Even before I came to Tomball I worried about Colin’s casual comment that we’d go to Matagorda Bay (a good two hours away) to “hang out” with friends on Friday. First of all, I don’t hang out well. Second, when Lisa said they’d fish, I foresaw a day with all of them fishing and me in the house. And I’d have to leave Sophie alone all day in a strange house. That’s pretty much what happened. I considered staying home with my dog, but that would have worried my son. And he has been sweet tonight about thanking me for going with them.
But here are the good parts: we had a lovely scenic drive quite early this morning. Took farm-to-market roads much of the way, which means lots of twists and turns, but a chance to study landscape and structure, both of which fascinate me. Coming back, we were on state highways—much faster, but way too many fast food chains and the like. Still, we went through or near towns I’ve heard about for years and now they’re located in my mind’s map—Angleton, Alvin, Lake Jackson, Brazoria, and others. And this evening we were treated to a spectacular sunset—the colors changed from moment to moment, gold to pink to intense reddish gold, and wispy clouds reflected the pink hues. Kudos to DIL Lisa for skillful driving and never getting lost.
The bay house was great—probably about the size of my cottage with a spectacular view. The inland waterway is right in front of the house—their dock juts out into it. Then there’s an island barrier of some kind—I couldn’t figure out if it was man-made or not, but it has no structures and apparently only a dirt road. I loved watching the boats in the waterway—speed boats, several enormous barges, a tug boat. Ever since my Lake Michigan childhood, I’ve loved to look out at water, so this met a deep need of mine. The owner, Thad, who went to high school with Lisa, assured me on a clear day you can see Cuba. Not!
The downside: I pretty much sat in the house the whole day. As to be expected, the houses are all on stilts, so it was an exercise for me to get up the stairs with Colin’s help. Once up, I wasn’t going down again until we were ready to leave. So when everyone went down to watch some game on the lawn (who has a getaway house with a lawn that has to be mowed?), I stayed behind with my book. The game seemed to involve throwing sticks at pegs in the ground with the goal of knocking the pegs over. I only saw on peg go over.
The sun, with the glare from the water, is excruciatingly bright and made my eyes, if not all of me, sleepy. And I was reading on my cell phone—tiny and further hard on the eyes, so I read in fits and spurts. Colin came up frequently to check on me and visit, and everyone came up for lunch. At one point I watched a rousing (?) Monopoly game. At 2:30 Colin announced we’d head out in about half an hour. We left at four. And so the day went.
Sophie greeted us ecstatically, as did Grace, the house dog who’d been left out all day in deference to Sophie. We had Thanksgiving dinner all over again, and I for one was grateful to be in familiar and comfortable territory.
But I did some thinking today, and it came to me that we make our own destiny even on a daily basis. When I think about it, I’ve been retreating into a book while others around me are “hanging out” all my life. As a child in the summer, I’d read on the front porch while neighborhood kids played. I remember incidents as a young mother when I used the excuse of a sleeping child as a reason to sit quietly and read a book while others played—once on a lake when everyone else was going out on a boat. So today wasn’t a surprise, and maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t hang out well—that’s just who I am, and I’m not sure I need to apologize. And physical circumstances kept me distant from the crowd today, though I’m not sure I would have had had much to contribute to the conversation anyway. There’s a big generation gap between me and a group of women in their forties. So it is what it is.
And I need to count my blessings and quit complaining, quit focusing on the negative. All in all, it was a good day.