I am in Austin, Texas, visiting a dear friend I hadn’t yet met. We’ve been online friends for almost six years, but this is the first time we met in person. As with all my online-now-offline friends, there wasn’t even a blip of hesitation when we met — we just seamlessly continued our friendship, though with an added filip of joy.
I will be meeting someone else I know for lunch, a fellow author from Indigo Sea Press, Norm Brown, whose book Carpet Ride was inspired by a road trip he once took. I sure hope I don’t find any dead bodies during this great adventure of mine!
Then I will head north to meet another online-soon-to-be-offline friend. I’m looking forward to getting back on the road, though I will be taking it easy. Rain storms are expected, but I am not planning on driving in the rain. (Though things have a way of working out differently than I had planned.) It seems as if Texas has been working hard to paint its fields for me, as if to make up for the drabness of my first Texas days, and I will be interested to see what it rolls out before me today.
I did get to see a bit of Austin, but I find that cities, especially young, hip cities, do not speak to me. I thought I wanted to visit San Antonio’s Riverwalk, but now that I am so close, it holds no appeal. I’m more interested in wild landscapes and intamed waterways. Most waterways, anyway. I do have to admit to a bit of trepidation about woman-eating mosquitoes as I near the swampy portion of my trip, but I am holding fast to my belief in the magic of this journey, which gives me some comfort. That belief sure kept me calm during a hugely windy night on Padre Island, when my tent kept being blown down on top of me! Luckily, each time the tent righted itself. The only damage was some rust on a couple of poles. (Rust? In only four days? Yikes.)
Before I leave Austin, I want to send a virtual wave to dance friend Jan Blondet’s relatives. ~~~ (Can’t find a symbol for waving, so that will have to do.)
Also a virtual wave and a “come on, let’s go” gesture to all of you who are following my adventure.
Let’s find out what’s in store for us!
(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)