I woke in quiet stillness at the Arrington Ranch. Well, that’s not entirely true. There were a bazillion birds who were very glad to see the sunshine this morning and they were all eagerly chirping about it. It was quite a performance I enjoyed along with breakfast this morning. As I sat at the table with my mug of coffee, I thought of the pioneer women who had lived in and cared for this home and the people in it over the past 120 years. I was amazed as I considered what their lives had been like here. Traveling the red dirt roads to the ranch by horseback or wagon. The roads even now are not easy to travel by far. It had rained a bit before my arrival and the roads had gone from dusty narrow dirt roads to trails with areas of ruts and wash outs created from the rain’s run off. The ranch is settled on a flat area of the prairie. The one set of lights that I saw during the night belonged to a neighboring ranch about a mile away. Not one other vehicle passed by the ranch during my time here. I can imagine how much more isolated the settlers to this area were. They had to be self-efficient in every way. I thought often of the Cast Away movie during my stay here. Wilson kept reminding me of the struggles and successes that Chuck faced in the movie. Very similar indeed to the residents of this area. I felt oddly vulnerable, realizing how many luxuries I have in my own life. And how I depend so much on them. I was overwhelmed as I thought of being here on this ranch without those luxuries.
Fortunately, even Chuck Noland found his way off that island and after quite an adventure in survival he reached his cross roads. Just a five-mile drive further down the red dirt road, I too reached the cross roads.
Without the aid of technical equipment or a passerby… I wasn’t able to capture the crossroads as they were displayed in the movie. But standing there all alone, in the middle of the road I was overwhelmed. Like Chuck Noland, I’m looking for a new direction in my own life. This moment was very poignant for me. Coincidently, a pick up truck came driving up the road toward me. He didn’t stop and offer me a chat. He just kept right on going.
I decided on the westward arrow. It took me through many wheat fields in mid-harvest right to Miami Texas and eventually I found Amarillo.
I promised that I’d let you know if everything was bigger in Texas. And I have to admit I found a few things that are. The wheat fields are absolutely massive. Amber gold and stretching as far as my eyes could see in every direction. The landscape spattered with a nattering of trees every now and then. But the trees are not like the trees in Iowa.. full and flowing and vibrant green. These trees live in very harsh conditions. Endless days of high heat, strong winds and little water, that challenge the bulk of their growth to be in their root systems.
Once in Amarillo, I found a Pilot Travel Stop that had all the luxuries. Restrooms, showers, Subway AND McDonald’s. And with that came, Internet service. I smiled and hooked up. Ahhh civilization!
While I was eating a Big Mac, and surfing the web, my granddaughter called me.
“Grandma, where ARE you?”
She shared about her afternoon of roller skating and how she saw the pictures I’d taken of the snake at the Arrington Ranch. Like a good grandma, I lied and told her how brave I was when I saw that snake to be able to stand still long enough to take that picture. I didn’t tell her that the next morning it was still laying in the same spot, leading me to deduce that it was a dead snake. After I got the picture though.. I hurried to the safety house. Who am I kidding, I ran like a girl!