This week I celebrated my birthday.
I worked the day before in a little hospital; it was my last day there as the contract was changing. Saying goodbye to folks I had worked with for many years and had grown fond of was bittersweet—it will be a year before I can work there again. However, I picked up some kolaches at a bakery in Sealy and stopped to see my middle son at work in Houston. The receptionist always laughs when I say I am there to see their best engineer, and his co-workers always seem glad to see me. He shows me his latest project; his latest tools for designing; and then walks me to my truck and gives me a hug.
My next stop was the museum district. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft was the first one; the garden on the side well-kempt—a distinct change from the original weeds and piles of brick and pavement. Kim Ritter was in her studio and we chatted a bit about art and craft and work habits; I took another look at the wonderful glass exhibit and then decided it was time for lunch.
Somehow I always get sort of lost in Houston; found a Chinese restaurant on Shepherd; ate a rather poor lunch plate; tried to get to the Menil—only to discover it was closed on Tuesdays; the MFA had no parking spaces—and so sadly I went to High Fashion on Elgin.
High Fashion is a fabric lovers dream. The rows of silks and wools and fancy fabrics and decorator fabrics and trims and buttons and lace are fabulous. Three VietNamese women were selecting silks—a mother, an aunt and a daughter—perhaps a wedding outfit—as the younger one would hold a length of silk to her face and over her shoulder while the other two approved or disapproved. I had promised myself I didn’t really need anything but then I found some lovely sheer fabrics perfect for the replacement drapes in my breakfast room.
Then it was time to head over to the Rodeo.
The Rodeo is huge! I wandered through the barn area, looked at the student art and quilt exhibits, had a Marble Slab ice cream, tried some of the chuck wagon beans, and watched some of the carnival rides. The area is kept spotlessly clean; the tables cleaned after each group; and trash is picked up regularly. Alas I did not try the fried Twinkie as recommended.
My seat was near the paddock; close enough to get doused with sand from the horses as they went flying past. The announcers explained the scoring system for each event—and I wondered why there was a guy sitting on a horse in the middle of the paddock just watching until I realized he was wearing a black and white striped vest and was therefore the referee!
Tobey Keith was the featured entertainer and the concert was all that I expected. I did not stand and wave my hands or sing along but like the others gave him a standing ovation as left the arena.
It was a long drive home but it was a good day.