December 31, 2010
Heidi’s day 4 began @ 3:30 a.m. A tanker came in to get, of all things, salt water? He was here for about an hour. That was it for sleep for Heidi. The rest of the day we had the usual : the Foreman, the Gauger, and the Ranch-hands, the trucks and the tankers. The RV has been transformed from looking like a crash pad for the homeless to a real home.
So much progress was made that I was given a second chance to go to the dump to take the garbage I forgot yesterday and check out the town. Much to my surprise, the dump was gone altogether today. That would have really confused me yesterday but would have been much nicer for Henry! I guess it was time for the pickup to dump the dump. I tied my bags a little tighter and headed back into Tilden.
Inspired by Thornton Wilder, I was determined to really see ‘Our Town’.
My first stop was the Post Office where I asked what I needed to do to set up general delivery mail? The cross lady in the Peace is for People Too shirt said she had no idea but would call her boss. The answer: my name, General Delivery, Tilden TX, 78028, but only for 30 days? I asked her if she needed to see my driver’s license or some ID? She said: “Oh no, we have gate guards doing this all the time”. Maybe they just don’t come in when she’s working or know better than to disturb her peace.
Fully informed on the postal regulations, I crossed the street to the Shell Station /Mercantile to see what staples they might have and get some directions. It turns out they stock a whole lot of camouflage shirts and cowboy hats, broasted chicken, dusty bottles of wine, Texas shaped souvenirs and whole, but not Sskim milk. I stood in line, empty-handed to ask inappropriate questions like is there a laundry mat? (Pleasanton), a car wash? (just a smirk at that one), a park? (you can let them play on the play ground at the school since it’s Christmas break). I said they actually ‘they’ are just a Schnoodle in need of a little romp and stomp time so the clerk sent me to the rodeo.
As it turned out, Henry and I had the rodeo grounds all to ourselves and he did romp and stomp for a while until I started worrying about sunning rattlesnakes and stray scorpions and put a halt to his exploration of the many, many fun smells.
The fun smells that waylaid me on the way home come from Max’s Motel and Diner. When Cliff brought me home yesterday, he mentioned the food was really great. He must have mentioned that to a lot of other people too because the parking lot was packed.
I ordered a hamburger and fries and an order of Max’s Special Nachos to go and waited and waited. It wasn’t especially hot or sunny today and Henry has become so used to being locked in abandoned vehicles that when I went out to check on him, he was asleep in his bed in the back seat.
Back inside I began to wonder if I should have asked what makes the Max’s Special Nachos ‘special’ after surveying the wall ornaments: at least a dozen trophy buck, the pre-requisite ox skull (I think they’re from oxen, maybe not), a ram, but the worrisome part was the extremely large boar’s head in the main room and the wall of boars above a long table of beer drinking, camouflaged cowboys.
I took my pictures over the tops of their hats thinking that might be less intrusive and more subtle. As if there’s anything subtle about a middle-age woman in a Stonehenge t-shirt ducking between tables, flashing a point and shoot.
40 minutes later, I left with my two Styrofoam containers of food, many pictures of stuffed animals and a $5 4-H raffle ticket purchased from the waitress’s daughter. If my name is drawn Monday night, I could win a Remington Shur-Shot 12 GA. Shotgun or a Kenmore upright freezer or one of many other swell prizes!
I raced home (40 is 5 mph over the speed limit for our road) fearing Heidi might think I was roasting Henry again. When we sat down to eat we both were amazed! It was the best beef we’d had since leaving Iowa. It may even be better than Iowa beef. As a matter of fact it may not have even been beef at all!
The day wound down with Heidi taking a nap to catch up from last night, me reading Angry Housewives and falling a sleep in the chair, still holding my coffee and book like the really old person that I am, and Henry on high alert, protecting us from the 3 bulldozers laying a new water line just up our lane. I lost all three hands of Gate Guard Rummy (since we have gates and no Gin, it seems like a better name) and we each won one game of Cribbage. And on a very quiet note, 2010 came to an end.