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Location: Somewhere (not over China)

I grew up in a town with hippies, rednecks, and a reservation. My daddy was a cowboy and my mother was a Baptist. Thus, my life experiences molded me to be slightly off center at all times...sometimes right, sometimes left.

Monday, June 20, 2005

She Went to Texas

But the warm Summer breezes
The French wines and cheeses
Put his ambition at bay

I love the summertime. It seems like I struggle through every winter, just hoping to survive...and I always do. About February, I start to have hope.

I plant something. Usually it is way too early, but I plant it anyway...I have hope. Now it is full fledged summertime, and I am busy every night chasing endless weeds that invade my flowerbeds. Any day now I will get sick of weeding and start a project, which will last the rest of the summer.

I know exactly when and why I moved to Texas. I got a letter from the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles--here in Texas it is the DPS--Department of Public Safety) that informed me that my next certificate for driving in excess of the speed limit would be my last. Up until that time I had considered those certificates some kind of a prize, but that day I realized that they were tickets and the State of California meant business.

I was working a gig in Texas when I got the letter. So, I looked for the DMV. They didn't have one, and I learned about the DPS. I went down, walked in, gave them my California drivers license, took a test, took a picture, and came out a Texan. The really great part was that Texas didn't share information about driving awards with California, so my record was wiped clean. And it took about twenty minutes. In California it took twenty minutes to find a parking space, a few hours to get the whole thing done.

Obviously, I wasn't really ambitious in the traditional sense, or the basis of my decision to become a Texan wouldn't have been my long history of driving awards. But I was ambitious in my own way. I wanted to wander around endlessly seeing things and taking pictures.

Texas agreed with me in some fundamental way. It wasn't the water that is for sure--crappiest water in the States as near as I can tell. Not even the food--I still think barbeque should be tri-tip, and enchiladas should have olives on them. But something about the spirit of the place, the wide open sky agreed with me.

I started spending more time in Texas than California. It was subtle at first--I wouldn't return to California until it got to be more than a hundred degrees in Texas. Then I would only return to California between gigs. I still went to other states, but I was spending more and more time in Texas.

One day, I decided to get a real job, so I did. I quit my job and followed a Jimmy tour across the Southwest, and then I got a real job. That real job led to another real job, that job led to a bunch of other jobs (they called them promotions) and ten years later here I am.

And, amazingly, I like it! All my belongings fit in the back of a Jeep when I came to west Texas. The first advancement required a trailer. The second took two trips with the trailer. The last move took too many trips to count. I've had the same Mennonite family moving me every time, and they have definately noticed the difference. It is a good thing their kids have grown from toddlers to teenagers, or they might not be able to get the job done.

The only thing I miss is taking a month off in the summertime to wander around with my camera. Being a "real" person, not a gypsy anymore, I can't just arrange my life around social occasions. So, all too often my time off is spent with family and friend obligations. I used to do all those things, but then I took my time to wander around all by myself.

So, this summer my resolution is to take a vacation and do what I want. I don't know exactly what that is yet, I'm thinking on it. I may drop by to visit my grandmother who is old and won't live much longer, but basically I am going wandering.

I just have to pick the dates....

And Summers and Winters
Scattered like splinters
And four or five years slipped away.