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Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Finally Feeling 100 % Again!

Although the calendar says I'm old, I never feel my age. Once in awhile when I catch a glimpse of myself reflected in the full length mirror as I walk in or out of the house, I wonder who that misshapen woman with the big butt and huge belly who looks about three feet tall can possibly be. Other times, when I put in my contact lenses and can see better than when I wear the glasses I hate, I'm amazed at the unruliness of brows that were once black, smooth and well-shaped, the jowls and someone sunken cheeks of a face that was always toned and had no blemishes, I shake my head and just let it go. The physical changes momentarily sadden me, but then I move blithely away from the mirrors and go about my business with energy and joy. The thing that really stops me in my tracks is the slowness with which my health returns after a bout of illness or injury. That really frustrates me--I've always had excellent health, am still totally drug-free, and have no patience, nor have I ever had any patience with being sick. The fact that it is impossible to have a regular doctor since they come and go isn't a problem for me--have never had a regular doctor. But, oh, it is more than I can handle when a week after a flu or food poisoning event has me still exhausted almost a week after the event. I have not been a joy to live with these past few days. When I was ill, I wasn't a problem. I hate imposing on anyone when ill--or anytime. I usually make the motel room neater and cleaner than when I arrived and this time was no different--I clean it so it is clean for the maid! LOL I'd never make a good rich bitch with servants, I'm afraid. We remained an extra day in Eunice so that I was rested enough to travel and we went only a short distance to Leesville and stopped by 1 in the afternoon. I changed into a nice robe and read in the sunshine after lunch. We got up late and traveled into Texas on Friday but even so I was still horribly tired. Nothing satisfied me--there were two museums in Leesville that looked interesting but I had no interest or energy. I was dissatisfied with the routes available to us in Texas because we have covered so much of this State that there isn't much of anything left to explore. I wanted to go to San Padre Island but Bill didn't want to go to Brownsville and I didn't want to go to Corpus and Port Aransas! Pissy--just pissy. So we headed to either Temple or Wacko Waco. The room there was beautiful but being right near Baylor the room was outrageously expensive and though we used points we weren't willing to stay there two nights. I ate my first real meal at Texas Roadhouse and it was fine but not great. For a beef cattle State it was sadly lacking a good Steakhouse--at least that we could find. Though I didn't complain and actually felt better that evening than I had been. The next morning continued my aggravation with Texas. The day before we were on a major road, though not an interstate, all day. No Farm Roads and no back roads so no new interesting discoveries. We did stop at Sam Houston's grave in Huntsville which I've wanted to visit many times as we've gone through the city. Unfortunately, though the cemetery looked lovely and I think would have been enjoyable to stroll through, there is no parking spot anywhere nearby to leave the car. Calvert was an interesting town that I don't remember traveling through before. But, I have just had the sense of racing at 60-75 miles per hour through the miles as though we have a destination in mind, which we don't, and just covering territory mindlessly. I hate traveling that way. So, now, we had to decide what direction to take. Bill suggested Wichita Falls--been there done that--and the route from Waco up is one we've been on. Don't want to go to Lubbock and Clovis again. So, we decided to head to Abilene. The big problem is that the large cities are far apart in this area and it is there that the motels are located. One can travel Farm Roads here and there are plenty BUT after covering 300-350 miles or less, if exploring, at the end of the day you are in some small burg without a place to stay--or worse, not in any burg at all! It is big country here, with lots of range land, cotton fields and little in the way of settlement for travelers. But the trip to Abilene did provide a smaller road, Tx 6 and at least one nice Farm Road that took us in the right direction--that also is a problem at times, so off we headed. As we passed through Clifton I saw Sulak's Czech bakery and meat market! What a combo! Could not drive by without a look see---omg, much to choose from--all kinds of pickles and syrups and jams and jellies, jerky and sausage, breads, rolls, stuffed sausage and cheese rolls, phyllo pastry and cookies. We were good, though. A bit of jalapeno beef jerky, a cherry pastry, two small oatmeal cookies, some sausage sticks and the girl agreed to sell me just two rolls. I've traveled all this way with Jones liverwurst but didn't want to buy bread to make a sandwich because I knew it would just mold and I'd have to throw it away. The packages of rolls were six packs but the owner said they use them in the diner for sandwiches so they'd sell me two. Had to buy a coffee to go with my cookies. We resumed the road, with me in a better mood, already--LOL With cookie in hand we arrived at a fork in the road where a large historical site was set up--Bosque County. But down the road I could see a beautiful building peeking over the trees. We headed across the Bosque River into Meridian, established in 1854.The magnificent courthouse was built in 1886. It is surrounded by a square in which sit several buildings built in 1911ish--right out of a John Ford