Hello people and the dog-days of summer. The first Wednesday of August and time for another segment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group created by Alex Cavanaugh.
August...in Houston, TX. Where the map on the evening weather report shows nothing but triple digit temperatures for the next week with no end in sight. And no, this does not include the heat index which bumps the numbers up at least another 15-20 degrees. Warning. Warning. Warning. Ozone alerts; people with breathing problems; the elderly; small children…all reminders to stay indoors. Heat is a serious health-hazard in this part of the country.
Back to my...
Two weeks ago Rich and I took Taylor, my 18 yr. old granddaughter, and her friends camping. I know that seems crazy after what I just stated above, but we were in the Hill Country. Yes, the temperature is high during the day, but the Frio (cold in Spanish) River is one of the main attractions at Garner State Park. There are dances every night at the pavilion for the teenagers and the heat gives way to a fresh and almost chilling breeze.
I catch a lot of grief from people from other parts of the country about camping in a trailer with A/C. There are some things I can do without, but camping in Garner, in July, is not one of them.
We had a morning and evening sitting area, according to how the sun filtered through the huge oak trees covering our campsite.
The evening area also became the star-gazing arena where the late night sported more stars than the actual darkness of the universe.
I even had an outdoor dishwashing station.
Across the road ran the Frio River, where we’d plant our behinds during the hottest part of the day.
Our biggest concern seemed whether to bring sandwiches for lunch or walk back across the road for food and more beverages.
I didn’t realize how much the silence of the week touched my soul until my first night back home. After a six-hour drive and a return to the humidity (which intensifies the heat and is a well-known thorn in the side of many Houstonians), I turned on the TV.
That’s when it hit me. For one single week I had been graced with the absence of “breaking news alerts,” new presidential aspirants slamming one another, drive-by shootings, lives ended by driving in the early morning hours after way too much alcohol, robberies and domestic violence deaths. Also the commercials, reality TV shows, late-night talk shows, not to mention all the shows I had set to record during my week away.
I want my silence back. How easy that silence slips into our psyches and becomes part of the day without the constant cacophony blasts of anything electronic. I had my iPhone and iPad at the park, but found I spent very little time on either, and it wasn’t because of the spotty wifi reception. I.Did.Not.Care.
Try it sometime. Give silence a chance.
Over and out from this Houstonian, who dashes from one piece of shade to the next.