Well, we did it. Traveled to Texas and back in just five short, whirlwind days. If I were to try and cram all of our experiences and pics into one blog post it would be, as some would say (ahem…Eric), like Texas - a little too big and a little too full of itself. So I will break this up into a few installments. There is much to see and the more I allow myself to settle into the inevitable nostalgia of going back from whence I came, the more I want to say...
Let me quickly mention what a fabulous traveler my sweet girl was. Seriously, she played contently in my lap and the laps of my parents for both flights (Eric began a newfound romance with soduko so was a little preoccupied, a welcome distraction as he does NOT like to fly). I took only a couple of pics on the plane or in the airport and this one is only noteworthy because what you can’t see is that she is asleep! I prayed that she would nap on the flight, I just didn’t expect the prayer to be answered so abruptly. One minute she’s awake, the next she is in an in-flight coma and thankfully a pretty deep one because our semi-obnoxious flight attendant could not read my lips as I tried to politely scootch her past our aisle so she didn’t wake my child trying to convince me to buy some $7 blueberry-flavored cashews. First of all, gross. Second of all, whatever happened to complimentary snacks??!!
Let me also give a huge shout out to my parents. Seriously, for a hundred reasons we could not have made the trip without them and DEEPLY enjoyed spending those days with them, better known as RaRa (my mom) and B-dog (my dad), which Harper shortened to just “B.”
|H with RaRa and B - look at that face!|
|shoulder ride with B|
We spent the majority of our time in Texas in the lovely city of Austin, namely in the lovely and BELOVED home of my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Lee. How do I accurately capture in a few words how rich my memories are in their home and how deep my love for them runs?
I was nine when we left Texas so, unlike my parents and older sister, I don’t remember details like street names and landmarks. My memories are more vague, like snapshots, of oaks trees and swimming pools and summer heat rising from the asphalt. But some are more vivid than others. Some are rich with detail - technicolor, familiar smells and sounds, and the accompanying feelings of safety and joy. Such are the memories I have spent in the home of Margaret and Lee. And I was thrilled beyond measure to bring my own husband and child into the fold of these memories, joining the past with the present in the form of homemade pickles, playhouses, and meals around their table which has welcomed countless guests with unmatched hospitality.
|H with her Great Aunt Margaret and Great Uncle Lee|
For several summers my sister and I spent a week in the home of Aunt Margeret and Uncle Lee. Undoubtedly, much of that time was spent letting our imaginations take the lead as we played and tinkered in the playhouse. Complete with real windows, a play stove and sink, and pint-sized dishes, untensils, and food items, I think my love for all things domestic was birthed in the playhouse with the yellow table. It was there that we pretended to be little mommas, making pretend brownies out of dirt and homemade soup out of berries from a nearby bush. Little mommas no more. This time I brought my own daughter to the playhouse with the yellow table.
Sweet girl, I pray that you will have your own space in this world for your innocence and imagination to stretch out and breathe. I pray that I can give you enough idle time to be a child, a dreamer, and a little girl who can make brownies out of dirt and soup out of berries. I pray for you playhouses with yellow tables.
There is much to say about our trip out west, but it seemed fitting to begin in the home that is rich with memories for me, and now for my husband and child. I love love love the movie Spanglish (stay with me here). It is hysterical, endearing and well-written. The story is narrated by a girl named Christina, daughter to Flor (they are the “Span” in Spanglish). Having left Mexico when she was only five years old in a less than legal fashion, Christina knows that she would likely never return to her homeland. Her memories and connections to Mexico would all be tied up in her mother as she notes, “she would be my mexico.” Great line.
Aunt Margaret and Uncle Lee - I have spent over two-thirds of my life outside of Texas. My memories of the state are few, but are all good. Every memory I have of growing up in my home with my parents and sister is more than fond - full of unconditional love and joy. But they have gone with me, or I have gone with them I should say, from state to state, milestone to milestone. They are past, present, and future. You two, on the other hand, represent so much of what Texas means to me, what draws me back from time to time.
You will be my Texas.
I love you. Ich liebe sie.