In Texas With Old Friends…

April 11, 2010 in North America, Travelogue, United States


Family picnic at the Art Fair in Fort Worth, TX

There’s nothing to garner appreciation for the mile after mile of chessboard flat, pothole free joy that is the American Interstate Highway like a couple of months of donkey strewn, topes (speed bump) ridden, crater sprinkled, once paved, graveled over mule tracks that criss-cross the southern reaches of the continent.  I actually slept in the van this afternoon, for the first time on the trip, free from bone jarring interruptions and without the need to watch for road blocks or translate abstruse roadsigns.  The hot pink sun is sinking slowly into the wide-open prairie horizon and a deep American blue twilight blankets the banks of the mighty Mississippi River as she winds her way through the Missouri flatlands.  We’ve come 600 miles, so far, today.



Downtown Dallas, where JFK was assassinated

We could not have hoped for a better “welcome home” than that which greeted us in Kaufman, Texas in the arms of the happy Habeggar family.  We met Karl and Dawn when they were newly weds and Hannah was just two; we haven’t seen them in seven long years.  They haven’t changed a bit!  They are both talented artists and their greatest masterpiece is their family, with three children and a bite sized dog in a 1920’s built farmhouse they exemplify the very best of life, love, and learning.  We were showered with hugs, fabulous food (all the things we’ve missed most!) much laughter and late nights of catching up on the better part of a decade of life missed.  It felt like we’d just seen them last week.  It was a complete joy to all of us to discover that over the years we’ve grown in exactly the same direction and our children fell together like they were long lost cousins, appearing only to eat.  We walked their neighbourhood, bounced on their trampoline, toured downtown Dallas, stopping for a history lesson in front of the spot where JFK was shot, took a train to Fort Worth to attend an art fair and packed every ounce of fun into the daylight that burned off far too quickly.  There weren’t enough hugs to soothe the good-bye this morning.



The Habeggars!

It’s a long way from Texas to Indiana.  It’s only about six inches on the map, but it will take us two long days.  We’re rolling hard for the Circle City and a week long party that will include every living relative in my mother’s family, three birthday parties and a baby shower.  This is the calm before the storm, the very end of our little family’s solitary winter escape.  There is nothing better than pushing off into the great beyond with a few months pregnant with possibility.  Nothing better, perhaps, than coming home, whatever home means.  For us, it is defined by the people we love best and the coming month will be a succession of home comings and a continual parade of the folks who colour the mosaic of our lives.  Tonight I’m enjoying the quiet, tomorrow will come soon enough.