As the drought and heat continues here in Smiley, Texas, I’m beginning to get uneasy on my early morning walks. There used to be a buzzard or two circling in the distance. Then a few began to gather in the trees on the other side of the giant alien weeds.
Then there were more. Now there are many.
I counted 34 yesterday morning. They’re restless. I can sense it. I can feel their beady eyes on me as I walk. I stopped to take a picture and the fluttering began.
I knew I’d stood still too long.
I went back into the RV and changed out of my plain black t-shirt into a bright orange Life is Good shirt with a purple coffee mug, begging Fill Me Up!
Uncertain if this was animated enough I began walking up and down the road, shouting verbosely: I’m alive! I’m alive!
Heidi joined me for some early morning caliche clogging. We’re about a half a mile from the rig so I continued my I’m alive chant with growing enthusiasm (she’s very tolerant and wasn’t really quite awake yet) until I heard the bell ring.
A car, a nice car, pulled up out of nowhere. Transforming instantly into the professional gate guard that I am, I went to the window and asked his name? Ken. Company? Forest.
Are you relieving Mike (the Company Man)?
No. I oversee all the drilling on all of the Forest rigs.
I’ve heard a lot about you two.
I don’t know what he’s heard, but he probably heard me talking to the buzzards …
While I’m poking a bit of fun at myself, I’m not making fun of the seriousness of the drought here in Texas. If you’re interested in more thoughtful reading, here’s a link to yesterday’s Time magazine online post: Why Texas’ Drought May Have Global Consequences