A friend of a friend called Sunday and asked if I would like to take an aimless, back roads trip for the afternoon. I said yes. We know each other a little through a third friend we both trust in her taste of friends.
She picked me up and we headed sort of north, then sort of west, and apparently sort of south. We ended up at Runaway Bay, part of a major lake southwest of here. We got drinks, used the bathroom and went on. Every so often, we would hit little towns I never heard of --I think our favorite was Wizards Wells, and we made up stories.
At one point, we ended up in Montague, county seat of Montague County, but we couldn't find any signs to tell us the name of the county seat, and as close as it is to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, I didn't know.
It was a wonderful trip. This year, little rains have kept much of North Texas green when it normally would be sere. I only caught a glimpse of the animal out the window that was rectangular, tawny, sizable, with a mane like a horse and horns. If any of you have clues, please tell me.
We edged quickly into West Texas, with the mesquite, the bluffs and mesas, the rocky cliffs. Then north again, and east.
Saint Jo is a very neat old Texas town. We stopped at the former saloon, now a museum, and hit the antique/crafts store. She had hoped to buy me a slice of pie, but the restaurant was closed for annual vacation. We watched a seven-minute film. I told one of the docents I thought my mother taught there a year, and gave her last name. Her eyes sharpened.
"Were they from Tennessee?" she asked. "I have cousins by that name from Tennessee."
I affirmed my family came from Nashville on my mother's side, and we laughed. We may be related.
We went down the road to Muenster, to Fischer's grocery, which I've heard about for years. Bought some dill pickles and two snack packs of summer sausage slices and cheese. Spicy cheese. Hotter than I expected cheese. Took one package next door to my daughter-in-law. Don't know about her, but I've already finished mine.
I'll go back--I may need directions. When I think about it, we covered large parts of four roomy counties.
I hope we do something like this again, that I wasn't too boring. Because this was an afternoon vacation, best kind.
There are rules.1) Unplanned. 2)Destination undecided but back roads.3) Maybe not on a Sunday next time, because in small Texas towns, all the restaurants we saw were closed. After we got our summer sausage snack at Fischer's, neither of us was hungry. This will change.
Sam--her name is Sam--gave me treasure, maybe when we both needed it. You see, the friend who introduced us isn't here any longer.
I think she would approve the road trip. I'll try to study up a bit for the next one. We both love history. Good bourbon. Long vistas. Riding in a car to nowhere to see what we will see.
We'll see what else we share.