Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Squashed neighbors and two minute thunderstorms.

When we first started traveling, the 1st mate spent about a month going through the atlas finding routes to places where we might be going. Every one of them, no matter where it ended, went through Texas. We did manage a weekend trip to Texas for Triduum/Easter two years ago, but this is the first time that we've made it here for more than a few days.
We began noticing "Southern" things in OK. A mimosa tree or pecan tree here or there, grits, 500 degree heat,  a little boy named Striker, who was called Bubba...etc. Once we got to Texas, things really hit home. The accents, the fact that it never cools down at all, it's all here, very much like Alabama.

On July 3, we were camped on the shore of Lake Texoma. The campground was exceedingly crowded because of the holiday, and the sites were uncomfortably close together, but that could all be got over when one considered the fishing, or so I am told. Our neighbors on the right where a loud, but friendly group, who accorded us plenty of amusement during our stay.
We  decided to have fajitas for supper. Because we were on 30 amp and could not run two air conditioners (the front one and the back one) we decided to cook outside so that we would not heat the house up with our dinner. The Commodore and the crew were down at the lake, fishing, and the Admiral was starting to get really hungry, and so after a bit of discussion, he and I decided to go ahead and cook supper. But we had not the wood for our fire. It had just rained and everything good was soaked.
The commodore returned in time to suggest that rather than building a we fire we should just buy a bundle of wood. I agreed to start a fire while the Commodore and Admiral went for the wood. I was just beginning to light our little fire when the Head of the Neighbors on the Right came over and called out that they had a very hot pile of briquettes that they had finished with, and that we were more than welcome to use. We declined politely, preferring to have a campfire. The Commodore and Admiral left, and I got some small sticks burning steadily. The Head of the Neighbors came again to repeat his offer. I assured him that our fire was well on its way.
Sometime in the next minute or so, something of great importance was spotted  by everyone. A great black thunderhead was looming over the campground. About thirty seconds later the winds began to rise. Persons began hauling in awnings and blow-away-able objects to safety. I calmly continued building my fire. The Commodore and the Admiral returned. Another of the neighbors pointed out that we really were welcome to use their fire. As the first drops of rain fell, the Commodore accepted the offer. We dragged our frying pan and our steak over to the fire and let the rain destroy my infant flames. The neighbors' fire was a two foot long, two foot wide bed of red hot coals. The commodore slapped the steaks on just as the skies let loose. I held the umbrella over the food. The neighbors lowered the roof of their little tent and went on eating their supper. One of them noticed us with our umbrella and brought another so that we would have better coverage. We cooked our steaks. The rain poured down and the wind blew. We finished the steaks and returned the umbrella.

We cooked the peppers and onions in Tallulah.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Essay on the Amazingness of my Sister the Harbor Master

Quite Frankly, I doubt this post even needs to be written. Those who know her know just how amazing she is, and I hesitate to mention her wonderfulness to anyone who doesn't know of it, as they will certainly feel the pain of not knowing her. But I promised her, and so it must be.
I first met the Harbor Master sometime around the time I was born. Her first kindness to me was rendered before my birth; she so thoroughly trained my parents that they had no difficulty whatsoever in looking after me. Later, while the Stowaway was trying to teach me how to fly (an exercise that resulted in my first trip to the emergency room and a concussion) the Harbor Master was helping our mother teach me such important things as How To Clean Up Your Toys So That Mom Will Not Yell At You. Later, when she acquired a tiny, adorable, half Cocker spaniel half Chihuahua puppy, she appointed me to guard the puppy from our then very little, very puppy hugging sister.On our first camping trip, she gently informed me of the many, many dangers that lurk in Alabama forests. Because of this, I (and the Stowaway) wisely moved into the nice safe cabin, leaving her to comfortably defend the tent with the 2nd Mate.
When we were older, the Harbor Master began to pave the way for us. She was the first to cut her hair short, taking the brunt of the Admiral's displeasure (he grumbled for several months) and the first to drive, and the first to go on a date, and the first to get married. These are all difficult things for parents to handle and she was the pioneer for us all.
Most recently, the Harbor Master showed me the kindness of allowing me to spend an entire month in her company. I flew to Florida for her Graduation ceremony (her actual graduation was last December) and from there drove back to Alabama with her and RC (her husband). They have kindly occupied base camp while we are voyaging.
The Harbor Master assured me at once that I was not at all a guest, and should not behave, nor feel like one. While this sounds very blunt when written, it was in fact, very kind in person. One who is not a guest may do as one pleases without bothering to check with one's host. One who is not a guest may eat any food in the kitchen without asking. One who is not a guest may mow the grass and wash the dishes, without any of the awkwardness of the host insisting that it is not necessary. It is absolutely mind boggling how quickly a month can go by when one is not a guest.
So to thank the Harbor Master for her kindness throughout my life, and particularly during the month of May, I have put it here, for ever and ever.
Harbor Master, you are one amazing sister. Thank you.

I will probably now be hounded by my remaining siblings. To them I can only say that when you welcome me into your home for a month and let me rant about everything that ever bothered me, and feed me all of my favorite foods, and introduce me to new favorite foods, and help me get volunteered to help at some dinner thing that I get a free t-shirt for helping with, and just generally give me a totally awesome vacation, I'll write something on how amazing you are too.