a Texas hill country moment~

We’re in San Antonio, Texas today–arrived yesterday and not terribly impressed with it. This morning we did go to the Alamo, and that was amazing-the age old fascination with what was basically a massacre. What draws us to such a story? The structure is from old Mexico, beautiful stucco, flagstone courtyards–if we ever win the lottery, I have some great design ideas! Very sobering to realize what went on that long ago day-Davy Crockett, Will Travis, Jim Bowie-all those names from history become just a little bit more real when you’re standing there.

We did the whole Riverwalk thing in town-the boat ride is worth the trip, beautiful architecture, but other than that, its just a big mall, and I don’t care for malls.

We’ve decided to leave San Antonio tomorrow rather than stay another day-been there, done that, don’t like the traffic and huge numbers of people! So off we’ll go to San Angelo for a couple days to see if it is as good as it seems on the internet.

But first–oh my goodness, let me tell you about yesterday. As Maryann from Tapestries of Hope would say, God winked at us. We started out the day by going to my birthplace of Ft Hood, home of the 1st Cavalry Div. My dad served there many years ago, and I was born near the end of his tour. In my heart of hearts, I felt that, as a returning daughter, I merited a parade in my honor, or at least a personal escort, but apparently they were busy with military things and I had to manage with Handsome Husband as my escort. He is a font of military information, so is exceedingly helpful in such situations. I took lots of pictures soon as we got into Ft Hood-there was an entire area with armaments from various wars–but it seemed archaic compared with what our military is now using. The 1st Cav has deployed numerous times since the Global War on Terror began, and there were signs everywhere wishing them farewell and welcoming them home. What a sight to see.

While at the post exchange-well, that was where God first winked at me! Last year I read a great book called “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” by Jeannie Ralston. It was a memoir detailing the author’s move to Texas a few years back, and her evolution into becoming a lavender farmer in the hill country. I loved the book and determined that when we were out in that part of the country, I would stop at her farm and see all that beautiful lavender. I also knew that there was a lavender festival supposed to happen at some point,  but wasn’t sure when. I planned on looking it up online last nite when we arrived at the hotel. So….I ended up speaking with a woman who worked at the PX, and she suggested we bypass the main route to San Antonio and take a lesser road, avoiding Friday PM rush hour. What I didn’t realize along the way was that we were entering hill country–the land was rolling a bit more, scrub pine, a stiff breeze blowing and cooling it off JUST a little from the 102 degrees! We drove along-by this time I had donned my straw cowboy hat for cover-very necessary out here! And here we come into this little town called Blanco, and I immediately noticed that there were purple flags all over, and lavender bunting–we had rolled RIGHT INTO lavender country, and this was the ANNUAL lavender festival! I pretty much burned up the brakes with stopping and found a parking spot and took off–tents everywhere, selling everything lavender. AND here is the second wink–the first tent I walked into was from Hill Country Lavender–the memoir farm! Just imagine yourself for a moment, standing in 102 degree heat, but SURROUNDED by the heavenly scent of lavender–lotions, soaps, shampoos, essential oils, eye pillows…you name it! I felt IMMEDIATELY relaxed! (well,almost!). In speaking with one of the young women tending the tent, I offered that I had recently arrived from NJ and was winding my way through the country, and Texas was top of my list. AND do you know what her first question was? “What exit?” she asked, and thereby identified herself as a native of some sort! I told her exit 5, and she laughed and said she was from exit 13. By such means do wayward NJ travelers recognize each other!  She moved out here 5 years ago, and highly recommended this place to me. I spent maybe an hour just browsing through the scented tents-ahhhh…..breathe.

So, here I am now, and I’ve already told Handsome Husband that if San Angelo checks out, I’m willing to up and move here! The people are friendly–and they really do say “y’all come back now, hear?” when you say goodbye, I like the weather (in spite of the heat), I like the history, I like the lavender–its right at the top of the list! So, someday I maybe writing y’all regularly from the hill country of Texas, as a native. There are so many possibilities!

I’m tanned, feeling relaxed, enjoying the time with Handsome Husband and life is good.  I’m so glad we decided to start thinking outside the box those many months ago when things went south with his job. A true story of one door closing and a myriad of windows opening! My lesson here is to not operate from fear, and think outside the parameters-great things can happen as a result..

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