Winter Texan…

Hi Ya’ll,

I’m here in Texas for the winter, enjoying lovely weather and interesting times. Right now I’m between Dallas and Waco for the month. I have a dentist and a good friend near Ft. Worth who are providing good teeth and good cheer, lol. I’m at what’s called an “Airstream Park” where people with Airstreams live in carport condos. That life is too rich for me, but it’s nice to be a visitor among fellow travelers who get what it’s like to love an Airstream. I’m staying in the cheap seats with a lovely view of the field behind me which is now brown for the winter. There is grass just outside my trailer, but the rest of my surround is concrete and gravel. That’s my shiny hiney casting a shadow, lol.

I can hear the highway noise, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s white noise. At night it sounds a bit like a train and I love the sound of that. The view may not be spectacular, but it’s natural at least. I pay no attention to the commercial signs in the distance. It is nice to have a SBUX nearby, a propane dealer, and a grocery all within 3 miles. Close enough but not too close.

On the other side of my view is the everchanging camping Terra Porte. Basically, it’s a big parking lot with hookups. At one point there were about 10 Airstreams. Over the weekend it was all coaches. Today a bunch of fifth wheels rolled in. It’s like a parade going by and generally, the folks are nice. The oddest thing about the coaches was I never saw anyone outside. I thought it was a rally, but I guess they rallied inside by themselves, lol. Notice the satellite dishes on top. This is premium living. And most had cars in tow. I prefer to travel a bit lighter but that’s the beauty of RVing – something for everyone!

Today, I woke to interesting political news – Beto O’Rourke is going to run for Governor of Texas. I wish him well. As a winter Texan I have a stake in how the state runs and he would be a 180-degree turn from TCG (the current guy) who is anti-vax mandate, anti-mask mandate, has had COVID, and of course got the “special” anti-bodies treatment, supports the anti-abortion law that is winding through the courts but currently enforced due to an appeals court ruling, and is against gun regulation. That sums up a whole lot of NO for me. I don’t have a lot of faith that voting Texans – who are fewer in number now because of the new anti-voting law, will vote this guy out. But I have seen political miracles in the last couple of years. Anything is possible in this tempestuous maelstrom of politics.

When I was a teenager and then a young adult in Florida, I used to laugh and get very aggravated with the elderly snowbirds. We called them blue-hairs (Golden Girls perm and a tint), eventual left-turn drivers (thank you Jerry Seinfeld for that spot on observation), and I dreamt of the day I could leave God’s waiting room. Welp. Here I am being a snowbird in Texas. I don’t have blue hair, I’m still an aware driver, and I don’t want to die in Texas! But it made me think about what it means to be a snowbird. I don’t pay taxes here – except for sales and gas taxes. I don’t vote here. I enjoy voting in my new home state of WA. I have no representation but I spend four months here. In a mobile society – where people come and go pretty regularly, what does representation mean? Why don’t I have a partial say in Texas governance? Should I have only a partial say in WA governance? We invented our representation rules when people rarely left their home state unless it was to homestead out west. It might be time for an upgrade.

Meanwhile, I’ve started exploring the Texas Whiskey Trail. One distillery down, three more this week, and three more after that. I was not impressed with the first one, despite it having one of the whiskeys voted “best” in Texas. I’m hoping I find some gems as I go along. It was a worthy destination (Balcones in Waco) and that’s the focus of my upcoming magazine article – distilleries as travel destinations. I’m not qualified to get paid to write about the whiskey flavor but that doesn’t stop me from having opinions as a life-long consumer of the golden nectar. Balcones’ entire operation is housed in an old warehouse in downtown Waco (downtown being a relative term). They’ve kept the flavor of the industrial setting in their tasting room, which makes it a fun destination.

Going to go do some writing, kick back, and enjoy some really nice weather. It’s what I came for, so I’m takin’ it. I’ll leave you with the now infamous flag from the Battle of Gonzalez in 1835 that started the Texas Revolution from Mexico.

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