Joe and I picked up trucks in Indianapolis, Indiana and they are being delivered in San Antonio, Texas. Since in May I had told Maureen when we come through there I’d let her know, I had to keep my promise to her.
On Friday I text messaged our impending blast through her town and asked if she would be busy on Sunday. A flurry of text messages ensued Friday evening and on through Saturday. Maureen is such a sweetheart, she wanted to put us up in a hotel that would pamper us. Sounded so good to me, but alas, we were still a long way away on Saturday and Sunday night we would be heading back up north to get to Oklahoma City for our next load.
When Joe and I knew we would be making a stop in San Marcos, Texas I looked through my truck stop guide to find a place to park our trucks for a few hours close to where Maureen lives. There is one just a few miles from her home and we agreed to meet there.
Not having met each other prior to this, I was not sure what she looked like. A car pulled in with a lone woman and I waved at her as though I knew her. She waved back, turned around in the lot and parked in front of us so this had to be my Big Sis.
This year I have been blessed by women that have reached out to me and enveloped me in their friendship – sight unseen. Truly an awesome gift.
As we traveled to San Marcos Sunday morning I had the same worries about meeting Maureen that I did with Jann when I met her in Nashville. Maureen and I have only written notes to each other. Would she be disappointed in meeting me? Would she regret her impulse to send me the Kraft Mat? Would we be able to talk about general stuff?
When she got out of her car, and I got out of the truck I was driving, my fears were gone. I was wrapped in a welcoming hug that made me feel as though we were long lost friends. We began chatting comfortably and didn’t stop until it was time for us to leave.
Joe and I got in her car, me up front and Joe relegated to the back seat. Both of us had our cameras and off we went.
Maureen took us for a trip downtown to show us the area she has come to love and call home. Beautiful old buildings that have been restored in the business district with lots of patrons going in and out of these establishments. Maureen told us there is quite a scandalous story with the first building pictured here. Because of all the windows of the Pub building, light streaming in all through the day, some enterprising individual took advantage of this attribute and had quite a burgeoning marijuana greenhouse thing going on inside. It was good while it lasted, until the police raid happened and shut the guy down. Now it is an Irish Pub that does quite well for itself, possibly trading on the scandal to get curious tourists to come in hoist a pint and hear a good story. The locals enjoy coming in to tip one back, too.
Old buildings, built in the 1800’s and through the 1920’s are my favorite ones to gawp at. The intricate patterns carved out of stone or wood and hoisted high in the air to be affixed to the tops of these buildings…leaves me awestruck to think all that was accomplished without COMPUTERS, and a lot of them without ELECTRICITY!!! No power saws, no computer milled filigree, no air nailer. Just pure raw talent and skill with the hands.
This statue is in the town square. Long ago, when this part of Texas was wide open with very little in the way of settlements a war was brewing between the Indians that had claim to the lands and the white men that wanted them out. This man gained quite a reputation as an Indian fighter during the settling of these lands. I suppose he also lived through the time of the Mexican War as well.
Maureen told me his name, all I remember is “Jim”. I was so busy gawping at all the beautiful buildings I was only half listening. His name is Jack Hays, Maureen told me.
Texas, this part of central Texas, is rich in history and legendary men that put their lives on the line for the common folk to make a home for themselves. It was a bloody time in our history, and to some an unjust time. Nonetheless, it is our history and the people that created change in the way of life long ago has brought us to where we are today.
A tribute to Chief Placido stands next to the river that runs down the middle of San Marcos. A river fed from crystal springs that come from underground and nurtures the area with clear waters.
Chief Placido was of the Tonkawa tribe which inhabited Central Texas long before the settlers began coming in the 1840’s. Through the auspices of Chief Placido the early settlers were befriended by his tribe thus making the lives of these early settlers considerably safer and less harsh. Especially since most of the settlers came from the east where the land was filled with trees that bore fruit, crops that yielded vegetables, and lots of deer and other game for meat. Out in Central Texas there were not many trees, less fertile grounds, and a lot of plants that the settlers weren’t sure they could eat to sustain their lives.
Chief Placido, and other brave tribe members fought alongside Jack C. Hays, Ben McCulloch, and General Burleson to defeat the Comanches in the Battle of Plum Creek near Lockhart, Texas. This statue honors the man that was instrumental in helping settle Texas. I have to confess….the above information was directly taken from the inscription on the bronze sculpture. I don’t know who these men are 😦
Enough of the history lesson. On with the fun stuff.
Maureen took us to a place the local people enjoy in the summer time. She and her family have spent many days floating down this river on inner tubes and enjoying the cool water and warm sunshine.
This is a favorite place for the locals to spend a hot day relaxing. While we stood on the bridge and looked out at the beautiful sight before us I had quite an over powering urge to jump off the bridge and into the cool waters below. It was so hot this afternoon. Temperatures at 102 degrees, a cloudless sky and that cool water below. Tempting, very tempting.
