A Corner of the World

My brother in law is a ranch man. He can wax poetic about the beauty of sheep for hours on end. And has. My sister is the woman I wish I was. She paints folk art masterpieces and cooks crock pot wonders. They have a one year old named Grant. He has red hair.

The three of them just moved to Texas. It is the sister's third grand adventure since she was married four years ago. (Their last adventure DID take place in Gillette, Wyoming...sometimes grand can be relative.) A move to Texas really does qualify as big. It is the land of BBQ, gun rights and aqua net. They will be there for two years while her husband starts his PhD. He is up to his elbows in goats and sheep. This is a man who loves his ruminants. Really. Loves. Them. (Please, no sheep jokes...they have all already been made.) His position came with housing at the research center where he works. The setting is rural and the landscape is dusty. Their new home is of the cozy mobile sort. My sister was a tidge worried about all the changes. She was not sure if she could find her place on the big Texas plains.

The day they arrived the country was a little drier than she remembered, the house a little older, the bathrooms a little dirtier. She smiled and told herself everything thing would be fine. It would rain. The mobile home was simply vintage. And the bathrooms could be scrubbed and bleached and scrubbed again. Yes. Everything would be just fine. As they moved furniture and put away pots she saw a door in the back bedroom. She thought it must be a closet containing a little extra space, maybe some shelving. A young wife and mother, she hoped for a corner protected from grubby hands, a place for her books, paints and treasures.

She walked across the room, put her hand on the brass knob and pushed.

There was no closet. No little space to call her own. The door opened onto the world outside. And the dust and the plains and the sheer size of it all rose up to meet her. She was small and this new place was scary and maybe the bathrooms would never get clean. She gasped and leaned against the wall. Her husband came up behind her, hugged her close and closed the door.

That night she cooked dinner and he cleaned the house. Grant played with cars. The two front rooms were still full of boxes when it was time to eat. She put the food out, set Grant in his high chair and sat down at the table. And she knew. Everything would be more than fine. She didn't need to find her place, it had never been lost. She was exactly where she belonged. Right beside her handsome ranch man and that red headed baby.

Some things never change, even on the great plains of Texas.