Road Trip Day 1 – Houston to Austin

Smog hung heavy over Houston as I headed west out of the city. It was 80 degrees at 8 am, with the promise of heat and humidity. Mile after mile of flat grassland flashed past as I drove the familiar route down 290. I was super happy to be on the road again.

Can’t really take decent pictures when you’re driving

I always love it when I get to Washington County, known for being “the birthplace of Texas”. It’s like a magical change. The landscape morphs to rolling hills, with long white painted fences edging the roads, cows grazing on lush green grass, remnants of summer flowers still blooming. The sky, by this time, was blue with ever changing white clouds, and the sun was shining.

Not really a picture of rolling hills, but definitely prettier

I decided to stop in Brenham, at the Bluebell Creamery. It was only 9:30 in the morning, but I couldn’t pass by without getting a generous scoop of ice cream for only a dollar! I chose Millennium Crunch, an all time favorite. In case you didn’t know it, Bluebell ice cream is famous in Texas, and I was raised believing it was the best ice cream in the world. I guess I still think it is.

I enjoyed the rest of the ride to Austin, arriving at my daughter’s apartment just in time for her to fix me a delicious lunch sandwich. She is vegan and I am vegetarian, and we enjoyed lightly sauteed tempeh with avocado, lettuce, and tomato on rye bread, with plantain chips. I forgot to take a picture.

We just had the one afternoon, and really just wanted to hang out together. Since it was so hot (in the 90’s by then), we decided to stay in and watch a movie. We chose The Out of Towners with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, and it didn’t disappoint. I’m going to have to check out the remake with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn.

We wanted to go out and take a walk in one of the wilderness areas, but decided to wait til the sun was down. It was time to think about food again, and this time I was treated to a bowl of batter fried tofu, rice, and sauteed veggies. Again, deliciious and satisfying.

yum

After that we took a short walk through a forested area nearby.

Me and my daughter Gillian

I’ve been to Austin dozens of times in the 12 years since she moved here to go to college. Usually we and siblings who have been along go to restaurants, shops, events. It’s different now, and not just because of the pandemic. This time it was about just being with this one special person, and for me, experiencing anew the gratefulness I have for this human’s presence in my life.

September!

This is one of my favorite months! I live in the south so it is still hot, but the promise of cooler weather is there – although not for at least another month!

wpid-wp-1441467245884.jpegLife shifts and changes, and I haven’t been here so much lately. After my two  out of state trips in May and June , I felt a bit unsettled for a while. Taking a weekend road trip to Austin in late June capped off the summer travel, and left me wanting to move there! My son has lived there for five years so I’ve visited quite a bit since then, and every time I go I want to stay!

July was very hot, and my spare hours were filled with finishing Term 1 of my ayurvedic studies. The term concluded with a Nutrition Intensive, so I spent extra time in the kitchen. A major change that has happened since I began these studies is that I have become much more particular about what and how I eat. I prefer fresh food, and have learned that it’s not hard to prepare simple meals of grains and vegetables. I haven’t eaten meat since April, and over all feel much more balanced. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain prana, or life force, and it just feels better inside.  So one of the things I hope to do is develop ayurvedic cooking classes to the end of better health for more people.

Carol Nacogdoches Aug 2015August was hotter than ever, getting up around 100 degrees in the early part. I took a day trip to Nacogdoches for a visit with my youngest daughter, and found that it has a great oldtown shopping center. Carol and I had a great time shopping and cooking and getting her more ready for the next school term at Stephen F Austin University where she will continue her vocal performance studies.

David and RoniLast week my oldest son, David, got married. I have to say that when he announced his engagement earlier this year, I was surprised, but not surprised. He and Roni have known each other for 13 years, and it was on again, off again, and they finally decided to take the leap. They got married on a Carnival Cruise Ship before taking off on the cruise ( I didn’t go!) and it was very nice, lots of fun, and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with people not often seen.

Now I am looking forward with great anticipation to Sept 28, when Robert and I will leave the heat and humidity and fly north to spend three weeks road-tripping from western New York through Massachusetts and Maine to Nova Scotia and then back down to the Boston area before flying home. I have been wanting to do this for years, and am very excited! We don’t have a real fall here, so the timing of it is to experience peak fall foliage.

In the midst of all these experiences, I go to work, I watch a movie, I take a walk. I meditate, I do yoga. I visit my granddaughter, I try to stay connected with all my seven children. I meet new people, mostly only in that moment, then we each go on with our lives.  I occasionally write and paint. I ponder the meaning of life, but less frequently than when I was younger. I look for ways to practice kindness and compassion every day. I embrace uncertainty.