I didn’t quite finish this travel homecoming memoir by a Texas author who hails from my neck of the woods, Abilene, Texas, where I went to college. However, I did find some gems in the book before I had to return it to the library, and I’ll probably come back to it and finish the journey someday.
“Rainfall or the lack of it, the thing that may have killed my great-grandfather, puts its mark on all West Texas life. . . Uninitiated radio and television weather experts will get called down by the natives (assumed or born) when they speak of ‘it’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, the forecast calling for fair weather . . .’ This may be pretty in one sense, but not nearly so beautiful as a black overcast day with the clouds threatening to shed tears at any minute, or a strong, wet wind scudding the dark masses overhead.”
Oh, yes, a lesson I learned early in life: never complain about a rainy day.
And windy days: “Then the girls clutch their skirts, not just for modesty but for survival, feeling the wind to be altogether capable of lifting them up bodily and dumping them, at best, in an undignified sprawl.”
I absolutely remember a day when I was walking down the sidewalk at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and the wind picked me up and I flew for about 10 feet down the sidewalk. I felt like The Flying Nun.
“West Texans are not adventuresome food eaters. Until enough servicemen from other parts had been stationed there in World War II, steaks were customarily cooked until dark gray throughout, and roast beef with a tinge of pink was regarded as raw. My grandmother Cole sent back more than one hamburger for recooking because the meat ‘wasn’t done’—a term that implied a uniform brown quality. Even now most cattle ranchers will have their steaks no way but well done.”
Yep, me too. I don’t want to eat any pink meat, except for ham. If that makes me unadventurous, so be it.
Happy Tuesday, everyone, especially those of you who live in West Texas. I hope it’s raining or threatening rain for you today.