July 28, 2007

Texas Hill Country: Thoughts on Being 'Home'


"I'm an American by birth, but I'm a Texan by the Grace of God." - Larry Gatlin

I keep wanting to pinch myself as I drive around town and look out at the landscape. It almost seems unreal that I am here in the Texas Hill Country. I'm not sure I could describe the feeling to someone who hasn't seen the area themselves or lived here for very long. I've never known a Texan that didn't like the area (especially around Austin and San Antonio) if they spent long enough there to get off of a major freeway and explore. It truly is a wonderful sight to a post-homesick native Texan - especially this year with all of the green lush grass from the unusual rains that we've had. Creek beds that are dry most of the year are trickling, the temperature is mild, and deer are all over the place. When the sun has come out in the past few days to paint the sky blue, it has been almost enough to make me cry. When I think of sunny days, I always think of this area. Of course, I know that the sun shines elsewhere... but my "geographical" heart has always been here: "deep in the heart of Texas".

Instead of taking pictures for you myself, I've borrowed a lovely painting off the net. It has such a pretty view of the type of landscape that makes up much of the hill country. You have varying degrees of hills in the Hill Country (tall cliffs such as the famous one that houses the Mexican restaurant "The Oasis" next to Lake Travis, and the rolling hills you see in the background of the painting). Often you will pass an old barn and windmill - the last signs of the glory days of ranching in Texas - as you drive through the Hill Country.

I love windmills and tin roofs. I grew up in a house built over a creek in the Hill Country for quite a number of years. When it rained on our tin roof, it sounded like a herd of cattle stampeding overhead. After the rains, the dry creek under the house and deck would rush with foaming water and listening to it lulled us to sleep. In the late evening and night, the whippoorwill's ghostly call reminded us that the day was nearing an end. If we were lucky, there would be a hundred fireflies twinkling to make the starry sky seem to fall into the canopy of twisted oaks and cedars around us. We might hear a coyote or wolf bay at the moon or see a silver fox try to make off with some garbage at our fire pit in the dusky morning. The mist might spin a skirt of fog around the hills so thick that you couldn't see two feet in front of your face. I used to run down a limestone driveway to catch the school bus through the morning mist and I knew every rock on the path above our house leading up to that terrific view of the valley.

To me, this place is home. The smell of the earth after it rains here is as entrenched in my memory as my grandma's Estée cologne. I love the road runners, the live oaks, the lakes and hills, the cowboy hats and friendly faces on local people, the limestone and cedar ranch fencing and the amazing food. I know why Lady Bird Johnson loved it here so much. I know why so many people keep moving here (although it is sad to see so much beautiful land destroyed by builders and businesses). The Texas Hill Country is my favorite place to live.
I hope to have some interesting photos and field trips to share with you soon as we begin our new adventure here. I hope we get to stay forever... or as long as God allows. I am so thankful to Him for all the blessings that He has given us. Sometimes I just can't help get tears in my eyes, filled with amazement that I am here - in this beautiful place... and Kevin loves this job, and we like our new home, and we are surrounded by wonderful people and close to family. What a joy... and what a sweet thing to know that the God of the universe cares not only about our needs... but also our desires. He has given me so many desires that I have had in my life. He is amazing.

Psalm 37:4 ~ Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

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Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Congratulations on being home! I'm so happy for you. You even make me want to visit Texas now. Tee hee! :D

Isn't it great when God orchestrates things down to the tiniest detail in such a way? I think about Beth Moore and how she always said that God was "showing off!" Sounds like He's doing just that for you.

Hugs & Blessings,
Dianne :)

Sprittibee said...

Yeah, the amazing thing the other day was that when we were about to move... it POURED DOWN RAIN. I had drinks in a cooler in the back of my truck, nine people lined up to help, two trailers to load, and pizza ordered. Then came this awful rain. I prayed at the storage unit and hoped for the best. I knew God could "calm the storm", but I wondered how high on his priority list it would be. A few minutes later, the rain stopped and this GORGEOUS rainbow appeared in the sky - DIRECTLY in front of my view from the storage unit. It stayed there for HOURS while we loaded the trailers - NO RAIN! We were able to get all the way home with the stuff and get all of it in the house before it started. It was raining in all of the surrounding areas except the area above our storage and the road to where we live! The friends from church who helped me move said, "Lets stop and thank God for the rainbow!" as we locked up the trucks before we left.

I call that showing off! I got a big grin out of it... and although we only got half of the storage unit emptied... I was still thrilled to be able to get at least that much done when it has been so wet here.

rich glasgow said...

I'm so happy for you guys....yes, the Hill Country is a very special place...glad you made it back to Texas!

Mrs said...

I have seen it. I have loved it. I love it still.

Since moving here 9.5 years ago, our children have become so attached to the area and the families (as have we). Still, I long for the south west, and my hubby does, too.

I couldn't traumatize my children again unless God asked me to. To move now would be purely selfish.

Still, my God is the God of the weather, who held back the rain for you and painted the sky with His promise!

I know nothing is impossible with Him, and if He wants us back in the south west, He will make a way to grant the "desires of our hearts."

Paula said...

What an encouraging post! I'm so thankful that God often grants us the desires of our hearts. ;)
Mrs. C

Tanya Nichols said...

How exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i am so excited for you and yours and that He has given you the desires of your heart...big hugs and here's to you and yours!!!

bigwhitehat said...

Welcome home hon.

Since you are in the hill country, go to the Widberg Gallery in Round Rock and get some nice pictures for your house. Dalhart Windberg and Kyle Polzin are usually there and they will sign any prints.

MommyLydia said...

Everytime we have moved in Texas, it has rained, and kept raining all day long. So we just learn to move boxes in rain.. :)

Renae said...

I'm grateful you are getting settled. My husband will be out of town for the next two weeks so I welcome any sort of distraction. I hope we can connect soon.



megan said...

Oh, I am so homesick right now!!! I currently live in France, but lived in Austin most of my life, and I miss it like crazy!!! Thanks for a little glimpse of heaven!

Sprittibee said...

Rich - :) I bet you are jealous! ;) Thanks for the thoughts. We are truly happy to be home!

Mrs. - I have been to the SW also. It is nice. Very interesting terrain. I enjoy visiting. There will be time for going back for you... and in the mean time, be sure to take some vacations there. ;) We went to Texas when we could while we were in AR. That did help with the homesickness.

Mrs. C - :) Yes, we serve a great God.

Tanya - :) Hey crafty mama. Thanks for the hugs. :)

Big White Hat - Thanks! I'll have to check out that Gallery.

MBR - Yeah, the rain kind of stinks... but you wouldn't BELIEVE how GREEN it is here. I actually saw TWO BLUEBONNETS in bloom yesterday!!!! IN AUGUST!!!! I can't wait to get my camera and head around town.

Renae - Enjoyed chatting with you via telly. Hope we can get together.

Megan - :( France sounds nice. Enjoy it while you can. One day you'll return home to Texas with lots of great stories about your adventure. I hear that the food there is spectacular.

Gwendolyn said...

I must say that I truly enjoyed this post. You must love living here as much as I do. There is no better place on earth and no better view than the hill country, which at this point is now my back yard. Yeah Me!



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