Driving across West Texas always reminds me of my college days. I chose to attend Texas Tech University for two reasons – first, it had a good art department and second, it was about as close to Red River as a person could get and still be Texas. I have made the drive between Lubbock and Wichita Falls so many times, I can just about do it blindfolded. You might as well do it blindfolded, because that would make it more exciting. It was not very exciting this time either. I have to admit that I have always loved the trip from Lubbock on up to RR, and I have made that trip many many times. It may have been a whole lot of nothing, but there were mountains at the end of the road. I don't always look forward to being in Lubbock.
Lubbock is not a bad city, but it sure has grown since I went to school there 30 years ago. Toby’s sister lived on 80th Street (back in the old days) with nothing but open pasture behind her house. On this trip we drove out past 80th to 114th and they were still building houses. Some of those new additions (not so new anymore) kept Toby employed as a framer when we were first married. I use to raid the scrap lumber piles to make my art canvases since we could not afford to buy stretchers at the art store. Although we had no money and life was hard trying to go to school and make ends meet, Lubbock holds some good memories.
We did some shopping while we were there, but did not make it to the Mall. Lubbock has a good mall – keep in mind that I lived in Northern NM where the nearest mall was Albuquerque. Now I travel to OK City for a good mall. Yeah, Lubbock is not too bad. And it has lots of good eats to choose from when Toby’s mom is not stuffing us full of her home cooking.
Seeing Toby’s mom is always a pleasure, but his stepfather just gets crazier every visit. He is one of those people who is an authority on every subject and will talk on and on dominating conversations. As he has gotten older, he goes into rants that make you wonder if he is about to have a heart-attack. You never know what will set him off. He is neither Liberal nor conservative – he just hates everything. On this visit, he mentioned a plutonium plant near Hobbs that is causing a housing boom in the area. That sounded interesting, but then he also said that the US government killed 300 Marines and that Arabs (not the hurricane waters as most of us thought) blew up the levies at New Orleans. We do not question or discuss any of his "facts" because that would lead into further craziness or mad ravings. He just makes everything unpleasant – and he is the reason we do not see Toby’s mom as often as we would like. At one time, he was a good grandfather to my kids, but now, even they do not care to be around him. Bitterness and hatred are bad seeds. Do not let them get planted in your heart