I walk a mile in the sun near New Braunfels, Texas. It’s not a place I ever expected to be, and so I walk eyes open, taking in the yard signs, the state of things. It’s new country, in some ways. Or I’m new to it. Both can be true. Texas has changed a lot since I lived here in two thousand eight. The world has changed a lot. This man-made lake and the homes along side it probably mostly didn’t exist, or not at the scale they do now. The idea of second homes, of retirement spots, of escapes, took on new meaning in the last few years. Everyone staying in this second home has a second home. Everyone staying here is working, or available to work.
The earlier sentence is one of the most true statements I can make. This is not a place I ever expected to be. True for so much of my life. True for Batam, Indonesia, last week. True for Pune, India, earlier this month. True now and true of our brief stopover in Anchorage, Alaska on Sunday, courtesy of a medical flight diversion. Not that I have a list of places I expect to be, not that I am acting with a plan, but that some excursions come truly out of nowhere, some locations do not fit the narrative.
A hawk sits in a tree fifteen feet from the balcony watching us while we have coffee. Geese fight on the neighbor’s lawn and their kitten comes to visit our daughter, to rub on our furniture and explore new people. We watch the water, we watch 5’s ramble, and we relax. It’s a good break, even punctuated by work calls. We are lucky to have this time, before the weekend’s wedding that is our reason for travel, to be together with family from all over, and to share more stories than one afternoon would hold.