a glass counter display.

I had the run of the place, but was cautioned about dashing about and around the old pumps, lest someone

Run me over. Pretty heady stuff for a little girl who only wanted to ask, “Premium or Ethyl?” as she washed grimy windshields.

My heart is all tied up in that place. Bound by diligence and the smell of Grandaddy’s Old Spice. The strength of his hugs.

Kindergarten Connection

I was fortunate to have attended kindergarten in the days before it was made mandatory. I’m sure Mrs. Parks, the owner and sole teacher of the school followed a curriculum, but I don’t remember it being a rigorous course of instruction.

My fellow classmates and I played and sang and created small works of art, while learning about the letters of the alphabet and how to count. A few children in the class learned to read that year. I wasn’t one of those children, but I used to tell people that I was. Nothing was forced as kindergarten learning seems to be nowadays.

At the end of that precious year Mrs. Parks directed us in a play to mark our graduation. One of my Floydada friends posted the picture of our class on Facebook this weekend. Weren’t we adorable?

That’s me on the back row. I’m the tall brown haired girl in the pink dress next to the headdress wearing brave and behind the tiny little doll in yellow.

I can still name all but two of my former classmates from the picture. Floydada is a small Texas town and I went to school with most of those pictured until my family moved to Dumas the summer before my senior year of high school. That was a tough move. I thought my world had ended, when it really was just beginning.

There’s really no message in this post, but our youngest granddaughter started kindergarten this year at a small school in Illinois, and I hope her memories of her year will someday be as sweet to her as mine are to me.

This is Harper on Ag day, which she preferred calling “Egg Day.” She’s a great deal sassier than I ever was. Heaven help us all.

Peace, people.

Straight out of Floydada

I’m a native of the tiny Texas panhandle town of Floydada. So was country music artist Don Williams. He’s much better known than I am, and that’s a fact.

Mr. Williams passed away this week. His music, though, will live on. I was a fan of his work, and believe I would have been even if we hadn’t had Floydada in common.

https://youtu.be/4qkoZQRbl3s

Irma

Hurricane Irma is barreling down on the U.S., and I have to tell her she has really bad timing. I doubt she cares.

Here at Doright Manor we’ve stored up gallons of bottled water and my favorite survival snack, Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies. I have a pantry filled with canned chicken and Vienna sausages and enough cheese crackers to get us through the first hundred days of a zombie apocalypse. Now, it’s just a waiting game.

There’s still a chance the storm won’t hit us at all and might veer into coastal Texas, which is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey. As much as I don’t want Irma to come through here, I don’t want her messing with Texas even more.

Right now Irma is a category 5 storm, and anywhere she makes landfall is going to suffer tremendous damage. The projections we are seeing show that when she reaches Studly Doright and me in the Florida panhandle she’ll still be a category 1. Many things can change still, and we are praying she’ll weaken considerably before she reaches land.

Praying for the best, but preparing for the worst. Don’t be cruel, Irma.

Not Going to Complain

Driving home to Doright Manor from a shopping expedition to nearby Tallahassee my car began to be pelted by a storm of love bugs. Within just a couple of miles of home I experienced limited visibility due to the amount of bug guts on my windshield. I began mumbling all sorts of nasty aspersions on these bugs, their offspring, and their offspring’s offspring. My rant became pretty colorful.

Then I realized that I was driving on dry pavement and that I’d have electricity and air conditioning and hot water waiting for me at home. I was pretty certain my roof would be intact and my floors uncluttered by flood debris, so I shut my mouth. Many of my friends and family members in the Houston, Texas, area are dealing with what’s being called the biggest weather catastrophe in Texas’ history, and they have none of the amenities I take for granted.

Studly Doright and I have firsthand experience with hurricanes and their aftermath. We know how it feels to be without power for days, how isolating and scary it can be, but we have never experienced what these folks in Houston are dealing with. So if I have to deal with a few love bugs, so be it. I won’t be complaining.

If you’d like to help those in Houston, here’s a link to the Red Cross. https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey?scode=RSG00000E017&utm_campaign=Harvey&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_o7NBRDgARIsAKvAgt3pGGD9qntAtz_SL6RdN7hu8F4u44fn3xna5pet211SoX2c6zS0-uwaAl9mEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJOSm8vo-tUCFSZmwQodlYgKkw

Prayers are appreciated, as well. Peace, people.

Last Day

Today I'm driving the Texas grandkids to the airport in Panama City, Florida, for their flight home to Dallas, Texas. Neither of have them have ever flown unaccompanied, and there are some jitters. Not on their parts, mind you, but underneath this calm exterior I'm going a little nuts.

We've had a good time these past two weeks spoiling these kiddos. Doright Manor will be awfully quiet once they leave.