If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: the sunsets in my hometown are the best.
I may have lived in Boston for almost five (!) years, but every so often, I feel the gravitational pull toward the plains of West Texas, where I grew up. My parents and sister still live there, and last week I hopped a plane to go and spend a few days with them.
I love our annual holiday odyssey across Texas, but it inevitably involves a rental car, mounds of luggage and a lot of schedule-juggling. These solo trips, which I take every few months, are looser, less demanding. They’re not exactly calm (I have two small nephews), but they are their own brand of relaxation.
We wear out the road between my parents’ house and my sister’s. I stand barefoot in my parents’ kitchen in the mornings, sipping tea while my dad brews coffee and flips through the local (typo-riddled) newspaper. We go to church on Sunday morning and watch golf on Sunday afternoon. And we eat a lot – a lot – of Mexican food.
(We also headed to my favorite soda fountain this time for lunch and a strawberry milkshake. Best in the world.)
My sister has two boys now, and they’re both growing like weeds. Harrison was a tiny infant at Christmastime, but he’s seven months now, and he’s a (mostly) happy little chunk of love.
Ryder is three (how is that possible?) and much harder to photograph, because he’s in constant motion. His favorite thing to do is play with trains, and his favorite playmate is my dad.
I’m lucky to get to come back here and hang out every once in a while. To answer Ryder’s thousand questions and hear him call me “Kiki.” To laugh with my mom and try on clothes with my sister and trade wacky movie quotes with my dad. To stand in a pew on Sunday morning and sing the hymns we all love. To enjoy my brother-in-law’s excellent grilling skills and quiet humor. To be surrounded by, and immersed in, love.
Boston is where I live, and where I’ve built a life I love. But West Texas is still and always my home.