Saturday, April 17, 2010


Ever since I can remember, bluebonnets have been the symbol of spring. When I was a child, we would drive into the hills around Austin to look at them. After I was grown, my family and I would head west along I-10 or 290 to see the wildflowers. Ralph and I continued our annual outings after the children were grown, and now I go with my son and his wife and daughter.

We went Satuday, accompanied by Chrissa, one of my greanddaughter's American Girl dolls. It was a perfect spring day. We took 290 and soon after we passed Hempstead, we began seeing wildflowers. There is nothing like a field of bluebonnets. Photos or paintings can never do them justice. Their blue is perfect against the green wild grass, their subtle fragrance fills your nostrils with the scent of spring. We stopped to take pictures, drove to Brenham to have lunch and then stoppped for ice cream at Blue Bell Creamery. Blue Bell is so Texas, as much a part of the state as the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.

On the way back we saw dozens of cars parked along the roadway. A huge field of bluebonnets mixed with pink buttercupts lay before us. It was filled with people. And cameras. The gate had been left open--Texans are the friendliest people in the world--and folks wandered through the field. I saw a young woman seated among the flowers with her baby in her lap, a man taking a snapshot through the Texas map on the gate, a brother and sister wading through the flowers, an older woman in a red lawn chair with a scruffy white dog in her arms. I picked a few bluebonnets to take home, my annual unlawful act. It's against the law to pick bluebonnets along Texas highways. And don't think people didn't notice and comment on my contraband bouquet as I walked back to the car.

Since becoming a widow, I have learned how important it is to appreciate the beauty around you and hold those memories close to your heart. Being with my family amidst all this loveliness is one of the memories I'll cherish.



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