Round ‘Em Up

chuck-wagon1Greetings from Grimes County, Texas. I’m down here for the Episcopal Communicators conference at Camp Allen, located 45 minutes from Houston. I have no idea in what direction.

Besides some engaging workshops and catching up with friends and colleagues from across the country, I’ve been experiencing a bit of Texas culture.  Some might argue that “Texas culture” is an oxymoron. “Flavor” might be a better word. I am at a communicators conference after all so word usage is important.

Last night we were treated to a “chuck wagon dinner” out by a lake. There was a genuine (gen-U-ine) chuck wagon and what I was assured were “real” cowboys cooking up the chow. This was no Euro Disney cowboy experience; this was serious stuff. If I’d asked for tofu I might have had my head blown off with a 12-gauge shotgun. The head chef may well have been the original Marlboro Man — though, as I think about it, I believe he died of lung cancer at some point. So perhaps it was his brother. But I ate the largest steak I’ve ever seen. It was huge! I mean this thing would be enough to make a vegan crawl into the fetal position and weep. And it was delicious.

This morning I went out for a pre-dawn run (had to do something to atone for that hunk of meat) and I saw more stars out in the Texas sky than I ever knew existed. It was stunning and one of those unique encounters with the divine through the beauty of creation. As the sun rose, I encountered various pieces of that Texas flavor. I passed a property raising llamas (not sure what you do with them and, actually, maybe they were alpacas. Not sure what you do with those either); set off a whole string of angry dogs barking as I passed through a neighborhood of trailer homes; passed a bunch of horses eating breakfast; and saw a sign that read: “Fourclosure (sic) — Double Wide — $14,800).”

After 13 miles I came back in and had cheese grits with black coffee. A perfect way to start a day somewhere in the Lone Star State.

3 Comments on “Round ‘Em Up”

  1. Jean Halajian says:

    MMM. Cheese grits. That compensates for your aversion to chocolate.

  2. Father Tim says:

    Don’t tell anyone I put a hint of brown sugar on them — I realize this is pure heresy to any self-respecting southernor…

  3. Jean Halajian says:

    …and also to any self-respecting southernEr.

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