There are some undoubtedly awful things about Southeast Texas, like mosquitoes that knock you over as they drain your blood and tree roaches as big as your feet that jump out of the cabinet at you at 2 a.m. when you’re looking for a cookie.
It’s too hot, it’s too humid, hurricanes suck, it smells funny, there are 2.7 Mexican restaurants per person and zero decent Italian joints…the list of reasons why a person would want to avoid this area is long and still growing. But for every reason I could think of to leave, there’s one to bring me back.
A few are a little silly.
Snow cones. With cream. This cup of pure sugar will blow your mind, stain your teeth, and keep you from melting from April to August.
Football and four-wheelers.
Everything is coke. It’s not soda. It’s not pop. It’s coke, and what flavor would you like? Great, I’ll get it from the fridge outside. Keeps ‘em colder when they have all that room to themselves.
Then of course, there’s my family. My funny, loud, intense family, made up of the most frustrating and generous people I know.
This week it’s my nephew’s turn to feel the love – members of the family chipped in and bought him his first acoustic guitar. As if the blue eyes and mischievous grin weren’t enough to drive the girls crazy.
The hub of my family, why we’re all around to begin with, the force that keeps us together and the reason why I’m here right now – my grandparents – have lived in their home for more than 50 years. The house where we spent our summer vacations and ate our holiday meals has changed right along with the family, and is a reflection of the beautiful combination of old and new that we are so very, very blessed to have.
The old – the kiln my grandmother used for her ceramics and porcelain dolls and the loft where my grandfather still raises homing pigeons, although he no longer races them.
And the new – Brutus, a three-month-old puppy of questionable origin, a mutt like the rest of us, loud-mouthed, a bit too aggressive, and entirely lovable.
It warms and breaks my heart at the same time to watch my family change. With each new season, I’m always just a little sad that things will never be the same as they were. But the foundation of our family is strong and well built, and there is indescribable delight in each new story.