Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Del Rio, Texas

The Eagles on the International Bridge on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.


T is for Del Rio, Texas

The voter registration office in North Carolina helped me figure out how to vote in the Presidential Primary in 2008. I explained my predicament. I would be moving to Texas, but their primary had already taken place. Hubby — before he was Hubby — and I visited during their election.

Del Rio,” the clerk said, “my niece was born there. Her father served in the Air Force.”

We weren’t moving to this town that bordered Mexico to join the military. Hubby accepted a civilian job at Laughlin Air Force Base, known for training many of America’s pilots.  Hubby lived in Texas briefly while in the Army.

A former newspaper co-worker laughed when I told her we might move to Del Rio. “I was just there,” she said. While visiting her boyfriend in Houston, they drove west to Big Bend National Park. Del Rio was the last stop — three hours away — from the park.

We visited Del Rio twice before our cars pulled into the driveway of our rental in the Chihuahuan Desert. Our dogs winced at the prickly and thorny plants in the grass. I spied scorpions in the bathroom light fixtures.

This was a different place. While the temperature soared into triple digits over the summer, it was mild in the winter. I frequently used my favorite weather quip: “To me, hell would be a cold place. So, I like it here.”

Work was sporadic for me, as I didn’t speak Spanish — all my Italian study didn’t count and had long been forgotten. Days were spent with part-time job titles like freelance writer, substitute teacher, test administrator and my personal favorite — RV park clerk. I studied how to write and began my memoir. I joined the Creative Writers of Del Rio group and helped publish two anthologies. 

Hubby and I explored our corner of Texas. And, I enjoyed finding everything from cookie cutters to garden stones in the shape of the state.

Today, when I hear people talking about my former town, I say, “My son was born in Del Rio.”

P.S. If you ever drive through Del Rio, stop by Broke Mill RV Park. They'll treat you right.

Cheese and crackers in the shape of Texas.
Or you can find garden stones in the state's shape.

16 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying your travels, Stacy!

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    1. Glad you are along for the ride Joanna.

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  2. Replies
    1. Erik, so did my niece, who is your age.

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  3. Love the Texas cheese :) But seriously, those eagles are gorgeous! Del Rio will always have a special place in your heart if that's where your son was born! :)

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  4. My daughter-in-law is from Texas. She's got 'Texas' on everything. And even though she loves the Cowboys, I don't hold that against her. :)

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    1. Karen, I joke that I moved to a state (Colorado) that is the shape of a rectangle and the state flag looks like a copyright symbol. It seems weak after being in Texas.

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  5. You had me (scared) at scorpion! But I love the Texas cheese :)

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    1. Coleen, So was my brother-in-law when he visited.

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  6. I visited Laughlin AFB, when I worked for the AF. Took a group there. Hot and very different environment for me. Am enjoying your journey. Like how you've used the A-Z exercise as snippets of your life.

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    1. Patricia, Laughlin is a great place. Yes. A different environment. :)

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  7. I love a place that will treat you right.

    That cheese is killing me! Love it.

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    1. Peggy, Not many states offer items made in their shape for sale. Of course, most states don't ahve a unique shape.

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  8. Can you pass the cheese and crackers, please?

    Enjoyed your post. I was in Texas as a kid. We went to visit an uncle, aunt and cousins. I remember my aunt telling us we had to dump our shoes out everyday before putting them on, to make sure we had no surprises inside. We couldn't turn over any rocks or logs out in the yard because of the scorpions and spiders. My aunt would turn down the blankets for us, to check for any undesirable critters, before we could climb into bed. Not good for a kid who is scared of spiders!

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    1. Suanne, We saw lots of fun and interesting creatures while there. I love the vision of all the checks for critters.

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