Fargo to San Antonio Day 2
What a day! Though it veered off course slightly from my original plan, in the end, it went down just about as well as it could have, in my mind. Because conference workshops really kick off tomorrow, I’d decided to spend time with family today and meet up with the other conference participants at the opening reception this evening. Instead, my aunties talked me into an impromptu family gathering. It really came down to line-dancing or hanging with a few of my cousins I rarely see. Though I’m sure the line-dancing was a fun way to start the conference, in the end, I chose a few more hours with family, a decision I don’t regret. Starting early tomorrow, I’ll be fully engaged in conference activities and will share much more from the El Tropicano.
Today started with Uncle Bob driving me to New Braunfels to meet up with Jennifer from Conversion Diary, one of my favorite bloggers. The catfish cafe where we met is one Jennifer remembers frequenting with her family as a child, though she said it has shrunk a bit from those long-ago days. Though our time was a bit tight, we talked non-stop, covering a variety of subjects, and honestly, I can’t tell you if the restaurant’s boast of offering "the best fried catfish in Texas" is true. The catfish and onion rings were tasty from what I remember, but the conversation was so much more engaging. Food seemed secondary to what was transpiring between two mother-writer-faith-seeking gals meeting for the first time. To me, it felt as if we had met many times before, and could easily be good girlfriends if Texas and North Dakota weren’t so very far away. Since I’d talked to Jen by phone before and have been following her blog for some time now, our convergence seemed very natural and familiar, but I was not expecting her to be six feet tall (note she removed her sandals for my benefit). That was a fun surprise! She is truly a delight, just as neat in person as what you find in her blog, and I am truly grateful for our time together.
It’s been parched here this summer, but they tell me I’ve brought some of the extra rain from the north down here, and not a day too soon. During our luncheon, there was a downpour that fell so heavy and hard on the cafe roof that, for moments, we had to pause the conversation. It’s kind of funny. I’d sort of imagined our little lunch taking place outside on a patio in the Texas sun. So much for that vision. But what I got instead was every bit as warm and bright.
After Jen and I parted, Uncle Bob drove me to the Alamo. While he parked the car, I was asked by a TV crew if I wanted to be in a commercial for a local car dealership. So, somewhere in Texas, you might see me in a commercial somewhere. If they send a demo as promised, I might even be able to post it here. Beyond that, I loved discovering more about the history of Texas and its independence from Mexico, and the grounds were lovely. I saw pecan trees, cactus, palm trees and other vegetation typical of the region.
Earlier, Uncle Bob introduced me to other land characterics, including the dreaded juniper trees that take over the land like weeds, the sprawling oaks and more purple sage, along with a multitude of rock quarries. We saw a dead cow with a vulture standing nearby ready to dine, and lots of horses on vast fields. I love the rounded rooflines and the southwestern colors — the reds and tans and beiges — that permeate downtown. It’s definitely different than what you see up north.
Though our hope was to visit a mission church, time got away from us and we returned home to the ranch and relaxed a bit before Aunt Jeannine produced her special creation — a fried chicken dinner. Actually, Church’s Fried Chicken (my first taste of it) along with green beans, rice, salad and garlic toast. Oh, and cheesecake for dessert. Here are the Beauclair girls all together:
Finally, Aunt Merita and Uncle Henry helped me pack up, and I said my goodbyes to the first aunt-uncle set to start on my next adventure with the second aunt-uncle set.
Up next: a word from Heloise. I hope she’ll offer a few nuggets tomorrow. I’d love to share them with you. For now, a special flower, courtesy of my aunt and today’s rain shower:
Signing off from the Lone Star State,
Peace Garden Mama
P.S. I just clicked over to Jennifer’s blog and she featured me as well. What a rush that was for me, after reading her for months, to find my name at the top of her blog. Her account of today’s visit made me giggle. Here it is, if you have a few more moments in your day: Jennifer’s Quick Takes featuring visit with Roxane.