All of a sudden, it’s green outside. There are iris blooming in peoples’ yards, white and purple, and blue, red, yellow and orange wild flowers along the sides of the roads. The flowers are beautiful, but I think what really does it for me is all of the green! Can you tell I’m a child of the desert?
The other thing is the birdsong. I’m sure that if I had a field of corn (grackle food) or a yard full of grackle poop I would be as disdainful of these plentiful birds as are most Texas natives, but I love their song, and because there are so many of them you can stop almost anywhere and listen to them calling back and forth to each other.
We are calling home for a few days a beautiful park on the shore of Lake Fork outside of Emory, Texas. This place has artfully landscaped grounds and is situated on a peninsula into the lake. There is a three-mile loop through the neighborhood that makes for some great walks. The main reason we are here is to give Shannon a chance to do some genealogy work, as a lot of his family settled in this area in the second half of the 1800’s.
We have spent parts of three days driving around the Texas FM (Farm to Market) and County roads looking for old country cemeteries. It’s a scavenger hunt of sorts, as we each have a list of names we are looking for and we take alternate aisles until we have covered the whole area. An added bonus is that most of the cemeteries are fenced so we can let Maybe go off-leash. On our last day we took Shannon’s Aunt Helen with us and got to enjoy her stories about people and places along with the scenery.
We got a call from Shannon’s sister Teri letting us know that Shannon’s Dad has been scheduled for surgery to clear blockages in his carotid arteries. We have been told that it is a 12-hour procedure with no clear outcome, so we have cancelled our next two NOMADS jobs (Ottowa, KS and Fayetteville, MO) and have made plans to head back to New Mexico. The first surgery is scheduled for May 3, so we have time to stay with Shannon’s family here in East Texas long enough to help Aunt Helen celebrate her 80th birthday, and then puddle jump our way back west.
It is always disappointing when things don’t go as planned, and I am so sad to miss the NOMADS work sites, my favorite part of this full-time lifestyle. But this is a no-brainer decision, and another one of the great things about this lifestyle is the flexibility; we can change our plans on the spur of the moment to be where we need to be.