Ah, home. There’s just no place like it.
   Unless you’re in Texas.
   We got back yesterday afternoon from our trip to Abilene, and I gotta say, the people down there are some of the nicest, friendliest, most laid-back folks I’ve ever met. I’ve never felt so comfortable, so welcome, around people I didn’t know. We had a marvelous time.
  1. THE DRIVE: Cool. It was short enough to be bearable with the kids, but long enough to be enjoyable for us grown-ups. I loved watching the landscape change as the hours went by–gently rolling hills of farmland and clumps of trees gave way to huge wide open fields of nothing but wheat, speckled with cows as far as the eye could see, followed by what can only be described as the oddest place I’ve ever been–flat land full of squatty, vivid-green mesquite trees, looking almost desert-y at times…rocky soil, sprawling cactus, prickly grasses…and Mistle-toe! The most unusual thing we saw on the way down was a herd of camel outside one of the tiny towns on a back road–what an unexpected surprise!
  2. THE RELATIVES: Now, being from Pensacola/Mobile, I’ve met some rednecks. I’ve even met hillbillies during my stay in West Virginia. But these Texas people were just straight-up country–just like on the movies! I was a little nervous about meeting them, and that melted after about, oh, 2 MINUTES of being there. Caleb’s grandma, his aunt and his uncle were so sweet and fun and plain kind-hearted–they never had anything bad to say about anything or anybody, at least not around me. I don’t know why, but I expected them all to be stuffy, old-fashioned, close-minded, "church-going" snickety old people–they were exactly the opposite.
  3. THE DOG:  My husband, the dog whisperer, spent half the weekend trying to charm this old, scared-to-death-of-people, shaggy, black dog his aunt and uncle had on their property. After 2 days, he was able to do what no one had ever done before: a) approach the dog, b) pet the dog gently with 2 hands, and c) vigorously rub the dog’s ears. He was obsessed and kept talking about that sweet little animal even after we got home, saying "I bet I could’ve gotten that dog to sit in my lap if I had just one more day…" (This is how we get so many damn dogs around here–he’s a major dog-lover, and I’m a sucker for cute, fluffy puppies.)
  4. THE PLACE: We stayed in a spare room at his grandma’s, which just so happened to be an old barn that his aunt and uncle had converted into a house just for her, and it was smack dab in the middle of their wheat field. How cool is that? Their house was right next door, and if I was about 10 years old, I would’ve been playing hide-and-seek the whole time, because this place had secret rooms and a basement with a half-finished tunnel–which immediately placed Aunt and Uncle as COOLEST PEOPLE EVER in my book.
  5. THE FOOD: I ate so much down-home country cooking this weekend that I probably could skip meals for the rest of the week and still be fat and happy. That Aunt had me in the kitchen learning all kinds of fancy cooking tricks and shortcuts, all the while making fun of her husband, who struck me as the most hilarious, adorable old man I’ve ever met. We stopped at McDonald’s on the way back up to Oklahoma, which I considered a huge treat in itself–it’s been so long since I had a greasy, flacid little cheeseburger…I truly love those things. And best of all, Caleb did, indeed, carry the princess cooler–about 10 feet from the house to the car, but he had the strap of the pink thing over his shoulder nonetheless. Wish I’d had gotten a picture of it.

   And for anyone who’s wondering, I don’t have the mumps. I’ve concluded the swollen bump that was on the side of my face must have been from the good slam I gave it the other day when I opened the door on my own head. (Yeah, that’s okay. I still don’t understand how that actually happened either.)




About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

10 responses to “COUNTRYFIED!

  • laura

    Oh Gawd… the "What I Watch" list looks eerily similar to my own list of must see’s. LOL. Thanks for stopping by my space. It’s always nice to make a new friend on here. Come on by anytime! :-)

  • Kim

    I’m glad to hear you had such a nice trip!  I love short road trips.  I can’t say that I’ve been far off the east coast (Vegas excluded).  Hmmm …southern cooking sounds good, perhaps I should get to work on my next vacation. 
    Oh and …love your pink cooler! 

  • LH

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

  • Elizabeth

    love the pink cooler! It sounds like you had a nice trip.
    :) lizzie
     oh and thanks for reminding me not to be too hard on my hubby. I guess I blogged in anger.

  • K

    I love road trips!  So much to explore and yet there is such a sense of serenity.. at least until the kids start to fight or start complaining… are we there yet???
    I come from pure Canadian Country folk… but been urbanized as a teen and haven’t been back since.  But the home cooking… that I haven’t lost and still love.
    Glad you don’t have the mumps… you just have bumps!!  Too funny… but please be careful!
    Ciao bella!

  • barnyardmama

    You and a friend of mine were in Abilene at the same time!  I know a girl there flying B1’s 
    The barn sounds awesome–secret tunnels may be the coolest thing I’ve ever heard of!
    My hub’s a dog whisperer too–probably not as good as yours,though.

  • Chantel

    Hi there…I linked over here from Laura’s space – guess I’m just being nosey!  Anyhow, just wanted to let you know I was here and invite you to stop by my space anytime!~~~Chantel

  • Sheryl-Ann

    First time here and I love your writings.  I moved to Texas 3 years ago and I absolutely love it here, so I am glad you had a great visit in Abilene.  When I was moving here, I thought the same way about Texans, but they are the most friendly people and I wish I could get a job here after I am finished my PhD.  However, there are no guarantees but I am sure I will be happy wherever I go:)

  • Unknown

    What an awesome trip – I love feeling at home in places like that.  The country is the best… I’m jealous! 

  • Sue

    LOVE THE COOLER!  Very proud of hubby for carrying it at all!  A real man.  The trip sounds great.  I spent quite a bit of time growing up playing around places like that and with people like Caleb’s fam. Great memories!  You’ve got the bug.  I love living in a city.  visiting the country is always refreshing.  Glad you don’t have the mumps.  I think my daughter at KU (kansas university) is going to have to get vaccinated again because the outbreak is getting out of control there and most of those kids live around here.  It is headed south, so beware. hehe

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