Of course, all of this to-ing and fro-ing is little more than elaborate busywork. What we’re really looking for is authenticity. The real and true. And this quest is personified in our friend Deb.
From Carlsbad, NM, the oil and hay fields of west Texas a blur in our windows, we hot-footed the yellow bus through the well-heeled German tourist towns of the Texas Hill Country...
... to flop safely in the comfortable spare bedroom of Deb’s Place in the big-treed historic district of San Marcos, TX.
She doesn’t just know the
Which is to say, Deb is one of those rare individuals who befriends everyone she meets, makes them her friend, and keeps them. She is a real friend to Diane and I. She is authentic. She is funny. She has a irrepressible zest for good food, good music, good friends, and good abodes. She herself says it best, as when she talks about cooking: “It’s all about the flavor.”
And so it is. And so it was. The week or so we stayed at Deb's Place was filled with flavor. (I should also mention we had the good fortune to see Deb's mother again, Jan, who herself was on an extended visit to Deb's place. Jan also visited Deb for a few months when we (namely Deb, Diane and I) lived on the Greek isle of Skopolos four years ago. But that's another story for another time.)
Deb took us to a shit-kickin' beerhall in the tiny town of Gruene (pronounced "Green.") It doesn't get more Texas than this.
A forgotten but still kicking watering hole in Austin's most upscale neighborhood where we shot pool, took in a great sunset view, played sad country tunes on the juke box, and watched American Idol.
A side-trip to San Antonio to remember the Alamo and to walk the river.
Not to mention top-notch home cookin'; a lazy tubing trip on the crystal-clear spring fed waters of the San Marcos river; crashing an old hippie mushy-food potluck in what can only be described as Sanford & Son's garden paradise (no pics, sorry); and a fantastic music show at the Saxon Pub that featured Paula Nelson (Willie's daughter) and Monte Montgomery--a fabulous acoustic guitar hero and stand-up comedian. (If someone plays music, and they play in Austin, they've played the Saxon.)
It was a great time that went too quickly. Diane got plenty of "girl time" with Deb & Co. I got plenty of "writing time" just out of earshot. We were very sad to go. But then again, it's only a matter of time before we see our wonderful friend again.