I was so glad this evening to not be the only one stopping for Mother Nature’s own present while only a few miles to “The Oasis” on our way back from… more food in Alpine. Dan and Jackie are still around! They are in a time warp zone we think, locked within this space taking roots unable to leave. They have not even seen Big Bend Park yet, their situation will only get worse when they do. The weather has been in parallel with it all, what a first row seat we have had this Christmas!
It all started Christmas Eve, last night, for a gathering at the Glaves home, never anticipating that we would be in the midst of a couple dozen neighbors and Friends. I did not have to cook… I did not cook, besides slicing some beets on a mandolin without loosing any finger layers and a salad dressing. That in itself was a treat as Tracy was the lady in charge of it all. She is the local Sheriff’s wife and I was very nice to her, specially when she held the knife.
There was no chaos, only good will from everyone to assume a task and as Paul and I mostly watched it all from beginning to end (besides my own tasks of course), I was thinking how perfect this crew and their intensity would be if I still owned a Restaurant. I think they all deserve a raise… this was the winning team at work, diligent and amazing… can you feel it? No wasting time here! Not a smile, just work… work… and more work.
Of course there is always the exception. The one that always stays in the corner, quiet, trying for no one to notice their presence, hoping to lengthen their ability to be a shadow till the end. And yet, making sure that their own personal hunger will be fulfilled eventually as he will suddenly blend, only then, in with the line waiting, plate in hand… Oh! Who else could that be?… P..l? I just don’t want to be the one responsible for pointing any fingers… A picture is always worth a thousand words. Hummm… The truth of the matter is… Paul was working hard earlier in company of Mr Turkey and Stuffing! Good planning… after all, he was a City Planner…
Evening was approaching fast, a special end of a day in preparation for today’s once a year happy tradition. All was quiet outside, traffic non existent, the helmets were not going anywhere and yet more Friends were showing up one at the time.
What a path it has been for us to end up here for these winter months. It could have been anywhere else, isolated, with no Friends or acquaintances as we now have here. In this vast land where everything is miles and miles away from each other we have more Friends than in any City I have been. Everyone might, as I have written in the past, live a different Lifestyle, but we are all here for the same reasons with much respect for each other, a common denominator for such an evening filled with such good feelings and good times all around. Even Dan the Bartender showed up, yes, the same Englishman that is taking roots, and did his thing a few times with the Punch which I understand was tasting better with every new batch. I wonder why?
We ate, and ate again, celebrated a couple Birthdays, ate some more, Cowboy Chris from the Cowhead Ranch showed up in the proper accouterment, Spirit was the greeter at the door, live and well announcing loudly at times, probably wondering where all these people came from! It was a good time, it was an uplifting time being around kind people with conversations that made sense, laughter as it being always the best medicine within all of us.
It was our Friend Kathy’s Birthday…
A bit blur… Cowboy Chris…
And a Christmas Eve in Texas would not be complete without a couple guitars and some singing, specially when the local Sheriff participates. Maybe, just maybe he will be kind if I ever have to say one day “but Sheriff, I was not speeding…”.
Busy, busy. This morning was a ride to Terlingua at Roger’s compound where as every year many riders show up and ride for a couple weeks of their vacation. This is where Spirit and I spend close to three months last year. We also call Roger “Uncle”, one of the most hospitable person I have ever met. Just show up, set up your tent or your trailer and you will be welcomed.
We had a chance to visit with some Friends we had never met before, only corresponded through e mail, always nice to finally feel their presence. I had however camped with David a couple years ago, he owns the trailer with his full kitchen always ready to cater to all! He is a Master at BBQ as his ribbons prove and this is going to be the good time to learn I hope the real Texas BBQ from him when they visit us sometime next week. I just have to! Stews on the fire and BBQ using an Adobe oven I am hoping to built soon.
Roger has the good Life… he did not seem like he was working too hard this morning, except maybe hitting some golf balls from his putting green which of course Spirit took over very quickly. How do dogs know about the softest area within miles? It always amazes me as he knows it even before he will step on it! So much for golf!
Everyone has such a rough Life around here as one can tell! They had plans for a great Christmas dinner, a deep fried Turkey which I yet have to even see one cook, but as we had a previous engagement in Alpine, (imagine that!), and most were leaving for a ride we also took off for the 80 miles of road going south.
As we stopped at “The Oasis” on the way and as Christmas Day is never complete without a Santa… out of nowhere, Santa showed up bearing gifts for Spirit and I. Cookies baked in a solar oven! Who else but our neighbor John! The day just could not get any better. No photos of the star shaped, colored tinsel sugar coated cookies… because they were delicious and I ate them and so did Spirit with his own treat. There is a lot to say about being here.
Not much of a break as we now headed to Alpine and visit the same cast of characters from last night, Kathy and Rob, her mother Anne and niece Ciara who is a cheesecake baker wiz, (I am right now paying the price for the triple layered Christmas special…) and of course Paul and Voni. They have now officially adopted us, we are Family and on this day it has not been a lonely one but filled with Love as ever it could be. Even Spirit has found him a little girl friend to play with, Ciara’s new adopted and rescued Cheyenne.
All I can say is… “no more food”! Finished… done… only water now for a while… right! Great ride south in daylight, going back to today’s first photo and chatting with Dan and Jackie on the side of the road. Shoulders… my favorite place to hang out where you meet the traveling World out there. Tired and beat tonight, slightly heavier… these good times will sink in I am sure tomorrow as being so unexpected, turning out to be the spotlight of these days I was deep inside dreading to go through. School is always open, have faith in your Karma, it will take care of you as it has taken care of us.
We are tomorrow packing to go camping… will be back in a few!
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Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.
Be well, always. Ara & Spirit