From the Back Roads

Sabbatical Day Six

The Llano River

After days of cold, rainy, shut-in weather, the sun came up gleaming bright yellow bars through the windows. I scrambled an egg, washed my face and decided not to waste another minute. I locked up the cabin, tossed the kitchen garbage in a bin and headed out for populated environs. In the nearest town (twenty miles away) I browsed a boutique and gift shop on the square. It felt wonderful to chat with ladies wanting to know where I was from, why I was in the area. I asked them about their lives, if they lived in town or down one of the many farm to market roads. Small communities breed the sweetest people.

By noon I’d zeroed in on a Dairy Queen and ordered a Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard, my all time favorite. While waiting for my ice cream I spied a sign that read “Llano River RV Park and Picnic Area.” I paid for my Blizzard and drove down a sharp incline to a clean little city park overlooking the Llano River. There I slurped ice cream and watched the lazy water move by me, smooth and sure and simple. The same path it had, no doubt, followed for centuries. It made me think of my own journey which had brought me to that place at that moment. For the hundredth time, I had niggling thoughts of writing a memoir. Still, I’m stymied by worries of appearing self-indulgent.

I finished my ice cream and turned on my laptop and then circled the courthouse square looking for a wifi signal. Sure enough, one block off the square the Public Library wifi icon popped up on my screen. I parked and went into the library and spent the next hour reading through emails and online newsletters. As I was leaving the library – Lo and Behold – a book sale in a room off the main entrance. I was in heaven for yet another hour. Will public libraries ever get their just due? Any time I’ve traveled – as far away as Australia! – public libraries have offered up a clean, warm place for me to connect with the otherwise outside world, with people and news important to me.

On my way out of town, I picked up a pound of barbecue ribs to savor while reading one of the library books I’d bought. Turtle Pecan Ice Cream, Barbecue, A Good Book or two….. Life is so good.