I have many ties to Texas. Both sets of military grandparents retired in Texas, my parents went to high school and my Mother, myself and two sisters have seven degrees from Texas universities between us. My family has all lived permanently in Texas since the beginning of the 80’s.
My fondest memories of Texas are of my grandparents’ ranch in Medina, where we spent many of my childhood holidays during the multiple Air Force assignments that sent us all around the country and world. The 96 acres of rolling hills, dry creeks and live oaks were our tie to Texas–a home base for us while we roamed.
I remember climbing hay bales in the red barn, thrilling at skeletons of rabbits and squirrels that we would come across from time to time in the fields, riding behind Nelly and Little Bit, the ponies my grandpa kept as a draw to encourage his grandchildren’s visits. My sisters, grandma and I would stack all the prettiest flint rocks we would find in the creek bed on the back porch of the ranch’s tiny flagstone living quarters. I would wear my grandpa’s cowboy boots and clomp around the yard.
I have now traveled the world extensively but still marvel at the beauty of the Texas hill country. I assume some of my affinity for this part of Texas stems from my positive childhood associations, but I also believe there is something elemental about the majesty of West Texas landscapes. My grandparents haven’t been around for a long time now, and the Medina ranch has long since been sold, but my own husband and children now enjoy trips out west. My children tromp in the tall grass and climb the cedars and oaks on our Fredericksburg land, where we hope to retire someday and create memories for our own grandchildren.