Small Town Texas
What can I say? I love small towns! I am not a city girl as I grew up in a small town where you knew many of the people by name and a trip to town meant you might be delayed as you conversed with acquaintances along the way. And then, early in my adult life, I moved to the country... total peace, with nature all around... and I really loved that. It was a fit! I lived according to the seasons, enjoyed my trips into town but was always glad to get back to the country. Thankfully, I raised my children there and they will always have the memories of going outside to play in the brook and in the woods, walk down the country road, ice skate on the little pond and all without fear. To my mind, it was an idyllic childhood.
Then I moved to Texas. Yes... I came kicking and screaming so my husband could take a job here. Left behind my friends, my home, and a job that I loved. With time, I adjusted but could never adjust to the traffic, strip malls, and living in a housing development where I could almost reach out my window and shake hands with my neighbor. Where are the deer, the woods, the babbling brook and the stars in the sky... GONE! I see a glow in the night sky from the strip malls just down the road. I hear the roar of traffic on the interstate. Dallas is 14 miles to the west but I seldom go as I want to see less congestion, fewer buildings, fewer people, less traffic, and more of nature. No... this is not my choice of how to live, so I grab my camera and become immersed in the moment! Yes... photography is a lifesaver!
When my friend Sheila invited me and a mutual friend to visit with her in Bowie, Texas, I jumped at the chance. I love a new adventure and this was to be one in "small town Texas". So many times "small town" equates to "quirky"! Each little town has it's own personality as opposed to the big city/suburbs with just more of the same. Before long, everything will look alike with the same fast food joints and big box stores on every corner. I rather like the "mom and pop" establishments, each with a unique difference.
So... a couple hours away, I had left the city and suburbs behind and it felt good traveling through the countryside with my friend Linda.
Linda and Sheila
Sheila treated us to a wine festival at the Blue Ostrich Vineyard and Winery. We pulled up and were greeted by the most friendly parking person I have ever met. He was so personable and after a brief chat he directed us as to where to park. We sheltered from the brutal Texas sun under a tent and sipped our wine and snacked on cheese, salami, olives and bread while listening to the music. I had a sparkling wine that was light and refreshing on such a hot day. What a way to begin our visit! The vineyard actually reminded me of vineyards in France... and not a strip mall in sight! Thank you Sheila for such a delightful beginning to our stay!
This trip was all about catching up on what has been happening in our lives as well as touring the small towns in the area. Each morning we would get up, have breakfast and then head out with Sheila at the wheel. I do love to do "drive-by" shooting. If I get my shutterspeed fast enough, I can shoot on-the-fly and it is a great exercise in improving quick response time. On several occasions as we would "oooo" or "ahhhhh" at something we saw, Sheila would slow her speed, sometimes stop and on one occasion, she did a U-turn when I was sure I spotted an owl on the top of a sign... or at least that is what I thought! So we U-turned and parked in a parking lot to get a better view when I realized the owl was precisely at the middle of the top of the sign. The joke was on me! It was a decoy! I had been fooled and I would not live this down for the rest of the trip!
As we were going down the road I spotted a dilapidated garage with an American flag and a confederate flag along with a truck that had seen better days. I shot it on-the-fly in hopes that I could edit it later to improve the shot. When I got home and put it on the computer I noticed a young John Wayne looking out from the window and that car setting on wheels... it's a Delorean! I love surprises and this was certainly one of them!
So we are back on the road looking for more quirky shots and we sure did find them!
I will share some of my photos in a slideshow. Certainly one of the highlights of the trip was when we were invited into the local bootmaker's shop to see how cowboy boots are made. The two master bootmakers were giving a class in bootmaking. It is expensive to take the class but when you are done, you will have your own custom-made pair of boots... handmade by you! Bootmaking is becoming a lost art and I was so impressed with the quality of the boots!
The slideshow is best viewed full screen...
Thank you Sheila for the wonderful getaway! Lots of laughs and a genuinely good time! Can't wait to see what you do with the bed springs you salvaged from that house that was being demolished! Knowing you... it will end up being a unique piece of art from a quirky little town in Texas!
Keywords: Blue Ostrich Vineyard and Winery, Bowie, Forestburg, Montague, Nokoma, Saint Jo, Texas winery, cowboy, cowboy boots, small town Texas
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