Marilyn Gardner Woods
Traces of Texas y'all...
Updated: Apr 19
The older I get the more important it is for me to go home.
Home to Texas home where my youth played out. Where my girl hood launched. Where my blossoming young woman era began and ended. Where I have reunion-ed with family and friends for decades.
It's bluebonnet season there.
I find it increasingly important to make a connection again. Not only with the people or the vast landscape or the best damn lifestyle, but to my family. I drive by my house on Wenonah Drive in Dallas to conjure up memories of my father and my mother and my brother. The gracious green home where we lived and laughed and cried and fought and built a life together.
They are all gone now. I imagine that’s why I need to go back. Back to touch base with what they were to me. What I might have been to them.
It’s next to impossible to remember. Remember my mother’s gentleness. Her smile. My dad’s sometimes booming, sometimes stern, sometimes silly storytelling voice. I have trouble recalling the way my brother walked or talked. Talked in a low Texas drawl.
How did their love and protection and presence mold me? How did I influence them? Was I a good daughter? A decent sister? He and I argued and jockeyed for position; we eventually became reasonable adults who clung to one another. When our father died. When he was diagnosed. When the meds confounded him. When he turned to a big sister.
When I needed my cowboy little brother.
How many things my parents taught me. How they began our days and ended them. How they loved me.
These are some of the random thoughts going back brings to mind. A Texas-sized wallop of potent recollections cobbled together in my mind and my heart.
Texas is my family. I am tethered to them and to my good longtime friends as if by a lariat’s loop. The girls who grew up in the house behind me. My best friend since seventh grade. My high school gang which has whittled down to a precious few. My college crowd, including my ex-husband.
Texas. Where I married. Two times. Where my sons were born. My little cowboys.
I am as excited about going to Texas—Dallas, Austin, and the Hill Country—in a matter of days as I can remember ever being. Each visit, that excitement grows.
Bigger than Texas.
Bigger than a surprise birthday party. Bigger than any educational accomplishment. More impactful than a new job or a new house. More tantalizing than any luxurious trip or fabulous new piece of jewelry.
Okay, not as huge a thrill as a bouncing little baby boy coming into my life. But I'll save that for another day.
These days, there is nothing in my life quite like this infinite eagerness and outrageous joy which deepens each year I am experiencing as I pack my laptop, a couple of pair of jeans, and a well-worn Don Imus jacket with the red flannel lining.
Back to Texas where the sky is as open as the sunrise.
I’m going back to Texas y’all.
I found myself in tears by the time I finished reading your Texas recollections, especially because I just returned from my faraway home. I also peeked through the fence but instead of the house where I grew up there was a condominium complex with a huge parking lot - not that it mattered for in those moments I easily conjured almost 2 decades of blessed living - especially when the 15 almond trees began blooming every year precisely when my mother's birthday arrived.
Thank you RS