We were feeling a bit cooped up, having been in the house for over 2 weeks under the new “shelter in place” encouraged by the local government in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic going on.
So, because of this, Al suggested we go for a ride in the country for a change of scenery, where we would be safe in our car and away from people. I was feeling out of sorts so I agreed. I made a very simple picnic lunch of one sandwich each and two apples along with two bottles of water.
We began driving on out of town, and it wasn’t long before we started seeing countryside. The bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush were just beginning to make a showing and we were enjoying the color. We turned off the highway and began our drive along an old country road. The Texas countryside is lovely to see with its wide open spaces dotted with big oak trees and a sporadic spotting of cactus. I had been thinking of heaven a lot lately because of the uneasy feeling of being under threat of sickness and death due to the pandemic. I also had done a lot of reading about where and how this pandemic began over in China with the wet markets that exist there. As I read about it and saw the conditions on t.v., I felt so sad for the animals that were brought there from all over the world and put into cages in those cramped places. This is where the virus jumped from animal to man.
I was thinking of this as I was watching the country side speed by and soon we came to one of our favorite places which is a long fence with an upside down cowboy boot over each fence post.
We stopped and took some pictures and enjoyed the warm sun on our backs….we continued down the road and took a number of pictures of sites that pleased us.
I remember thinking to myself “How beautiful this all is…Nature as God intended it!” Unspoiled and thriving in its natural habitat. As we drove along, Al suddenly stepped on the brakes because there, right in front of us, were a couple of donkeys. Having grown up on a farm, Al got out of the car and walked right up to one of the donkeys to pet him as I held back a little bit. There were a couple of little girls in the company of their Mother and Grandmother who petting one of the donkeys that was standing right in the middle of the road. This, then, gave me courage to get a little closer. I started scratching the donkeys head with a one finger a little bit behind the donkeys ear, just to make sure it was o.k. with him. It definitely seemed to be ok with him, because he leaned into my hand as I scratched, so I continued to pet his head, but this time with my whole hand. I started talking to him and at one point said, “Your owners must be awfully good to you because you are showing no fear whatsoever!” I was happy for this little donkey.
A neighbor came scurrying down the road holding a cell phone saying, “Oh no! I wonder how they got out? I am leaving a message for the owner who lives in Austin.” By now, the donkeys were on their way down the road together and she was walking at a fast clip right behind them. So, we got into our car and once again began to travel along our route. As we rode along, I said to Al, “This is so nourishing for my spirit today. Everything seems so right with the world at this moment in time! It almost feels like a road taking us on our way to the entrance to heaven”..The anxiety I had been feeling for the last couple of days began to fade. Life felt good again. The sun was shining, music was playing on the radio and the countryside was lovely.
As we continued our drive we were enjoying the scenery and we were humming along to some good old fashioned country music. Suddenly, Al hit the brakes again! What? Is it even possible that we are seeing two Ostrich along a fence in the hill country? Al immediately got out of the car and went right over to them! They were beautiful and just like the donkeys had been, were completely comfortable in a humans presence!
So, by now I was really ramping up feeling in a joyfully good mood! I mean, really? We go for a wild flower drive and we end up with two Donkeys and two Ostrich’s as bonus sightings? Oh, yes, God is good! This was just what I needed! Back in the car, we continued on our way through the Texas hill country, my hand drumming on the dash to the beat of an old country song on the radio!
Al soon pulled over and said, “O.K! Time for our lunch”. He began pulling some things out of the trunk, this being two collapsible chairs and our little cooler. We were parked on the side of the road in a little valley where a low water crossing creek ran through from one side of the road to another. As we sat there in our chairs, we watched the cattle graze the grass and wade in the creek water, and we munched on our homemade sandwiches. I told Al that I was feeling almost as if I could hear God whisper, “You see? This was how my creation was intended to be. Man coexisting along with the animals in peace” (At the same time I was also having a flashback of pictures I had seen of the wet markets in Wuhan China as an example of how we should NOT treat animals!!!)
We relaxed there in our chairs, enjoying a light warm breeze with the sun on our skin and the only sounds we heard were birds singing overhead and an occasional motor sound as a random car drove by. It was glorious, and we both felt grateful for this time to sit in the midst of the beauty of this earth! I could have sat there for hours, but it was soon time to pack up our chairs, pick up our coolers, and be on our way. What a gift this day was turning out to be! More animals along the way!
Low water crossings along the way!
We drove through the low water crossings, of which there are many in Texas! Also a beautiful curvy hilly road. A winery along the road! One of many that are springing up in the Texas hill country!
Many more bluebonnet sightings!
Flowers, flowers everywhere, and also our favorite live oak trees!
And what to our wondering eyes did appear? An Armadillo drinking a corona beer! The name of the beer sending a slight shiver down my spine,
A couple of old antiques along the way! Now on our way home!
We hope you enjoyed the tour! This drive is almost in our back yard. We have been here 23 years now and counting since first moving to Texas and we love it more and more every year! We are praying that the Pandemic doesn’t do us harm, but we also know we have been blessed beyond measure in this life, with today being just one example of the many blessings. We love to stop and smell the….bluebonnets along the way! They are on the side of the road that absolutely feels like it is going straight to heaven!