Thursday, May 24, 2012

Boat Break: Austin in Bloom

It is just past Mother's Day and Rio Grande City is already ablaze with daily highs over 100 degrees, white-hot skies, and a dry wind that blankets everything in dust. Here on the ranch, calves are failing to thrive, and the ranch owner has sold many of his cattle at auction. My lovely crimson mandevillas turn pale pink after a couple of days in the sun, and everything else is just a crunchy, grayish brown. Even my lines plan blueprints, tacked onto my workbench in full shade, have aged 50 years.

I was beginning to feel like I was living in Cormac McCarthy's “The Road,” so last weekend, Ramon and I escaped this post-apocalyptic landscape to Austin, Texas. I wasn't after live music, food (although something not fried and not filled with meat sounded awfully good), or night life. This Iowan wanted to see something, anything green. We poked through gardens anywhere we could find them-- in neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, and the university. It was wonderful.