Back From Nowhere

I married into a family of latter day gypsies. We spend what little time off we have traveling from place to place throughout the state, never staying anywhere (including home) for very long. I have just returned from our monthly trip to the family ranch in the middle of Nowhere, Texas.

It is a long boring drive. Have I mentioned that portable DVD players are a gift from god? Laaa! (That was the angels singing.) The purchase of the DVD player has allowed us to keep our total number of children at 2 by preventing me from killing my firstborn after she asks, "Is this Grandma's road?" or "What number will it be when we get there?" one too many times. We pop on Finding Nemo or Lilo and Stitch (aka: baby crack) and, TAH-DAH! up to two hours of relative peace and quiet. Lest you think I am a cold and heartless mother for not wanting to hear my daughter's sweet voice, bear in mind that it is a six hour drive from Small Town to Nowhere - one way. And that we spend, on average, 20 hours per month driving off to Somewhere Else (not including tooling around town, of course). As an added bonus, the movies give me a chance to actually finish a conversation with T, which is a rarity given the weird schedule cops keep.

This is all a long lead up to why I haven't posted lately: I was in the middle of Nowhere with no phone, cable or internet. Eek! What we did have? lots of fine red dirt that permanently stains clothes, herds of deer (including little tiny spotted fawns!), catfish so large they are practically evolving into land mammals right in front of your eyes and so fruitful that you could almost walk across the pond on their backs, snakes (!), bulls who were always, ahem, WAY too glad to see me, and many, many 4-wheel drive vehicles. We also had my in-laws (LOVE!) and the entire herd of dogs from biggest to smallest.

The best part about visiting the ranch is all of the animals. This ranch is primarily for hunting (we are raging carnivores. Get over it.) and the diversity of wildlife is amazing. There are deer, wild turkeys (who are much smarter than you would think), dove, duck, quail, armadillos, foxes, bobcats and coyotes. If you can eat it, my husband will shoot it (not that we eat armadillos, foxes, coyotes or bobcats). I'm not too wild about game birds, but deer are just good eats. (I have no part in the transition from woodland creature to table food and like to believe that deer just comes in the nicely shrink wrapped package.) There are also cattle. The ranch is used as a nursery in the spring and the calves are just adorable. Another great thing about the ranch is that my mom-in-law is the uber grandma and allows me to sleep past the crack of dawn and to eat an entire meal without getting up from the table.

On the down side, there is no phone, cable, or internet. And lots of the "fun" stuff to do at the ranch is remarkably like manual labor: filling feeders, building blinds, maintaining T's fleet of ancient Jeeps. And of course, the demands of parenting are all still there, minus the conveniences and schedules of home. Ack! Z is wired for sound from the moment we arrive until days after we get home, fueled on Grandma's cookies and staying up past bedtime. Q sleeps the whole drive there in preparation for never sleeping again once we arrive. T and his dad do everything together, totally getting on each other's nerves by the end of the visit, which sends his mom into a tailspin. By the time we leave, T is grumpy, the kids are whiny and we have a six hour drive ahead of us.

I am glad to be home.

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