by Tammy Taylor
As much as we love our home in Northeast Texas, we’ve been pretty tied to the ranch while dealing with an illness and are just now able to get away for short familial visits. We had such occasion recently to venture to the west Texas town of Amarillo to visit a favored aunt and uncle for what was deemed Celebration Weekend. We were treated to many beautiful sights along our travels west: There were all manner of beautiful country views spotlighting both current and long-forgotten ranch and farm buildings – some still bustling with activity and some merely whispers of the past.
Going through the numerous small towns along the way was fun as well. Here a huge John-Deere green tractor is casually cruising through downtown during the lunch ‘rush hour’ – farming equipment in tow.
The ornate architecture in these small towns is something that has always really fascinated me. I can clearly see this tiny town in it’s heyday, bustling with commerce. It stood still while time passed it by, but it’s former beauty is still readily apparent.
As we drove along the highway we were flanked by a long freight train as it wound its way to destinations unknown, its lonely whistle blowing at the few crossings it passed in this sparsely-populated area.
Of course being on the road this long means periodic stops at rest areas along the way. I was taken aback to see this warning sign reminding visitors to watch for RATTLESNAKES! (Shudder…)
Finally we arrived in Amarillo, connected with my family members & they selflessly shuttled us around town all weekend. We even enjoyed a live showing of 9 to 5 at the Amarillo Little Theater, a musical performance held in the original theater building that was built in 1957. I was blown away by the beautiful yet cozy building, the acting & musical talent of the cast and the intensity of the live theatrical experience.
But when our sad goodbyes were said and the long returning drive eastward was finally completed, it was the view of our beloved ranch that once again welcomed us home and spoke to our hearts.
We even had a surprise waiting for us when we arrived home – one of our stocker cows had her calf while we were gone. Wow, what a beautiful sight! Mama and baby are doing just fine.
Because I’m always so excited to return home again after being away I’m reminded of Dorothy’s tearful realization at the end of the movie The Wizard of Oz: