The Bluebonnets Won
Sharing a loaded potato and a sausage on a stick for lunch at a picnic table under a canopy with other tables on a parking lot turned into an outdoor cafe at Chappell Hill Meat Market, I looked across at my mother, proud of myself and said, “I didn’t get upset about the construction or go off.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” she answered.
“But I didn’t stay there.”
“If you say so,” her pursed lips moved.
How could she say that? Here we were, sitting, eating sausages at crowded Chappell Hill Meat Market and I hadn’t drove by. I stopped to let her get sausages and not one complaint. What did it take to please this woman? I went to the first open space and didn’t try to park in the inside. I didn’t turn back when I saw the outside lines or the congested inside. I didn’t get turned off by the rest rooms in the back. I was doing a typical Agnes Moore. I was willing to give it the ‘old college try.’ That’s a funny expression. This generation of college students doesn’t try. The older generation always say that, but the college students are all generations and the old are the same as the young. No, there are no old colleges. But there is a new me. I enjoyed the slow down at the Chappell Hill Welcome sign. I enjoyed the children running up and down the hill swaying like the bluebonnets in the wind. I didn’t object to the profuse cars on the side of the highway that presented traffic hazards because the flow stopped as more cars snaked off to expand the length. I enjoyed the drama and excitement of the chaos.
In the old days, I would have been ranting and raving. Saying unspeakable things in front of my mother. Turning the car around because the road was closed for construction and there wasn’t any signage. Threatening to write a stern letter to the Department of Transportation. Or is that the Texas Highway commission? Anyway, I would have called 311 to find someone to complain to. I would have cut my nose off to spite my face. Cliché but oh so true. I would have been back at 927 Knox fuming, missing the splendor of the bluebonnets and the people frenzy surrounding the Chappell Hill Festival.
Yes, I had seen bluebonnets, the orange Indian paintbrush, and the corn yellow flowers that remain nameless. When I came back to Texas, I got the Wildflower brochure at the Amarillo Visitors Center. All the lovely ladies are there, including the yellow maidens’ name; but I never think of taking the brochure with when I travel the Texas highways each Spring. You would have thought I would have going to the Chappell Hill Bluebonnet festival, but it never entered my mind. Not even when I said to myself, “I’ll go online, when I get home and look it up.” I didn’t think of the brochure until the way home passing the dilapidated Starlight Drive-In with its fading grey paint mirroring the bluebonnets that surrounded it on Hwy 290. This is the feature presentation of the event. This is what I’ve come to see. The other girls are just runners up, even though they out shine the bluebonnets in glam and the yellow ones smell divine. I noticed their aroma in the field behind Baylor’s founder former grave in Independence.
The cashier at meat market took her time giving me directions though there were throngs of others waiting. I told her to take the next person in line after her deliberate and exhaustive instructions failed to register. It was not her fault, she was willing to take all the time need. I’m no good at directions. Have no instinct for north, south, east or west. They are displayed on the GPS but it is like a cartouche to me. Finally, she corrects my errors of navigation and points me to exit 277 exit into Brenham. Though I wrote 227.