Posts Tagged ‘texas gulf coast’

“Family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” — Barbara Bush

Nana, posing for a picture with Savannah and Charlotte. Life was good.

Making Connections

After too brief a visit with family in San Antonio, and a promise to stop again on my way out of Texas, I hit the road for Texas’s Gulf Coast south of Houston. It was an easy, and familiar, 210-mile drive: Interstate 10 to Highway 36 to West Columbia, the home of my son D.C., his wife Cindi, who acts as my guardian angel when I am on the road, and their autistic daughter, Susan, who holds a special place in my heart.

One of my favorite things when I visit the Texas Gulf Coast are the moss-laden trees. I lived down there during Hurricane Carla in the 1960s, and one of the sad results that all the moss was blown away. — Photo by Pat Bean

Nearby lives his son, David, and the second of my three sons, Lewis, and their children (my grandchildren and great-grandchildren). Making and keeping connections with all these family members is important to me, especially since I usually only get to see them once a year.

The connections come easier with the adults, especially since I’ve found things to share with them – from watching Survivor with D.C (we’re both addicted to this TV reality show) to playing Settlers of Cataan with Cindi, to birding with Lewis.

But I hadn’t yet truly bonded with my two great-granddaughters, four-year-old Savannah and two-year-old Charlotte. Charlotte wasn’t even a year old when I had seen her last, and Savannah was shy with strangers, a good thing in my mind, and I let her maintain her comfortable distance.

This visit, however, Charlotte broke the ice. She climbed up on the couch beside me and we played “This Little Piggy …” She laughed and giggled and was free with her hugs, and since Savannah didn’t want to be left out, I got hugs from her too.

Life is good.

Bean Pat: A relaxing drive through the country  https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/lens-artists-photo-challenge-time-to-relax/ A peaceful kind of road trip.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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“If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.” – Gelett Burgess

Royal terns and laughing gulls are common sights on the Texas Gulf Coast. -- Photo by Pat Bean

New Landscape, New Thoughts

My morning walks around here in the desert above Tucson the past few days have been exotic ones, full of new plants, new birds, new views and conversely new thoughts.

And the ocotillo cactus is in bloom in Arizona. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I love the variety my life is currently offering, although there was nothing wrong with waking up every morning  to a view of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, which I did for 25 years, either. And one of these days, I know, I will once again have time to intimately get to know one particular landscape.

 It’s not that one lifestyle is better than the other, just that they’re different. Actually that can be said about all lifestyles, as long as they do no harm to others or to this beautiful planet we live on.   

Meanwhile, my current wandering/wondering life as a full-time RV-er is continually full of new sights and things to do.

When visiting my Texas Gulf Coast son, I have a beach to walk and a plethora of shorebirds to watch. Here in Arizona, where my youngest daughter recently moved, I have a desert landscape, particularly beautiful in the spring, and a whole different set of birds.

On this morning’s walk, I saw a pyrrhuloxia and a phainopepia, rare sights except in southeast Arizonia, plus doves, lots of Gambell’s quail, a raven, a black phoebe, a large flycatcher (not sure which one) and a curved-bill thrasher. While none were birds not on my life list, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen most of these species.

A visit to my oldest daughter in Dallas offers opportunities to take in a play and to watch northern cardinals hanging out in her backyard trees.

In Chicago, where I recently visited my youngest son, I got to take in an art museum and had a marvelous nighttime view of the city lights and Lake Michigan from the top of the Hancock Tower.

A visit to a granddaughter in San Antonio opens up an opportunity for me to take in this city’s fantastic river walk; In Austin, where another granddaughter lives, I get to play with a great-grandson and visit writer friends.

An hour north of Austin, where my oldest son lives, my daughter-in-law always makes the best cabbage, hamburger and rice meal for me that I’ve ever tasted. It’s one of my favorite dishes and I’ve never been able to duplicate her recipe. Sighting deer on my walks here is also a daily happening.

I’ve begun thinking about settling down, but in the eight years I’ve been on the road, no place has shouted loud enough to hold me. I’m beginning to look and listen a bit harder, however.

Meanwhile I’m just going to keep enjoying the ever-changing scenery that is my current life.

Bean’s Pat: Stopping the Wind http://tinyurl.com/772hswd Good advice for all of us, regardless of what age you are.

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