Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

14 02 2012

Well, actually Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles sing a whole song about it, which will now be stuck in my head for next week or so….

Aren’t you excited you haven’t just opened up yet another post about Valentine’s Day?!  I neither love or hate this holiday – I’m indifferent.  My sweetie-peatie sugar bear is good to me all the time, and an unexpected bouquet of wild flowers or surprise pizza after a rough day of work beats anything given out of a sense of obligation just because its February 14th.

Ok, that rant over, here’s the good news: we finally made it to Texas last week and had a great trip!  Lady Winter cooperated this time and we had no problems whatsoever.  Over the pass, night in Seattle, early flight, landed in DFW by 2pm – wam bam thank you ma’am!

We did some touristy stuff in Ft. Worth to give J a feel for the place – it was his first time.  So we visited the Ft Worth Stockyards and Billy Bobs dancehall.  We ate some awesome Mexican food and drank a ZiegenBoch.  It was fun.

Ft Worth Stockyards, Texas

Historic Texas

Over the next several days, we relaxed and enjoyed just being off work.  My mom and I chatted up a storm (as though we don’t talk at least once a week on the phone).  Thankfully my brother had brought his XBox, so they were happily occupied.

One day we jumped the border into Oklahoma and went to the casino.  I’m sad to say I came out with less than I went in with.  Maybe it was all the free Dr Pepper, but I just turn into a wild child!  The bright lights and exciting sounds of the slot machines lure me in.  Don’t worry, I don’t stay at the same machine if I’ve lost 50 without a win.  I know my limits.  No gambling addiction here!  I finally started winning towards the end, but it wasn’t enough to make up for my initial losing, so I had a net loss of $200.  Oops, forgot the period: $2.00.  So what if I was playing the penny machines?!  Don’t judge me!  And I still got all the free popcorn I could eat, so there.  Losing 50 cents at a time still hurts.

The weather cleared up and we took a little trip out to the ranch.  I’ve been so excited to show J my world – the different landscape, different flora and fauna, different everything.  He’s now been introduced to mesquite trees, briars, red clay, oil wells and a foraging armadillo.  Being true rednecks, we of course brought an arsenal with us, hoping to track down a few wild hogs to shoot.  They’re taking over out there, running off the deer – bad news for our deer lease.  Sadly the only thing anyone shot was the can I killed when Dad showed me his fancy 6-shot revolver.

The second time we went out there, Dad put us to work.  The briars are really trying to take over, which is no bueno when you need grass for cattle.  Briars are basically just a long vine that reminds me of the blackberry brambles we have up here in Washington.  I’ve never gotten close enough to the blackberries for a comparison, but the briars of Texas are covered in these vicious thorns that make them the biggest pain in the rear to clear.  It had rained the night before (gasp! rain?!) so we couldn’t resort to the usual clearing method of setting everything on fire.  My family is a bunch of pyros who will burn anything given the slightest reason.

To keep up the redneck-ness, we went two-stepping the very same night.  We couldn’t go to Texas and not show J a real-life honky-tonk!  Truthfully, I think he was more amazed at the 75-cent drink special than at the dancing. But we had a great time spinning around the dance floor.  I even got him out on the floor for the Cotton-Eyed Joe before my brother or dad could warn him otherwise.

It might be February to the rest of the world, but this trip also happened to be my family Christmas.  My mom even kept the tree up.  So Saturday we opened presents, giggled in our pjs, and cooked a big lunch.  Well, Dad did most of the cooking, watching the ribs out on the grill.  Then the entire family came over to eat, visit, and laugh.  Just wonderful.  The party included both grandparents, aunts, uncles, my cousin and her new baby, and my uncle from Houston whom I haven’t seen in years – a party indeed!  We stuffed our faces with bar-b-que, beans, potato salad, and coleslaw.  The living room chatter lasted well into the afternoon.  I basked in it.  🙂

Before flying out on Sunday, we managed to squeeze in one last visit.  Two of my besties from college drove over to meet us for brunch.  It was a mini reunion full of reminiscing and catching up.  I really miss my ladies.  And J got to meet some of my old pals.

You know, I have a hard time defining “home.”  I mean, I live in Washington.  Sometimes I say I’m from Oregon – that’s the last place I moved from.  My high school years were in Kansas and I did a stint in Colorado.  But there’s something about Texas…something that gets in your blood and pumps through your veins, no matter where you relocate to.  I may never live in Texas again (don’t tell my momma) but I’ll always be a Texan.  Like they say, born and bred.  So even though I came home with a sad face and a lovely case of poison ivy, happy to be back in my mountains with the snow and cold, my heart belongs to Texas.

heart of Texas

Deep in the Heart (decalzone.com)

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