Tuesday, August 21

Road Trip - East Texas Style

My parents own a little county "cottage" on 50 acres in Henderson, TX (East Texas).  It is gorgeous country and not very populated.  I spent my childhood going up there with my family, working on the house, and exploring the woods and fields.

Once I grew up I just didn't have the time or energy to go back and visit and my kids have never been. But a few weeks ago the kids and I took a road trip back to the farm with my dad.  I hadn't been in fifteen years and was really excited to get out of town and visit my childhood vacation spot.

The drive took a few hours but was gorgeous most of the way.  Forests and rolling hills and tiny towns. And 70 mile-an-hour speed limits on these tiny winding two-lane roads.  I was driving my dad's truck and it was pretty exciting.  We even got to see a train transporting military equipment!

Finally we arrived at my parent's cute little country cottage.  I didn't want to post a photo because I didn't want to make you jealous, but here it is.

Gorgeous isn't it! ;-)   I call it Shabby Not-So-Chic.

When we purchased the property in the early 80's this vintage house was full of hay, mice, and bugs.   It was quite a job renovating it and I spent many a hot summer day painting.  At one time it was actually pretty cute, but unfortunately it is out in nowhere and every time we visited the area thieves would know to come check it out and steal pretty much everything that was not bolted down. Correction; bolted down did not stop them, they even stole the window units.

This was really frustrating so these days it is full of junk that is not vintage and won't sell on ebay and we have to bring a window unit so we won't die of heat stroke. But at least it has running water and electricity.  And a broom.  I had to spend an hour sweeping out dead wasps and mouse turds.  And another 30 minutes chasing around live wasps inside and out with a can of wasp spray.

Then I needed a shower, but when you first turn on the water it smells like sulfur (imagine eating a huge Mexican meal and then having the worst gas of your life and that will not stink as much as the farm water).    I decided to wait until the evening to take a shower, after the water had run for a while and I had swept out the spiders and wasps in the shower stall.

Are you getting jealous yet?

We went to explore the fields and catch grasshoppers.  Did I mention it was really really hot?

Then we had to go into the forest and climb the deer blind.  Poor Duke...

We ran into town to get some lunch (somewhere you could eat after working outside in 100 degree weather without showering).  The roads around my father's property are very scenic, hilly, and very narrow.  I was scared stiff we would have a head-on collision.

I love country newspapers.  Thank goodness we did not run into any 23 pound grasshoppers!

For some reason my sons are both addicted to penguins and they dragged their little friends all over the property.  Then they stick those dirty little creatures in my face...  Yuck.

This part of Texas has iron ore in the soil and it makes the ponds reddish after a rain.

Iron ore rocks make great little planters for mom.  This is still sitting in my car.  Everything is still sitting in my car.  I need to clean it out.

Just before we left Duke went with my dad to turn off the water and got stung by a wasp.  His hand swelled up instantly, but luckily we had some benadryl and it saved our day.  Come on, you are jealous, just admit it!

Our next visit will be in the fall when the house will be wasp-free and we won't all have to huddle around a single window unit in 100 degree weather...  And even though I always say I want to live in the country, I have to confess I was happy to come home to my suburban house and take a stink-free shower and not step on crunchy dead bugs. But we had a great time.

If my husband could move his clinic to East Texas I would start packing.  :-)

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  1. Believe it or not, I AM jealous!!! We need a country house, where The Little can roam free, as my home is much too small for our expanding brood. :-)

  2. Sounds like a fabulous family vacation... Ummm NOT! The bug & hot thing would make me stay home sick LOL. Although it does seem you made the best of it :) Kids don't care either- and thankfully they did not find that grasshopper LOL

  3. Great pics! I grew up in East Texas - not too terribly far from Henderson - so it's cool to see pics from back home. I try to go back once every few months - my Grannie (who just turned 98) is still up there and my brothers. We'll actually head up there this weekend to celebrate her b'day!!

  4. Rita,
    Those boys must have had a ball! I wonder if it would have been the same with 2 girls? LOL
    Thanks for sharing your visit.


  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your trip and yes I am jealous. I would have loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Loved this post! My grandparents have a 2nd home in the Smokey Mountains and people are always wanting to come stay with us and it's hard to explain to them that it's not that awesome...it's a double wide that is decorated by someone who is 85 and there is one window air conditioner that is about 30 years old (probably more). But seriously, I love it there so much and we go at least twice a year!

  7. Oh.my.gosh. I live in Henderson! How weird is that? When I saw the title, I wondered where in ETx.... And then to see Henderson. It will be pretty in the fall. Leaves start turning in late Oct.-mid Nov. Come on the second Saturday of November for the Syrup Featival downtown! Hay rides, syrup making and lots of folk art activities.

  8. Sounds fun -- I love that part of the state! Actually I like most parts of the state...

  9. You are much braver than I. Hands down. What a tropper you are!

  10. This is hysterical! I bet the boys thought it was the best thing ever.

  11. I'm in love with the action you used on the photos on this post. May I just know if you are giving it away for free too? May I also know the name of the action? Thanks a lot :)


  12. I used my Butterscotch Vintage action on all of these photos. And it is free on my blog! Rita


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