June 3, 2011

Back to My Roots (Sort of)

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I hit a rural outcrop known as Lott, Texas. The 'rents were passing through from Phoenix to Florida, but stayed a few days to avoid the Memorial Day nightmare that is eastbound I-10 traffic, so I got to spend time with them "up 'ere."

Lott is between Temple and Waco, which means it's about 45 minutes from civilization as I know it. The daily forecast is:  windy, or sometimes plum blow-you-over gusty. The soil here grows some ginormous trees, and if you know anything about me at all, you know I have a ginormous affinity for thick-trunked behemoths--the ones that provide lots of shade, I'm sayin' (for all you gutter-brains).

I have fond memories of this vast oasis of cornfields, cattle ranches, and Civil War-era cemeteries. It's a great place to let your kids run hog wild, especially down by the crik, where the frogs scream and flee for the ponds as you run at them. My mother was born and raised in nearby Troy and Pendleton, and little has changed except for the passing of our small-town ancestors.

My uncle and aunt live in Lott as well, and they're the real deal. Uncle Mead is an honest-to-god cowboy (horse breaker/trainer, rancher, rodeo rider), vet, auctioneer, tobaccy spitter, and social butterfly. At about 72 now, there is nobody he doesn't know. He is adorable. The notable addition to their ranch is the off-road golf cart Uncle Mead now uses to get around the place. Yeehaw!

Aunt Sue is a bona fide cowgirl (same as Uncle Mead, but with female parts) and a champion barrel racer with incredible saddles and gleaming belt buckles the size of tombstones to show for it. Her prize barrel racing horse is Scoot. Scoot is 27, and now out to pasture with his mare. Even while out on the road taking care of business from rodeo to rodeo, he demanded his mare accompany him or the show would not go on. I tell you, the requirements of celebrities these days. But you don't want to sit on top of a cranky, 1,200-pound diva while careening around barrels through churned dirt.

Here's the champ, sound asleep.

I had a sweet little cardinal wake me up every morning at the butt-crack of dawn. His unorthodox methods for getting me to rise and shine and throw curse words at him far exceeded his pretty-boy factor, but I felt sorry for him because I'm sure the bird-brain knocked himself silly on a regular basis. Here he is in action:

Best sign of the weekend:

Oh yeah.


Gaelyn said...

A nice change from the big city. That cardinal really wanted to get in.

Linda Medrano said...

That looks so cool! But what kind of shoes do you wear there? That's the only thing that would worry me.

I'm glad you got to see family like that! How fun!

The Mommy Therapy said...

I'm from the North so the whole cowboy/cowgirl thing sounds a bit like something out of the movies, which makes it instantly cool.

Sounds like a heavenly place to spend a few days, if for nothing else than sitting in the shade of those amazing trees.

Sounds like a great weekend!

Unknown said...

Great videos! Love the post. Nice to get back to your roots every now and then.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

That little bird just wanted to sleep with you. I didn't realize your mom had been raised around here. Your aunt and uncle like great characters in a story.

Glad you got to see your folks.

watercolordaisy said...

Awesome! Although my family is from Texas there are no cowboys which saddens me greatly.

mac said...

He was going about it all wrong, but I can understand him wanting to come see you early in the morning ;-)

You Texas girls are sweet !

Red Shoes said...

I have dveloped a great affinity for learning more about my 'roots'... so to speak. I do love the old cemeteries of which you speak...

I will have to check that place out on my next trip to Texas...


Leesa said...

My aunts and uncles are like 1970s dolls - no anatomically correct parts. Life is just better that way (better for me).

ShanimalsCrackers.blogspot.com said...

Holy crap, that horse is old. I didn't know they lived that long!

And it's oh so sweet that he needs his mare by his side at all times.

daisyfae said...

if i could learn to sleep standing up, my quality of life would improve substantially! love the tales of the old homestead!

Sueann said...

Sounds like a glorious time!! Love large trees...!!!

anon said...

You're awesome, so's your family : )

Very cool to have cowfolk in the lineage, they're how the West was won.

Poor little bird, just wanted a cuddle and all he got was repeated knocks on the bean. Tsk.

Pat said...

What a great weekend! Funny, I, too, had a crazy cardinal knocking on my window. I wrote about it on my blog. :)

Pseudo said...

I always thought I'd end up a cowgirl... I heard in that video they could "put up a house out back." If I ever run away from life as I know it, I'd take that little house with Scoot and his mare.

MrsBlogAlot said...

It always amazes me how horses can sleep standing up.

...Still surprises me when my husband does it too.

Unknown said...

I had no idea you had barrel racing in your blood. We have to get you on Lily!

Candice said...

It's nice to get out of the city for a while isn't it? Of course, I always say it's nice to get back too!

meleah rebeccah said...

Your Uncle Mead & Aunt Sue are totally-super-awesome!

Irish Gumbo said...

"I've got my hat - on,
I've got my boots - dusty.

I've got my saddle
On my horse.
He's called....T-t-t-t-t-trigger
Of course.

I wanna be a cowboy
and you can be my cowgirl.."

Sounds way cool.