Monday, May 28, 2012


Today is Memorial Day, the day when we honor those men and women who fought and died for our country.  I honor and thank them with all my heart. Without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t enjoy the freedom  and security we do in the United States.

The Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of summer. In Houston summer isn’t anticipated with the same enthusiasm it is in say Pennsylvania or Seattle. The gorgeous spring temperatures have already risen to the 90s where they’ll rise and remain until September, October, or even November.  Here in the city the heat and humidity can only be endured, but this weekend my husband and I were lucky to escape to a world we often forget exists—Texas lake life.

Friends invited us to visit their house on Lake Placid on the Guadeloupe River near Seguin. We jumped at the chance to get out of town if only overnight.  Steve had a client meeting Saturday morning so we loaded up the car in the early afternoon, plugged my iPhone into the auxiliary jack in the car and joined the traffic heading west on I-10.

Three hours later we arrived at a tree-shaded  retreat on the banks of a quiet lake. Our hosts welcomed us with an icy adult beverage before firing up their ski boat for a tour of the lake. In bathing suits, sun screen and hats we eventually found a spot among other small boats, dropped anchor and floated in the surprisingly comfortable water for a while. As dusk approached, neighbors hailed us to come to shore at their family compound for a crawfish boil. It was a lovely gathering of parents, children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, dogs and neighbors’ dogs. Spicy crawfish, shrimp, corn, potatoes were piled onto a newspaper-covered table and we ate until our stomachs were full and our fingers and lips burned with the hot seasoning. A short boat ride took us back to our friends’ house where we visited for a while before one by one heading off to bed.

After a leisurely breakfast, a little work (yes, they’re talking to Steve about designing a new house so this was partially a business trip), relaxing on the boathouse deck in the shade of huge one pecan trees, we once again changed into bathing suits for a couple hours floating on the lake before heading back to Houston. The casual atmosphere, easy conversation and beautiful scenery was a different world from our busy city life and in 24 hours we felt like we’d had a real vacation.

Even the drive home became a mini-adventure when we detoured to the tiny town of Luling for barbeque.  We ate brisket and sausage at a picnic table on the sidwalk while watching the late Sunday afternoon comings and goings of the locals. On I-10 traffic was light, wild black-eyed Susans blanketed the fields, and the sky went on forever in all directions as it does in the vast flat plains of the Texas countryside, reminding me why I made this place my home.

What did you do this weekend? Are you celebrating summer or mourning the end of spring?


Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Your getaway was fun to read about, Lark, so experiencing it must have been heaven.

I love winter in Texas and like spring and fall, too. Summer? I dread the heat and humidity, and that puts me in the "mourning the end of spring" category.

Barbecue from Luling sure sounds good.

Lark Howard said...

I dread the heat and humidity, too Pat. I tell people who've never been here that we have three seasons: fall, spring and hell. Let's hope this year isn't 110 every day like last year!!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Sarah Andre said...

Sounds like a wonderful getaway!

We relaxed here--went to Vic and Anthony's, shared a Porterhouse steak for two (melted in my mouth); saw Men in Black 3 (fabulous!)read Brenda Novak and wrote my own blog about Murder by the Book Bookstore.

I don't enjoy the Houston summer heat but I like the lighter traffic (with schools out.) I try to get my outdoor activities (exercise, watering plants, grocery shopping) done before 9a. No biggie-