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2012-01-18 / Loose Ends

All about the star

Susan Nienow

She walked! Our 10-month-old granddaughter is walking now, and we were there to see it. And the 3½ year old was speaking short phrases in Spanish. Since we weren’t in Texas to see the taking of the Alamo or the liberating of the Texas territory (excuse any historical inaccuracies — I was only there for 14 days), these were the next most monumental moments.

There were very few examples of “big hair” or the man with the boots, belt buckle and cowboy hat, but Texas was present everywhere. It was flat. There were cacti — lots of them. Maybe half of the restaurants/fast food places were Tex-Mex or Mexican fare. That’s OK with me — I love guacamole and chips.

For the one or two people who don’t know, Texas is the Lone Star State and the red, white and blue flag has a single white star on a blue background. Of course, for us, there is more than one star in Texas.

We learned some facts while we were there. There is no state income tax or any tax on groceries though I did hear that the state catches up with Texans in other ways. Zoning is a foreign concept. Often a residential neighborhood has an apartment complex in the middle or a gas station on one corner. Land is plentiful which may explain the empty lots scattered through the neighborhoods.

At least one airline is still serving peanuts — 17 peanuts or parts of peanuts — at this time. It has been awhile since I have flown, and I was surprised at the change in the look of the passengers. Since airlines started charging for checked bags, passengers have been carrying all of their belongings with them. We had coats and scarves, backpacks, carry-on suitcases, bottles of water and cups of coffee, very large purses and looked more like itinerant travelers or pack animals than airline passengers.

I also learned that we should eat before we go unless we have cravings for very large muffins available at the stands on the concourses. And if you are running late, there isn’t time to get a muffin.

Speaking of running late, because of a glitch, well, a mistake, in figuring the time we needed to get up to catch the flight, we had 15 minutes to shower, dress and get in the car. We did make our flight. One of us always adds in extra time for “glitches” so we will be on time. Not an hour of extra time but a few minutes anyway. I did have to travel across the country without my eyeliner, though. Who knows who saw me?

This has come up before. Sometimes things happen in a marriage and my other half and I have this tacit agreement not to discuss them, ever. Like the time I ran into his car with my car while backing out of the driveway. This was another of those occasions — even if I had to go all day without eyeliner.

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