Yes, today Jonathan and I are driving to New Orleans, but trust me, this is a boring trek, filled with ennui, so you don’t want to do this trip up TX through Houston and across I-10 to the Big Easy unless you absolutely must.
There’s nothing but oil fields and the occasional big city, though the bayou country is pretty enough if you get off the highway, which we never do.
The only bright spot is that we eat in a Houston suburb (Rosenberg) at Bob’s Taco Station, and they serve up great chips and salsa with a tasty chicken fajita in a plain wooden building decorated with, well, mostly junk, but it’s the kind of fun junk you can stare at for hours. In keeping with his policy, Jonathan orders up way more food than he wants to eat, leaving half on the plate and irritating me, the buyer of said meal, but he enjoys his lunch as well.
Now, let’s talk about my stay with my brother, which was actually yesterday and spilled over into this morning, when we left his place. He provides a whole lot more room for fun, after all, than a long boring drive.
You can tell a lot about a man by the way he spends his time. My bro’ works long hard hours and helps out at his church in his spare time. Most of all, he’s very devoted to his wife, and he spends about an hour a day just staying in touch with her. If this sounds boring, it is, but if we all lived this way, just helping out others and minding our own business, I think the world would be a whole lot better off.
Joe lives in a nondescript one bedroom apartment with his two cats, Spike and LuLu. He loves these guys, even though one’s an escape artist that has to be put in his crate for his own protection every time you open the door. It’s a bachelor’s existence, as opposed to a bachelor pad, but it’s clean and convenient to McAllen’s world famous shopping district, which includes an HEB supermarket and a WalMart Supercenter.
Joe’s inherited my interest in cooking, which means when I visit him I eat out a lot, but luckily there’s some incredible TexMex places here, so we usually eat tacos for dinner and fajitas for lunch.
So your trip to McAllen will be a little dull, because there’s not much culture here, other than what you can find in the bottom of a Petri dish, but Joe is a great conversationalist and a decent guy even though he voted for Barack Obama and yes he still blames George Bush for everything.
Now, I’ve had some fun with my brother, but the reality is that he’s a great guy, and he’s married to a great girl. He’s 57 and Lois is…I don’t know, but let’s say fifty something, and they’re a great couple. They’ll be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and even though they live 1000 miles apart, they’ve found a formula that works, and I hope they live long enough to celebrate their 50th.
Joe’s actually a hard-working, honest lawyer, and I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true. He actually works weekends and holidays for the state of Texas collecting child support from scumbags who like to sire pups but not pay for them, and Lois is an accountant who lives in Idaho.
They both have been extremely generous to me, allowing me to stay at their beach home in Oregon when I badly needed to recover from a crappy divorce. He’s a pillar of his community church, is very devoted to my Mom, he flew to my son’s college graduation, and he really does hand out money to roadside bums. So, as many people say, Joe is “eccentric”. Yes, that’s an understatement, but aren’t we all in our own way, and what a dull world would it be if we were all the same?
I’m just happy to report he’s changed his Facebook photo. BUT, you can still see his old profile picture if you look for it. It’s worth it…absolutely hilarious!
On to New Orleans…tomorrow!