Tuesday, March 10, 2009

hippies, country clubs, and rednecks

One of the best parts of my job is that I can have several days off in a row without taking any vacation time.  Last weekend I went on a road trip through Texas to visit family, and I guess going from city to city so quickly really made me notice the contrasts between them more than I usually do.  It certainly takes all kinds to make a world.  Thursday afternoon I left straight from the hospital, having packed my car the night before.  I stopped at the library on the way out of town to pick up some books-on-CD.  The library I go to used to be an old movie theater, and still has "Americana" written on the sign.  There's usually some interesting-looking tattooed character sitting on the bench outside, smoking a cigarette or pipe and tapping away on a laptop.  

After picking up my books, I made my way to I-35 and headed to Dallas to visit Meemo, my 88-yr old grandmother who lives in a very nice retirement home called The Edgemere.  All my memories of visiting Meemo when I was growing up include wearing my nicest clothes, being on my best behavior, and trying to think of something to say.  Not much has changed, except now I'm old enough to enjoy myself while being on my best behavior.  As usual, I got lost and had to call my dad for directions once I got into Dallas.  But I found my way eventually, and spent the evening visiting in Meemo's apartment.  Friday we went to the Dallas arboretum, which was beautiful.  I'd never been, and all the newly-blossomed spring flowers were amazing.  Secretly though, after seeing about 2 million tulips, I really just wanted to go play in the storybook houses they had for the kids.  I don't think Meemo would have approved.  If I ever go back, I'm taking a child with me.  That night we dressed up and went to "wine and cheese" before dinner.  In the words of Harold, one of the residents I met at wine and cheese, "life at the Edgemere is like living on a cruise ship."  It really seems that way.  We ate dinner in the formal dining room.  It's always fun to hear the comments the other residents make about me at dinner.  Things like, "Well, you aren't old enough to be here!" and whispers behind me of "Who's that?  It must be Ruth's granddaughter."  I had a good time in Dallas, but more than a day or 2 would really wear me out.    

Saturday morning I packed away my dresses and high-heels, put my jeans and sketchers back on, and went back on the road.  I was determined not to get lost on my way out of Dallas.  No such luck.  Whoever designed the highways in that town had a cruel sense of humor.  Anyway, I finally got my bearings right, and made my way to good old Magnolia, population 1,111.  Saturday was my mom's birthday, and I had sworn Dad to secrecy that I was coming home to surprise her.  I was afraid that telling him my plan was a mistake - he has a history of blowing surprises.  But I was very proud of him for managing to keep the secret.  Mom was sitting at her desk putting on makeup, and was sufficiently surprised when I sneaked up behind her and gave her a hug.  Surprises are so satisfying.  The next 2 days were full of the usual random home things, like laughing over funny youtube videos with Dad, walking through the woods to my aunt and uncle's house, playing games with my cousins, admiring Mom's newly-planted garden, ice cream/movie night, and setting up chairs at the community center for church.  I love my church in Austin, but it always feels so homey to be at Magnolia Bible, where everyone knows my name and gives me hugs.  

Now I'm back in Austin, and I paid for my long weekend with a 13-hour work day.  It's good to be back though.  I'm too sloppy for Dallas, and Magnolia is a place to go home to, but I really have loved getting to know this little city.  I think God knew what He was doing when He brought me here.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, I love the part about the nursing home. ;)