movie. Wonder if any famous bandits robbed that tiny bank? The First National, no less! Made the circuit round the square--interesting geometric description. Maybe drove the perimeter of the square is more accurate? Anyway, backtracked to the intersection and continued along Tx 6 to Hico (???, what's with these names?) where we noticed something in fleeting about Billy the Kid--he probably holed up here after robbing the bank in Meridian--who knows? Only interesting thing was the huge stirrup on the outskirts of town. And on into Dublin, where Bill noticed a sign about a Ben Hogan museum. Never saw the museum, which I would have liked to visit, but the Dublin Museum on the Main drag looked closed. Between the reference to Ben Hogan and an old billboard--actually ad painted on the side of a building--which seemed to imply that Dr Pepper originated in Dublin, we moved away with several questions to be researched. But, before leaving, we stopped to view Dublin's War Memorial and its tribute to a pretty patriotic family with at least one hero in its ranks. My evening research did establish that Ben Hogan was born in Stephenville and lived in Dublin until about age 10 when the family moved to Fort Worth where he returned, died and is buried. Dr Pepper originated in a drugstore in Waco--or as it was then known " six-shooter junction"--but the pharmacist who concocted the syrup made a deal with the Dublin Bottling Plant to mass produce it. If you are a Dr Pepper aficionado you may enjoy the following history of the company and its product: http://www.dublinbottlingworks.com/dublin-bottling-history.asp We apparently missed the boat there and I've earmarked the town as a repeat visit site. Next we entered Deleon with lots of hype but other than being a railroad hub and the site of a peach and melon festival in August doesn't seem too interesting. It was here we picked up the short Farm Road that would take us to Rising Star--a town with lovely name but, as is often the case out here, one filled with empty store fronts. The rural road led through an area highly planted with cotton. Having read a bit about the area and its early residents that isn't too surprising, considering many were from the southeast. As a matter of fact, one such resident was a lady with a pretty long name--beginning with Frances and ending in Brown. She was a midwife in Deleon, the mother of 12 and a widow who also managed to run a farm. They called her Aunt Fanny--I think she should have been called SAINT Fanny! We have a tendency to stop for the historical signs Texas posts along its roads with nice signs a mile before telling you it is coming up and on which side of the road. Well, this one pointed down a dirt road and we decided to follow down a bit to see what it had to say. Often, but not always, these signs are at old cemeteries and sometimes we skip them but I really liked the black sign almost hidden in the weeds that grew tall about it. We were not disappointed. With nothing for miles around that we could see, here were very old graves, some with Confederate flags, others with American. A family was visiting a site in the far corner and we did not encroach on their privacy. The amazing thing about this lonely place is that there was once a thriving town here--oil boom town--with an opera house and churches, I'd assume a school and houses and there is nothing here to show that was ever the case. How can every trace of these people be gone, but for the ones they left behind?? Not a foundation or decaying wall--nothing. Unless somewhere down some other dirt road there are the empty shells. But you sure can't tell from here. So haunting. Soon we were at the crossroads in Rising Star and as I gazed across the road at the empty store front windows covered over with posters for the snake handler Jackie Bibby I started to laugh. I've been here before--maybe even twice before--most recently with Barb. At that time we were traveling south, this time it is west! Funny how often that happens to us here in Texas. Soon, we drove by the Zoo, and the airport and around and through residential neighborhoods to our motel--only to find, we've stayed in the same hotel in the past and knew our way around to restaurants. After we got checked in and Bill went off to dinner, I settled in with the account books and brought them up to date, got rid of accumulated weight in my pocket book from receipts and keys etc, etc, read the paper, did the pictures and made my liverwurst sandwich on a nice fresh Czech roll with a cold coke. Then had a bit of cherry tart. By the time, Bill came back I was relaxed but too tired to shower or blog. I'd tried to order flowers for my Aunt for Valentine's Day, unsuccessfully and decided that another day here to do those things more slowly would do me a world of good. Bill agreed. So, we read and then broke out the Valentine's chocolates and turned on the Comedy Hour--oops, I mean the Republican debate. The only one who truly has a brain and who is not so wrapped up in ego is Kasich and he has actually accomplished something in Ohio. I like him--but I guess he doesn't have a shot--that's too bad. Bill went to sleep, I watched the fictionalized next installment on the OJ saga and followed him. So far today, had a leisurely breakfast with the Sunday paper in the breakfast room, successfully sent Aunt Shirley flowers, did some research of various things, spoke to Betsy on the phone, answered emails and am about to do several crossword puzzles with another liverwurst sandwich. At last, my body seems to be fully recovered and I feel rested and energetic. So, I can skip the old mirrors and no more frustration til the next bodily revolt. So from Abilene Texas Happy Valentine's Day from the Valley Vagabonds KandB

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