Monday, October 8, 2012

We live in the middle of an ocean!

My parents came for a visit this weekend.  I taught a cooking class and baked for several special orders so I could skip the farmer's market on Saturday and go with Mom and Dad and Nora to watch Patrick, Maggie and Rose run in the Big Bend Mountain Ramble cross country meet that took place at the Paisano Camp a few miles out of town.  It is known as the highest race in Texas!

We drove west of Alpine, through the mountainous region, and Nora exclaimed that it looked like we lived in a rainforest!  Something not typically said of the Chihuahuan high desert!  The dark gray fog was ominous.  And the temperatures were chilly.  Nevermind!  We had an amazing time watching each kid run a terrific race!  It makes me so proud to know how much effort they all put into practice 5 days a week.  They give up their free time in the evening to go run 3, 4, sometimes 6 miles to train.  Their coach, Coach Rick Keith, has the goal of teaching them to love running for the rest of their life.  And to learn a method of running that will not tear up their knees and joints. 

He has done a  great job.  I sure am thankful for him (and not just for the coaching-he also does a great job in the history classroom and his wife is behind my kids as they learn geometry!).

But anyway, kids from giant schools with big programs and tiny schools all competed together, running not just against each other, but against the true challenge-the Eliminator!  A very steep hill that has been known to conquer more than one kid.  We cheered and yelled for each kid, proud of every one.  Maggie and Patrick finished strong, passing the kid right in front, within 50 yards of the finish line.  Grit and guts. 

As I have said repeatedly, I am proud of each of the kids who gets out there and runs.  There is so much more to this sport than winning, and I don't care if my kids get 95th place, if they train and run with guts.  But I have to say it was pretty fun getting to watch Rose pound her way across the finish line, many yards in front of the second place runner.  First place in middle school girls!  I guess we can say that running runs in our family! 

I have to miss a lot of the kids' school activities due to weekend work, but how thankful to get to enjoy their race this Saturday.  And even better-side by side with my Mom and Dad! 

This weekend we celebrated my mom's birthday as well.  Her wish was to go down to Big Bend National Park, our favorite place.  We camped out at Raymond's house, then worked up a giant feast which we loaded up to eat in the Basin, near the Window trailhead.  Ribs, squash casserole, baked sweet potatoes.  Not too shabby!  Then a gorgeous drive around the big bend of Texas, enjoying Terlingua, Lajitas, the River Road, Presidio, Marfa and home.  Happy birthday was sung at the picnic table under the giant teepees on the road past Lajitas.  We marveled at the colors, the clouds, the rocks.  Saw a rattlesnake, roadrunner, several tarantulas and she and Daddy saw a coyote earlier on that day. 

But the biggest surprise was a sight not far from Cibolo Creek Ranch not far from Shafter!  Three giant camels in a field, grazing not far from the road!  How funny!

Sadly, and oh too soon, Mom and Dad had to pack up to head home this morning.  Daddy has work and Mom has paintings to finish for a big show in November.  Some little niggling urged me to grab Mom to come with me to take Nora to school.  The morning was brisk at 43 degrees.  The town was dark, blanketed with fog.  She almost didn't want to join me, since it was apparent there was nothing to be seen in a pea soup fog.

The niggling urged me on.  In faith and hope I drove south on 118, four or five miles outside of town.  As we made our way up the Big Hill, we saw a glow.  Up and up we went.  All of a sudden, as we crested the winding road, the clouds broke and we saw the sun make her way over the edge.  We turned around and were awestruck.  Down below, we saw no town.  We saw an ocean!  Frothy and white, with island hills here and there, and a rocky coastline.  The sunrise turned the mountains pink and the clouds shone brightly.  A basin.  An ocean.  Rather prehistoric looking. 

We oohed and aahed and raced back to the house to grab Daddy and the camera.  As we descended we left the crystal, bright dawn and had to plunge into a wall of dark gray.  I felt like I needed to hold my breath to go under the water of a primeval lake.  It was almost frightening!  We got Daddy to join us, camera in tow and raced back up the mountain, still dramatic and lovely, but not quite as magical as that first moment of daybreak. 

I am so thankful for nigglings and for Mom and Dad and for living here in the most beautiful part of Texas, able to share magical moments like cross country races, Sunday drives and Monday morning enchantment. 

And thankful for my customers whose loyal support of our little bakery makes it possible for us to be here!!!

 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was an awesome sight, Thank you Lord for yet another great part of my birthday weekend. 4 wonderful grandkids, great daughter and the most beautiful part of the world (that I know) to have a birthday dinner and cake. Very yummy cake too. love y'all, Mom

CountryDew said...

Beautiful blog entry. Thank you for sharing it.

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