One of the last things we did this summer was meet up with a group of good friends to go to the Blanco County Rodeo in Johnson City. It took some planning to get everyone together. As in, we had tried to get together for dinner twice before, always fell apart, so we planned for this meet up two months in advance. Close friends of ours drove in from Houston and North Austin for the event, so, obviously, it meant a lot to finally get everyone together.
It was hot the day of the fair, hot as in Texas’ normal 100˚plus August weather. We met up at one of friend’s houses first. Her house sits on some of the rolling hills land that the Hill Country is known for, and people would probably pay to sit on her porch for a bit: cool drink in hand, watching the sunset or staring up at the stars. I asked her what we would do for dinner, and she said we’d want to get burgers at the fair because the burgers are so good “you’ll want to slap your mama.” The unique colloquialisms in Texas can sometimes give people a wrong impression about the person who says them. For instance, our friend loves her mama very much and certainly wouldn’t slap her over a burger. In fact, she’s a down to earth, strong-will, very funny person, who can have a whole room laughing within a minute or two of walking into a place, and all her stories are told with a strong Texas accent.
Before we left, our friend showed me the work she’d been doing on the guest house. The air conditioning seems to turn a bit slow in that house. It’s fine for sitting, but I can imagine in the August heat, it was a lot of work painting, clearing out the rooms that had been used as storage, and setting up the new furniture. I gotta say I was a bit jealous, out in the country with a house to make your own. But that is me with my simplistic visions. All the work our friend had put in made the idea look too easy. Truly, I would only need to think back to when I moved to Texas and how my parents bought a house, at my mother’s insistence, that was, putting it nicely, a bit dilapidated. We, mostly my mother, spent that whole first summer tearing up the linoleum tile, then scraping the tar it had been put down with, then sanding and polishing the floors until they were back to the beautiful hardwood they had once been. Oh yeah, and my mom didn’t “believe” in air-conditioning for the first twenty years we lived in Texas. It takes strong people to live in Texas and not only endure the summers but get
Before we left the house, our friend warned us that there had been some gossip in the town. It doesn’t matter what it was; it was just the fact that at our age, people were so concerned with what was going on in our friend’s life. I’d have a hard time with that in a small town, but she handled it all with grace.
At the fair, we got stopped at least a dozen times for our friend to talk and say hello to people. The rest of us mosied between the cowboy hats and jeans, some of us with tattooed arms and some of us dressed perfectly, cowboy boots and cute skirts, for a rodeo/fair. We ate simply made burgers in crinkly yellow paper that truly were so good I wanted to slap my mama (sorry, mom), we were served adult beverages by attractive cowboys, and we took photos of each other and the cows. That was a good Texas summer day: hot, dusty trails, rolling hills, hamburgers, and friends. #can’twaitfornexttime.