My stories from small towns, many thanks to Ike

We left this morning at 5:45 to evacuate to our farm in Floresville from Ike. And it’s been quite the adventure already. First of all, let me say that I love small Texas towns, and I speak the truth in love here. I wish I could’ve taken pictures of some of these things, because they’re just so unique. Here are some of my small town experiences so far (I say so far because I’m sure I’ll have more before this trip is over.)
My first small town experience from this trip was when we stopped for a little second breakfast at a small bakery in Hallettsville. Let me just say that they have awesome kolaches at all these little Czech towns. So while I was standing in the bakery, I heard the local radio in the background of the restaurant. (Note to self: Always listen closely to small town radio news. You won’t fail to be entertained.) So, as I listened closer, I discovered that the sweet old man on the radio was reporting the large list of closures in the area. I thought it would be “The schools in our district are closed on Thursday and Friday,” or something like that. Well, I was pleasantly mistaken. They started out like that, but in a couple minutes they were more like “The Parker’s family reunion will be postponed until next Saturday,” “The annual picnic at First Baptist will be canceled until further notice,” and “Joe and Mary’s wedding scheduled for Saturday will be held in two weeks instead.” Oh, how I love small towns.
We started back on the road to Floresville and after a few minutes we passed through Shiner, TX. Another lovely small town. I’d love to swing at the swings in their city park. They look like high quality swings. Anyways, back to the point. Driving through there, I was stopped at a red light and there was a bank there with a scrolling marquee. At banks they’re pretty standard, you know? The time, temperature, and date will scroll by. Well, this town was showing their feelings toward the hurricane in the Gulf. After the date scrolled by, another line showed up: “Take a hike, Ike!” Another note to self: Remember that scrolling marquee’s always produce quotable lines.
A couple signs I saw on the way were quite awesome. “Watermelon Jubilee” in Stockdale. “Children will play chimes in both services Sunday” at one of the local churches in Floresville. I also found some really cool product names at Wal-Mart: a gummy snake at least 3 feet long called “Big Fat Hissee Fit,” Universal Bike Tires…that come in 16”, 20”, 24” and 28”. (What?) And a couple salons: “Curl up and Dye,” and “Hair I am.” (Now I know for a fact that you can find names like that all over the place, but I’m just reporting these now, because they were a part of my experience this trip. But when I was in Uganda we came across the “Heavy Duty Bakery.” Wow, really?) And while we were setting up the lawn mower here at the farm, the instructions warned us “Caution: Gasoline is flammable.” Good to know. One thing I do salute them for here is one of my biggest pet peeves: the spelling of y’all. It’s a contraction of you and all. Not ya’ll, y’all. That’s one thing I do appreciate about small towns.
I thought my exciting experiences were done for the day after driving here, Olivia’s (a really good local Mexican restaurant) for lunch, and then driving around looking for a lawn mower for sale. But no, they were far from over. So I get back to the farm, and I had to go to the bathroom. So I go in, open the seat, and there, curled around several times, just making himself at home was a very large black snake. I’m not exaggerating, it was a very large snake. I’m not really a big fan of snakes. Especially when they’re locked in a small room with me. Needless to say, I haven’t used that toilet again.
So here I sit on the porch. Fixin’ to go down to the local Mickey D’s to get free wifi. Looking out over the farm, listening to Nanci Griffith sing
“I wanna ride the waves down in Galveston when the hurricanes blow in, cause that Gulf Coast water tastes sweet as wine when you’re heart’s blowin’ home in the wind,” waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. I’m sure I’ll have more stories soon. I love evacuating.

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