Ambling and Rambling

Hey, Sweet Things!

My man and I are on our way home from cactus land and I thought I’d spend part of it writing to you. And you know what that means: rambling. Any time I just open up my Mac and start writing to you woefully free of all forethought, you can count on a whole lot of words about next to nothing. So, unless you’re bored to oblivion with what you’re doing, you might want to run for your life now and save the headspace.

As I write to you, I’ll keep you posted on where we are. You don’t think you care but, once you hear some of these names, you might feel differently. They’re nearly life changing. For instance, right now we are going through Hext, Texas (I do not know if the area has an ancient history of witchcraft or what. Nor do I know if, once you’ve been hext, you can be un-hext. But I feel like you can.) One good firm turn to the right will take you to London. In just a few hours, you could be in Paris. These are just a few of the reasons why many people here believe that the world ends at the Texas border.

We have now come to Koocksville. This is the street Keith and I may have been born to live on.

It was just across from this very sign that Keith showed me this proud display of dried catfish heads.

On through Mason.

Over Comanche Creek.

It’s Sunday just before noon and we’ve been in Mesquite country since Thursday. The heat index could turn an ox-blooded man to Jesus. It’s too early for this furnace but who am I to say? God is in control of the thermostat and I’ve become convinced He considers the heat an effective evangelism tool. Keith and I have had so much fun. Simple fun. Like long walks in the morning but not without snake boots…

…and long rides in the evening in the old golf cart. The steamy mid part of the day takes us into town to eat at one of two restaurants in the small community. The second day we eat at the one we missed the first day. They are both so incredibly good that we think about them when we’re back home in the food capital of the universe. We’ve made our second home in this land long enough now for some of the locals to talk to us when they see us. Deeply satisfying to two dyed-in-the-wool city souls who long for the country. These folks around here are the salt of the earth sort. They work hard and forego fancy. Impressively, one of the two restaurants has free wifi so, call them small but don’t call them disconnected.

I love being on a road trip with Mr. Ivan Keith Moore, son of Marcell John Moore, the plumbing legend of Houston. My man is a history fiend. He knows where every battle in Texas history was fought and where the cattle were run and who the cowboys were that ran them. I love to hear the story of how the buffalo were taken from the JA Ranch in Palo Duro Canyon (near Amarillo) all the way due north to Wyoming and, every time we’re in that great State and see buffalo, he likes to tell me that those hefty beasts bleed Texas blood. By no means does he disrespect Wyoming. Nay! It is, hands down, his favorite state second only to – put your hand on your heart – the land of his great, great grandfather’s birth.He just somehow thinks that what he loves most about Wyoming is that it reminds him of Texas…but with mountains. Big ones.

While we drive these long roads, Keith tells me stories about men like Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, cattle ranchers that Keith believes were prototypes of the characters on Lonesome Dove. Loving made Goodnight swear he’d bury him in Texas but wounds from an old fight wouldn’t heal and ended up killing him slowly with gangrene until he gave up the ghost in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. More practical than sentimental, the folks surrounding him when he breathed his last hastened to put his rigid body into the ground before the animals ate him. A man of his word, Charles Goodnight returned from a trip to Colorado, had his friend’s body exhumed and hauled it back to Texas in a pine box packed with charcoal. I don’t suppose you’d want me to also share tales about a man named Shanghai Pierce who went from a stowaway on a ship in New York harbor to owning some million acres in the Lonestar State.

We take these roads to cactus country to get our heads on straight. We go to hear ourselves think. We go to hear what God might say if you shut up and let Him do the talking. We go to see the black night skies light up with ten thousand stars. We go to hear the birds sing and, this time of year, watch dozens of hummingbirds migrate right through our property. I wish I’d been able to capture six of them at once with my i-Phone but they move like lightening.

We go to sleep late…and to sleep good. I planned to work while I was there for four days but I never did. My bones said, “Just sit and smile and rest.” So I did.

Driving now through Llano. Beautiful Llano. We were going to stop at Cooper’s BBQ but the line was literally out the door and down the sidewalk. Sure smelled good.

“We’re a third of the way home, ‘Lizbeth.”

Keith always keeps me up on the progress. To my man, a road is not something you take. It’s something you conquer.

Lunch here in Burnet, Texas.

Got to meet a darling young couple that serve at a church in Liberty Hill and their six and a half year-old Savannah who was missing one tooth. I do love me a six year-old girl child about more than anything on this earth. Except a certain five year-old boy and two year-old girl that I am particularly partial to. Can’t wait to get home to them.

Keith can’t get a good country western station to come in right now so he just turned up “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees. Out of the corner of my eye, I’m seeing that college boy I danced with under the disco ball 33 years ago. Just when I think I’ve got the man figured out, he goes 70’s on me. We’ve gotten to the part of the song where Keith doubts the singer’s manhood. “Ahhhhhh-oooooohhhh, I’m going nowhere. Somebody help me…”

Well, my man and I are not going nowhere. We’re going home. No place like home. The best part of going on a road trip. And, lucky for you, I’m almost out of battery. All this rambling means nothing if you don’t have Jesus. He’s life to me whether I’m in the city or the country, in plenty or in want, in pain or so tickled I can’t sit up straight. He’s kept Keith and I ring-fingered for 32 years. He keeps life adventurous for two souls that get bored easy. He keeps our boots on tight and our tires rolling. I love Him so much.

Just a few last shots for anyone who’s hung in here by a thread:

Don’t worry, Keith saved it from becoming Dog Dinner. Me on a long walk. A rancher saw me from afar and hopped in his truck to go tell Keith that my car must be broken down and he’d better go fetch me. He couldn’t fathom that a woman with any sense would just be strolling around out there.