Joe could not help himself. This pretty young lady had a camera and was taking pictures of her trip down the river. Joe thought she had a cell phone in her hands and he called out to her to hold her cell phone up again. She and the young man she is with tried to tell this old geezer that it was a camera and not a cell phone. By the time they went under the bridge, Maureen and I had to raise our voices to him telling him it is a camera.
When they came through the other side he did see it was a camera and made fun of himself not understanding what was going on. I got a picture of her taking a picture of us crazy people. What fun that was.
Pleasant people on a leisurely trip down the river and an old man flirting safely above. Joe makes me laugh often. I sure do love him.
Maureen told us the “sea weed” growing in the waters below is actually a type of wild Texas rice. The people that care for the plant life in these waters take extra pains to make sure this wild rice continues to grow and thrive.
Maureen said that it feels really strange when the currents cause the rice to scrape against you as you go over it. It is rough and scratchy instead of velvety as other “sea weeds” are in waters.
As I stood and watched the rice move below me in the water’s current it made me think of an old Arthurian tale of the Lady In The Lake with long hair that trailed behind her as she moved about in her domain.
Kind of eerie and hypnotic at the same time.
As we have traveled around this country there are things I see that cause me to ask many questions.
When we moved to Oklahoma I saw a lot of these webs in trees. Thinking there was some gigantic spider that I needed to be aware of I had a bit of a fright each time I saw one of these bag like webs.
I asked Joe about them one time, telling him of my fear that a huge spider resides in the middle. It turns out this is the home of a worm, or caterpillar. It builds a nest within the web it weaves and nurtures itself on the tree. If there are several of these web worms in one single tree they can actually kill the tree.
They seem to like only one type of tree, what the type of tree it is they like I haven’t a clue. It is this one, though.
Maureen took us to a restaurant that sits near the waters of another place the local people enjoy coming to in the summer and playing in the cool waters.
In the larger picture you will see to the left of the left most goose water bubbling.
There is an area in the dam that allows the water to release itself into the river below and this raging water flume is what is just beyond the geese. Imagine one them them getting sucked through that hole. Won’t be a very pretty sight when it is all over with.
This is such a beautiful place that Maureen shared with us. Standing under the shade of many trees, listening to the waters flow past, was a balm to my wrangled nerves having been in some really rough riding International trucks.
Maureen said she was sure there were fish in these waters but no one did any fishing here. I had to go search for the illusive fish. Found one, it is to the left in the photo, just to the right of the yellow colored weed thing in the water. What can be seen is the tail of the fish as it saw me looking for him.
After lunch, at a restaurant overlooking the waters pictured above, Maureen took us on a trip around her town where the old homes stand that have been in San Marcos since the town was settled.
Beautiful old homes with such character and grace. Most people call them “stately” which I guess is an apt term to use.
These are the older homes that had house servants daily to keep the house and gardens neat and tidy. Children ran the halls and stairs, boys climbed the trees while the girls played safely on the grounds.
I see these old homes and wonder, rather crazily, if the houses miss the people that first built them and lived within. Do any of the homes rebel at the new people that have taken up residence? Are these old homes only glad to keep a new family warm and dry from the rains, winds, and heat that yearly come to this town?
Such odd notions I get in my head at times. Makes me wonder if I’m not far from the men in white coats catching up with me.
Maureen took us to her lovely home where we met her three children and her husband. The oldest daughter is preparing to go off to college. Near enough to home that traveling at school breaks is not long, but far enough away from home for a bit of freedom and spreading of wings. Why do our children have to grow up and go away? I guess the same reason that we did the same when our time came.
Joe spent the time talking with Maureen’s husband. The two of them huddled together in the living room solving all the worlds ills while Maureen gave me a tour of her crafting space. She has an enormous cabinet that holds much of her crafting items. Proudly she told me she put it together all by herself. You Go Girl!!! Quite an accomplishment since it is one gigantic cupboard.
Maureen shared with me a couple of her scrapbooks. Flipping through the pages of her life when the children were small and progressing in ages to just a few years ago. Thank you Maureen for gifting me with that special time and being welcomed into your life for a peek. I am honored by that.
All too soon, 4 p.m. came along and Joe and I had to get back on the road to make our delivery to San Antonio. Maureen took us back to our trucks and we continued on our journey. The relaxing time we had on this afternoon was, indeed, a special time for me.
I have been blessed to meet two strong women through this crazy thing I began last year. I started out trying to sell products to anyone that would buy from me. What I have received has been worth more to me than money. I have received friendship and acceptance by many and my “Day Job” has allowed me the opportunity to meet these new Girlfriends. How can I be more blessed?