Gifts are wrapped, the car is loaded and the dog is the first one out the door and in the car. We are traveling the backroads of Texas to visit my mom for an early Christmas celebration. My brother, niece, and their respective significant others are coming in from the opposite direction.
Road trips for us are always the same: hubby drives and I knit, or play on my phone. This trip is no different. I’ve knit a little and played a little. That’s my newest project, a sock, posing on the dashboard. I love to knit socks. But back to the story.
This is a trip we’ve made more times than I can count over the past twenty five or so years. It is a road well traveled and one filled with memories. And so here we are…on the road again.
On the road again – I love Willie Nelson. The first time I remember hearing his music was during the summer of 1976. I graduated from high school on June 10th, and within a few days boarded an airplane bound for Houston, Texas to spend the summer with my childhood best friend, Kay. I was eighteen and feeling very independent.
Kay and I met in the sixth grade at Travis Elementary school in Harlingen, Texas. We had just moved from California. I’m not sure how long she had lived there; I don’t know that I ever asked. But it didn’t matter. I met many new friends; Kay was the one that became my best friend.
Despite the inevitable Jr. High girl drama, our friendship endured. We learned to drive together, had boy crushes together, and shared just about everything two friends could share. Including moving away.
In 1974, after our sophomore year of high school, her family moved to a Houston suburb and mine moved back to California. I was thankful to not to have to go on without her by my side. We spent our last night together driving around town, talking, laughing and remembering. Our friendship was sealed for a lifetime. Little did we know then that two years later I would return to Texas for a summer of fun.
Fast forward two months, I returned home quite full of myself and with a decision about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. My family was at the airport to greet me, and while I was happy to see them, I was more in love with my new found freedom and I wanted to make sure they realized I was not the same person that left home in June. I boldly announced that I was going to live in Houston one day. It was only years later that I realized the message I sent was, “Yeah I came back but don’t get used to it because I’m going to leave again.” It was a very self centered and inconsiderate action – not my proudest moment. The statement, however, was prophetic as I did move to Houston in November of 1979.
And that is how I ended up listening to Willie Nelson in Houston in the summer of 1976.
This story began because we are on the road to my mom’s house and I thought I would wax poetic about traveling through life, but, as is usually the case when I just let my fingers go…something completely different emerges. I just love it when that happens.
So, I will leave you with this little gem from 1983.