Thursday, January 10, 2008


Well, I guess it's officially spring. Tuesday at work I stuck my hand in a pot full of fire ants (not intentionally), and Wednesday I was bitten by a spider. It was small and brown and it hurt like a son-of-a-gun, but luckily my flesh hasn't begun to rot. Instead, it just made a whelp that stretched from my armpit to my elbow, and it stung, itched and ached like a giant bruise, all at the same time. John kept trying to get me to go to the doctor, but I looked up spider bites on the internet, and discovered that actually, there is no treatment for them - unless you get the kind that blisters up, ruptures and rots, in which case they will give you antibiotics for the infection. Glad that didn't happen.

Here in the lower half of Texas, we don't get near as excited about the coming of spring as we do about fall. Unlike the rest of the country, we've spent a very pleasant winter out of doors, with most days in the sixties, or even seventies, so we are not exactly suffering from cabin fever. If we are chomping at the bit to get busy in the garden, it's only because we know that it's just a matter of weeks before temperatures approach triple digits, and dragging our butts out of these air-conditioned houses will get much more difficult. Also, we need to take advantage of the spring rains, as you never know when a summer drought will set in, or how long it will last. Come to think of it, the one from last summer still hasn't ended yet. This time last year, our creek was rushing over it's dams and spilling onto the road, but by summer it had dried to a trickle, and it has been like that ever since.

As I mentioned earlier, the surest sign that spring has sprung, is that the bugs are back in town. Haven't seen hide nor hair of a scorpion all winter, and have become rather lax about shaking out my shoes before I put them on. The ants and spider were a warning that it's time to snap to attention. Next thing you know, we will be driving through clouds of love-bugs as we go to and from Wimberley. I hate those blasted things. They splat all over your car and petrify within seconds. Trying to use your wipers just smears the gut-cement around, making it even worse. After they die down, it will be time for the attack of the killer mosquitoes, and so it goes... On the plus side, we usually have fabulous drifts of wildflowers all along the roadsides throughout the Hill Country this time of year. Unfortunately, due to our lack of rain this winter, most of the seeds didn't germinate. Can you believe it? That five-hour fiasco, uhm, I mean fun-filled, trip to Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, was all for nought?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Normally, it really ticks me off to arrive here in Wimberley and find the house in such a mess. However, there has been a serious shift in my paradigm of late. I have finally come to realize that my baby girl is actually leaving home sooner, not later, and all of John's predictions have come true.

When Alexis was four or five, I used to bemoan the fact that she wasn't very good at entertaining herself. She thought that was my job, and if I wasn't actively playing with her, she'd be dogging my heels wherever I went, whining about being bored (Mom said I did the exact same thing to her). Luckily, once she learned to read, she fell madly in love with books (also like me), and I finally got a few minutes to myself. As she got older, we shared a love for crafts and creative projects, which led to another problem. Kids would call and invite Alexis to do stuff with them, but I would hear her tell them "No, sorry, I can't go to the movie with you. I already have other plans." When she got off the phone, I would say "And just what are these other plans, young lady?" She would grin and reply "I plan to hang out with you, Mom!" Now, of course I was flattered that she preferred spending time with me, but it just didn't seem all that healthy, know what I mean? Whenever I would complain to John about any of this, his usual reply would be "Just you wait. Someday she's going to grow up and get too busy for you, and you'll be longing for the good ol' days." Well, that time has arrived. In a little over two months, my precious daughter is moving off to California, and after 23 years of feeling like we were attached at the hip, I will suddenly be lucky if I get to see her once or twice a year! How on earth will I cope?

* * * * *

A week has gone by, and we are back in Houston. I had just crawled into bed, and was drifting off to sleep, when I was startled back awake by the ringing of the phone. "Hello?", I mumbled. "Mom, guess what?" "What?", I replied. "I finally got my diploma in the mail." "That's nice Sweetheart." "Guess what else?" "I don't know. What else?", I asked. "It says I graduated with honors!" "Wow, that is fantastic, Honey. We're so proud of you!", I cried. "Well, I guess I'll let you get back to sleep." "Okay, but thanks for calling, Lex. That was really great news." "Well, good night", she said. "Oh - one more thing. One of the guys we are moving to California with says he needs some more time to save up money, so we will be staying here for a while longer. Bye bye!" "What did you say?", I asked. But too late, the phone was dead. Turning to shake my husband awake, I cried "John! They are not leaving in April after all! What if they never leave? What if we never get our house back, and we are stuck with their cat forever, and we can never have company because the guest room is full of their stuff and there is cat hair everywhere? What if they never get full-time jobs and become self-supporting? What are we going to do? AAAGGGHHH!!!"

And here we go again - riding that same old see-saw. Up and down. Up and down.