-- Henry Bolingbroke
"Impersonal realities do indeed exercise over me some kinds of constraint, as does the wind when it constrains me to battle against it or the rain when it compels me to take shelter. But the constraint of which I have been speaking is of a wholly different kind; it is a constraint to be pure-minded and loyal-hearted, to be kind and true and tender, and to love my neighbour as myself."--John Baille
"It is to be feared that the most of us know not how much glory may be in present grace, nor how much of heaven may be obtained in holiness on the earth".
... John Owen
When my business concluded on Friday, I found myself in Taos, New Mexico. I propelled my underpowered rental car on the lengthy drive back to Albuquerque. My flight was in 2 1/2 hours, and the drive normally takes 2 1/2 hours.
I drove along the highway which flows alongside the firm and steady Rio Grande, flowing fresh from a gorge, with my car angling past stark desert shrubs and yellow revolutions of Fall color on sycamore trees. I passed through towns and reservations, art-emblazoned bridges and names I cannot pronounce or spell.
When I reached Santa Fe, I successfully navigated the by-pass that enabled me to hit 75 miles per hour (and, if truth be told, sometimes 80) rather than the speeds permitted on Santa Fe surface streets. I rocketed past the
Georgia O'Keefe museum, endless casinos, and every opportunity for a hot meal.
I listened on the radio to a game in which Lobos played against Rams, and I would stop to do a homage to the old Andy Griffith monologue "and the name of the game was 'football'", except that I am now trying to race to catch a flight, and the intercalary interlude might prove intoxicatingly irrelevant.
When I arrived at the airport, my five dollar watch said "7:30", the departure time of my flight. But the Albuquerque airport is one of those old-style small airports, in which all forces conspire for good. I asked the Southwest attendant "is there another flight to Dallas tonight?", and he said "no", which was a tragedy, because I had a treasured nephew coming to visit on Friday night for the weekend, and did not want to spend Saturday morning on a plane. "Is the 7:30 flight late?", I asked, with a glimmer of Friday night hope. "About fifteen minutes", the kind desk warden assured me. "That's all the time I need!", I said, as I headed toward security,
almost oblivious to the fact that I seem to have lost a bit of waistline this week, and therefore, until my belt is replaced or renotched, must keep a watchful eye upon all things wise and wonderful as I walk.
I rode on my plane, suffused with relief, to a slightly late arrival in Dallas. My nephew was up, watching a video with my wife. The weekend, much needed, had begun in earnest. I fell asleep with a book on making kites in my hands.
My nephew and I arose quite early to head over to Grapevine Lake, between Dallas and Fort Worth. We stood on
stark and lovely modest granite rock outcroppings,and fished for bream. I proved under-dressed for the nippy weather, and soon I suggested we adjourn to the nearby bass pro shop. There I purchased a Zebco 33 (on the theory that one is never enough), and my nephew and I each purchased an ultra-ultra-ultra light rod and reel set, the kind of set-up I normally parody, that is designed to make the smallest perch feel like the largest marlin.
We visited the Rainforest Cafe in Grapevine Mills, where the robot leopard kept giving me knowing looks, in between wonderfully chaotic moments in which he, some elephants and rather avant-garde-ish gorillas erupted in inexplicable noise choruses of wonderful musicality. I had a baked fish macadamienne,which I found delightful.
Then we picked me up cheap warm pull-over clothing at Burlington Coat Factory,and went off to fish some more.
We started slowly,but the fishing warmed as the weather warmed. Soon, we found ourselves on a very hot run in a small park pond in Bethany Lakes Park, in my home town of Allen. We used our ultra-ultra-ultra light rigs to catch in the main ultra-ultra-ultra small bream, although we had a moment of high drama when my nephew lifted up his line to display a huge alligator snapping turtle, lightly tangled with his line, whom we politely, without injury, and with due care not to come within a nautical mile of his jaws proceeded to escort back into the pond-y deep.
We went home, where my wife had put together an incredibly tasty meal of chicken and baked potato, along with a "no crust, no sugar" pumpkin pie that is both prodigiously do-able from an "eating program" perspective and remarkably tasty.
We watched the movie "Hero", which I enjoyed, and then the nether afterlife regions turned into a Dairy Queen dipped cone, nearly frozen, as I found myself cheering on a college football team on television, despite that team being coached by Mr. Steve Spurrier.
Tomorrow we adjourn to the prairie, and then I work a bit more. This was my day, with which I am well pleased.