Monday, January 2, 2012

The Muse Returns, and a Panhandle Pit-Stop

Oh my goodness it's been so long.  I haven't pushed myself to write lately (and the muse took a VERY long vacation) but suddenly today I feel that old stirring inside of me.  No, it's not the baby.  It's my creative itch, that oldest friend of my soul.  I feel suddenly like a part of myself that had been lost is now found.  So forgive my superlatives (and the two smileys on my facebook status update, excessive, I know).  I'm so incredibly extremely superbly happy to be writing today.

So we just returned home from a little trip into the Texas Panhandle to see the in-laws.  Any of you who have driven that God forsaken wasteland that lies to the west of Lubbock and Amarillo know that once you pass the succulent town of Hereford, you're out of potty break options until you reach Clovis, NM.

A note on Hereford.  Driving into town, we passed a billboard that read, 'BEEF is NUTRITIOUS!'.  No arguments from these travelers.  Scott and Xander would subsist solely on beef alone if they had their druthers.  Hereford, according to its 'welcome to town' sign, is the Beef Capitol of the World.  It's also the Stink Capitol of the World.  Ten straight miles of feed lots emit the most gut wrenching, vomit inducing smell you'll ever encounter in your life.  Imagine the thousands of cows, all packed together in metal pens awaiting slaughter, doing nothing but eating and stomping their ever increasing piles of feces into a sun fermented soup.  You can understand why we had no desire to stop there for bathroom breaks.

Once it was safe to breathe again, we found ourselves in the wide, flat wasteland of West Texas.  Unbroken furrows of red dirt and grass stretched to the horizon on all sides.  The 'towns' we passed through were little more than an abandoned homestead or two, and a post office with an rusted flagpole out front.

All four of us, having taken full advantage of the hotel's free breakfast an hour ago, were feeling the intense need to relieve ourselves.  The kids were squirming in the backseat, and it wasn't just from excess energy.  The baby was doing aerobics on my bladder.  Scott looked desperately at the odometer.

"It's still 20 miles to Clovis,"  he said.

"I don't think we're going to make it."  I told him.  We both looked out into all that unbroken emptiness.  Our eyes met.

"I'll find a county road,"  he said.

A minute later, we had pulled off the highway, bumped painfully over some railroad tracks, and were a safe distance up the compacted red dirt of a little country road.  When it was his turn, Xander took literally Dad's instructions to, "Pee on the tire."  He had never been given permission to pee UP before!  We sped down the road with a little wet arc on our rear wheel, leaving that particular part of red Texas dirt marked with four little wet spots.

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