Salsa and Missing Texas
It just hit me all of a sudden. (Possibly has something to do with the fact that I'm hungry.)
Well, I think it's coming from a couple of places really. One, I've just started editing a fabulous novel about a cowboy. Now I'm saying "ya'll" and "howdy" and all the things I usually say when I'm back down South. Ha! So when I told Jeff I was going to be taking on this project, I mentioned that it's about a cowboy, which is perfect for me since I've known a couple in my day. (I'm laughing again at the thought of the look he gave me at that moment!)
Second, I've been watching the Pioneer Woman make salsa and prepare for a party. I love salsa and parties. Honestly, Ree Drummond and I should be best friends. At the end of the episode, you see her and that gorgeous family of hers and a million friends, having a good old time, complete with cowboy hats everywhere. And delicious food.
I want to have a party.
Maybe after the edit is over.
So I'm feeling a little nostalgic. Something about growing up in Texas stays with you forever. Texans are loyal. And when I'm there, it always feels right (and everything tastes delicious). I started thinking back, memories of going to the rodeo and carnival when I was little (and not so little). I was thinking about the cheap seats and seeing the Astros play. Horse races and riding in trucks. Loaded baked potatoes at the Hickory Hut. Boys who wore dusters to school. Listening to Deanna Carter and Clay Walker and Shania Twain. The Catfish Festival in Conroe. Summer concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
Memories of that first chapter.
So much goes into who we are, loveys. Twists and turns and roads not traveled. Disappointments and surprises and open doors. Sometimes just pure grit and determination to keep going. And there are some seasons where we fall apart and eventually glue ourselves back together and everything looks different after that.
My story began in Texas. Those are my roots. Jeff started there too. I honestly love that we're from the same place. That when I mention the Dairy Queen on Frazier, he knows just what I'm talking about. We didn't grow up together, we met my second year out of high school. But those spaces and places are roots for both of us and we share that. We've driven on the freeway from Conroe to Houston a million times (there was that one time when we ran out of gas...after I'd told Jeff we should stop and he didn't, and then he had to run a really long way, he will not be pleased I mentioned that but it's a memory! ;).
In heart-to-heart conversations with friends, when we all talk about whether or not we're where we thought we'd be--I have to say that growing up in Texas, living in Colorado never even entered my mind. Never. I couldn't ski if my life depended on it. (Still can't.)
I did know I wanted to be married and have kids and work with books.
So there's that.
I didn't know all that goes into making a marriage work. I didn't know about Postpartum depression. I didn't know about having a crisis of faith. I didn't know the sadness of seeing my spouse grieve a parent.
I didn't know that those would all be pieces of my story.
And that every story has difficult chapters (some more than others).
In some ways, I'm where I hoped I would be--when I think of my children for sure. I can't imagine life without them, or me without them. They. Are. Everything.
I can say that along the way, there have been things that were very unexpected.
All these chapters I've lived so far--each one sort of feels like a lifetime ago really. Just a little girl running through the woods on Andershire. School days and meals with Mom and Dad and the girls. Longview. My first date with Jeff, leaving late for my orthodontist appointment. Virginia--that first day on campus at LU. Traveling to Europe. Graduating. Getting married. The three-day drive to Colorado. The absolute fun of getting settled into our apartment.
Glimpses into one person's life.
Lots of pieces that make up who we are. Really, loveys, it doesn't matter too much if we're exactly where we thought we'd be. We are where we are. Change might be in order soon. Or setting roots and getting settled. Or making do until something else opens up.
But looking back--there have already been so many chapters that went faster than I thought--and there are more to come (Lord willing... that sounded Southern, didn't it? I'm telling you, lovey, I miss Texas tonight).
More pieces to my story.
I had a moment the other morning, where I was watching my kids. I posted a picture on Facebook actually. All three were standing by the fireplace, watching Curious George on TV. I was standing at the sink and I just stared at the kids for a minute, the sound of that little monkey filling the living room.
I wanted to freeze time, even just for a moment. Because I will absolutely miss this--when my mornings don't involve pajama-clad kids watching Curious George.
It's one chapter of my life, but so far, it's my favorite.
It's work and tiring and emotionally draining sometimes. It's tricky to navigate. We're getting older and changing and we have to keep adjusting and holding on to each other.
It takes work.
But I know it goes fast. These are their first chapters. I want them to be beautiful.
Because they are making this chapter so beautiful for me.
Messy. But really beautiful.