Minding our pace

Our battle with the Texas heat has occupied a fair bit of space on the blog lately, I know that. It truly is inescapable, affecting pretty much everything we’ve done since we landed here in the Hill Country a week ago today. But even though it threatens to steam the starch right out of us, the truth is that we’re still having a great time.

We’re definitely learning how to deal with high temperatures, both personally and in the motorhome. We’ll take invaluable lessons down the road with us. And I think we’ve acclimated to it, at least a little bit.

Part of that, like many other things, is a matter of pace — not creating urgency where it doesn’t exist, managing work that needs doing in ways that don’t put unnecessary strain on a couple of bodies that aren’t as resilient as they once were.

It helps that we like it here. The terrain, the culture — or the cultures, since the area, historically and in the present day, benefits from many influences — and especially the people combine to make us feel right at home.

If you’re inclined to look at culture from a political perspective (and I am), know that the Texas Hill Country is populated by folks who live by traditional American values. In the 2020 election, for example, Bandera County went 80% for Trump. Absentee and early votes accounted for just 7% of the total — even in this rugged territory with a widely dispersed electorate, the overwhelming majority of citizens traveled to the polls on Election Day.

My kind of people.

Yesterday Deb and I spent a few hours charting our course from here — not an easy task, what with a big holiday weekend coming up and the RVing boom in full swing. It looks like we’ll be set for a few weeks, taking us to eastern South Dakota for a relatively extended stay around Independence Day.

We’ll roll out of the Hill Country on Sunday morning.

Thursday was a lazy day, for us and for our hosts as well. None of us was motivated to seize the day, so mostly we sat on the deck and dawdled and chatted and gazed out over the hills. Eventually we gathered the gumption to drive into town for a late meal. Deb and I insisted on dining one more time in The Duke Room at the O.S.T. Restaurant, and that’s where we went.

The character of the establishment is unquestionable, from the trove of John Wayne memorabilia to the local flavor — like a sign saying that masks aren’t required but cautioning patrons, with a wink, to “keep your Socialism distance.”

I chose the Mexican Plate, with warm corn tortillas on the side, and a slice of Blueberry Buttermilk Pie for dessert. Absolutely perfect.

On the way back to our friends’ homestead we stopped by Bandera’s only real grocery, Lowe’s Market, to pick up a few things. We all retired to the deck once again while the sun went down, watching the wildlife come out.

Hummingbirds buzzed around feeders scarcely an arm’s length from my chair. Deer emerged from the brush, both whitetails and chitals feeding together. Scout and Dipstick (pictured) were as fascinated as we were.

The wind carried sounds of peacocks, horses and gunfire. This is Texas.

Now we’re winding down our visit to Bandera and surrounds. We intend to make the next two days damned good ones.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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