A peek at the gorgeous, grass-green San Saba River really close to our place. Keith and I float on inner tubes in this spot in the summer.

Cucumber Cactus. So shockingly gorgeous amid all the gray and green.

A spider sack attached to our porch screen. More spider babies than you can count will start crawling out of that thing in a few days. Most of them will probably crawl into the house but I’ll deal with that next time we come.

Gentle evenings and maybe the number one reason why we come.

You guys are such great sports. I’m crazy about you. Thanks for chatting me home. I wish every single one of you were in this blue Ford truck with my man, our two hounds, and me. We’d try to show you a good Texas time.

No time to proofread! My laptop is sho-nuff shutting down! Talk to you soon.






356 Responses to “Ambling and Rambling”

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  1. 301

    Beth, thanks for sharing! Reading about your and Keith’s adventures in Texasland is fun:) I did get back from Dallas area about two weeks ago now, sigh, I like Texasland too. I love Central Market in Dallas! Fun, fun. I don’t have a testimony about any close relationships in Christ that have had fissures. I think maybe my problem is that I’m not allowing myself to get that close to others, thinking I have got too many issues for them to understand the real me, yikes, Lord Jesus please help me. He will. He will. He completes what He starts, and I am so grateful for that.

  2. 302
    Nell Brinkley says:

    Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain.
    Chattanooga, Tn. 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

  3. 303
    Victoria says:

    What a fun post.. and what an adorable face in the first picture, and Miss Beth you look cute too.. 😉

    Reading about the places you passed thru makes me think of my days as a Hospice nurse, I kept a little notebook with the names of some of the back roads I drove… Upper Pig Pen, Possum Trot, Rabbit Hop and Lickskillet were a few.. oh and a favorite Whits End.. think I will move to the end of that road one day..

    Blessings All

  4. 304

    I LOVED this rambling post, it’s a lotta fun! My mama was from Texas and my brother still is. I have migrated to Mississippi but I know what ya mean about accents. Thinking about your own sitcom was hilarious. A spider sack for real? That thing would freak me out, it’d be in the burn pile in a New York minute. Your amazing spiders nor snakes seem to phase you, but long lines do.

  5. 305
    sandy ramirez says:

    Beth, loved your rambles, you are a woman right after my own heart. Next time you roam through Mason, Texas stop in at the Square Plate (10-3pm only) on the town square. You have a follower there named Barb that would love to see yor face. She’s an awesome believer and the sweetest sister ever.(mine of course). They also have some “real good cookin'” going on in there. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for the tour of our crazy great state and watch out for snakes!!!!!!!

  6. 306

    Your writings and ramblings were like nourishment for my soul, believe it or not. I love that you share your life with your readers. So many leaders these days aren’t nearly as transparent. I am learning a lot just watching and reading. I have a sister and brother-in-law who lived in Texas for about 10 years while he attended seminary at DTS. I must say, in those years of many trips to the Lonestar state, I NEVER saw it the way I do through your writings. Thank you for sharing your world. Glad you got away for a little R&R.

  7. 307
    Sandy says:

    Beth, you forgot to take a picture of the “Woman Hollering Creek” sign on I-10. I thought of you last week when I drove over it. No hollering woman though.!!

  8. 308
    Rachel Jeter says:

    Hello Beth! These random posts are some of my favorite! I think the randomness makes it human and enjoyable to read.My hubby and I are living in Salem, AR which is near the Missouri border in the Ozarks. I’m so sad that I missed your trip to Little Rock. Hopefully next year!
    God bless you Beth and all the work you do to make us siestas feel loved!

  9. 309
    Beverly says:

    Your Keith sounds like my Mike. It was like reading one of our conversations. My ggg grandfather came with the DeWitt Colony in 1829. Mike came from Oklahoma in 1963, but you’d think he was the born Texan. Books on Goodnight, Sam Houston and Texas history is numerouse on our selves. He took me for my birthday weekend last October to Goliad and we stayed in the Presidio La Bahia. That was the greatest treat. You might consider treating Keith to that. There’s just one apartment and the presidio is all yours after 5p. I’m glad you had a fun trip.

  10. 310
    Sarah says:

    I may have commented on this before, but you crack me up, Siesta Mama! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today! 🙂

  11. 311
    Carla says:

    Hi Beth. Thanks for sharing your trip through Texas. I have lived in Burnet in the late 90’s and well, I wouldn’t have recommended The Highlander LOL, sorry, but I am glad you had a good time there.

    I now live in Conroe, TX and have a great church that we go to. I will recommended Margarita’s & Pepper’s Mexican Grill for ya, if you ever visit our city.

    Have just got done doing the bible study of David and really enjoyed it.

    Anyways, take care and God Bless

  12. 312
    Penny Thompson says:

    Dear Ms. Beth: I have just met you through your Believe in God Bible Study and I am so blown away by your words – you are truly speaking to my heart and I do love my new heart sister.

    My man is also one of thos true Texans that honestly feels it is God’s gift to be born a Texan. He is from a small town called Matador – home of the Matador Ranch. He grew up in the stories and history of the 4 sixes ranch, just to name one and he loves that land with all his heart.

    I felt like David and I were meandering on a road trip, one of our favorite things to do when we can find the time, hope you and your man get back out to the country soon. It truly revives the spirit.

    Every person I told I was doing the Believe in God bible study told me that when they participated in the study it was truly a life-changing experience for them. We are at week 5 and and I cannot wait till the next session. Thank you for your wisdom, insight and your ability to make me see God’s love for me and His purpose for my life.

    God Bless, Penny

  13. 313
    Janice says:

    I just sent your “ambling and rambling” on to my husband. I thought he’d get a kick out of Keith’s love for Texas and the stories that go along with that love. They might actually be two peas in a pod. I love my man!

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