Blue Interlude

Back to Texas after four months away, and the Winnie was like I never left it. Central Texas had an unusually cold winter with single digit temps, so it’s always a relief to hear the water pump roar to life while filling the lines, then stop once it’s done its job, not to be heard from until summoned for duty once again.

Those who know me know that I am not a big fan of my native state. I always felt like I was the oddball in one of those “Which one is not like the others” games. It took leaving Texas to realize it wasn’t just me. I never owned a pair of cowboy boots. I don’t care to learn how to shoot a gun. And I can’t subscribe to the “everthang’s bigger ‘n better in Texas!” because I have seen bigger and better. (Nor do I find humor in the guy wearing the “I’m a A$$hole, I own guns, and if you don’t like it, MOVE!” tee shirt in front of me while waiting for Mom’s prescription in the pharmacy line.) I’ve tried all my life to lose my Texas twang. And I’ve never done a line dance in my life. So returning to Texas is a means to an end…to see family, not to visit Texas. And certainly not to call it “home.”

But there is an exception to my undying disdain for the Lone Star State, and that is the brief two weeks in April when the usual dry, brittle Johnson grass and shrubby mesquite trees are spiffed up with a rolling carpet of “bluetopia” as the Texas Bluebonnets begin unfurling along the highways, fields, pastures, and country roads. Driving down to Ennis, where 40 miles of country roads and gently rolling hills have been designated as the “Texas Bluebonnet Trail” is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Seeing the waves of blue undulate down through the meadows and up over the hills is a sight that thrills me with delight!

It’s not enough to see them along the highways. I want to get out of the car and smell their heady, intoxicating fragrance wafting through the air. One or two plants alone, and you can barely detect a scent. But get in the midst of an entire field of them, and their fragrance permeates with a sweet, powder-scented breeze. I can smell them the minute I step out of the car.

It’s not just the bluebonnets, though. This year, the Indian Paintbrush were almost as prolific. Sadly, they have no fragrance, though. So bluebonnets continue to reign supreme as the harbingers of spring.

14 thoughts on “Blue Interlude

  1. welcome back to the usofa! I love the pictures of the bluebonnets, but I adore the last picture with that strong contingent of paint brushes.
    Thanks for a fantastic trip, we enjoyed it all.

  2. Welcome back! I’m an East Texas transplant as of 28 years ago so I know what you mean about Texans and the beauty of the state’s wildflowers. Folks from my home state of Pennsylvania told me I’d never last in Texas; I’ve always been a misfit here. But Texans smoothed my rough Yankee ways 🙂 Yet as I approach my 70th birthday, I want more of a social life with my own kind, so very soon now, my Texas cottage will be sold and I’ll be traveling full-time in La Lair, with a goal to eventually build a place in a small town up north.

  3. Good to hear you made it back and everything is working in your rig. That is always a stress reliever. When we left our 5th wheel in Utah when we went to Alaska a few years ago we returned to find everything fine except the candles, it had gotten so hot in there that they melted into a pile of goo!

  4. My mom and dad lived in San Antonio while he was in the service. My mom was homesick and pregnant with no air conditioning back in the 50’s so their time in Texas was not the best. But she always talked about the beautiful bluebonnets! A painting of them that she bought when she lived there always hung in her home back in Illinois! I love the contrast with the Indian Paintbrush!

  5. What an adventure it’s been! I’m sure it’s feeling odd to be back and re-adjusting to somewhat (at least for now) stationary life. Looking forward to your next adventure.


  6. Many of us felt like misfits. I moved to Louisiana as a child and couldn’t even understand what people were saying! Sixteen years later the destination was
    Texas. It has changed a lot since I left almost 20 years ago, but while I was
    there, I found very, very hospitable people who didn’t know what the phrase, “I can’t” meant and were always ready with a helping hand. Nope, I never wore boots, had a gun or drank beer. But, I sure did enjoy all that coastline for sailing etc. Texas is so diverse, it is possible to find your niche if you just look around………

    Love the bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush photos. This year is the first time I have missed them in 18 years, sadly.

    Happy Trails wherever you are headed next!

  7. There is one other draw in Texas I’m a bit surprised you don’t mention given the name of your blog and frequent references — live music. At just about any crossroads bar in Texas there will usually be a little stage in the corner where you’ll get a couple of folks with guitars singing original songs on Friday or Saturday night, all for the price of a couple of beers and $10 in the tip jar. And I credit the quality of the music scene in Texas to the support of appreciative audiences.

    • Thanks for the comment, Creigh. I agree with you when it comes to areas down around Austin and the Hill Country. However, the area where the family farm is located is rapidly being consumed by the DFW Metroplex, home of chain restaurants, strip malls, and industrial complexes, sucking the soul out of everything it encompasses.

  8. Oh, my gosh! Those photos of the bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush! But, wait…you’ve *never* done a line dance?? Not even in the dynamic disco days??? I love the nightlife! I’ve got to boogie…:-)

    • My dear friend Rhonda, I love the nightlife too! And I love to boogie! And I can (doot doot, doo, ta doot ta doot do do) “Do the Hustle” with the best of ’em until Donna Summer starts winding up in “The Last Dance.” But my best friend back in the day used to refer to line dancing as “The Ugly Girl’s Dance” because it was typically done by women, danced without a partner. It left a mark. 😉

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