Bluebonnets and Graduations

Texas glory

These are Texas’ glory, at least in the regions where they flourish, in which region I am privileged to live.  The Texas Department of Transportation has sown bluebonnet seed along the interstates, and when they come into bloom, you pass miles upon mile upon mile of blue fields, blue embankments, blue road ditches.

In our case, we enjoy them here:

Aunt Kathy's playpen

This is a view looking east from the high point of Aunt Kathy’s 127 acre playpen in the south of the county, a spot we refer to as “Lexa Lookout.”  The spot is named for my first daughter, Alexa.  In every direction you could see something like this during bluebonnet season this year.  From this spot, if you turn around 180 degrees, this is what you’d have seen …

Bluebonnet badlands

The view above is from Lexa Lookout looking west.  The moon-like terrain is what’s left after soil erosion has taken everything down the creek.  It is the haunt of three of Texas’ four poisonous snakes — the diamondback rattler, the copperhead, and the coral snake.  The fourth (cotton mouth, or water moccasin) lives in the creek nearby.  We have rarely seen any of these, though all have been encountered on the property.  Instead of feeling fearful about snakes we never see, we enjoy scenes like this …

Aunt Kathy’s farm, named The Francesca (after my third daughter and her niece, Francesca, mentioned in a blog last April), is home to a dozen or so head of cattle who chew their cud in luxury until it’s time for them to grace Texan’s tables with their steaks and burgers.  Besides a bed of bluebonnets, the farm affords them watering holes such as this:

Pond Roni

Pond Roni is one of two stock tanks that catch rainwater for the cattle.  The rock in the photo is actually engraved with the words “Pond Roni.” It’s not a photoshop trick.  A similar rock perches over the larger stock tank, but it is engraved “Lake Geneva.”  Roni is a nick-name for my fourth daughter Veronica.  Geneva is my second daughter.

From the blog last April, you will know that Cheska viewed all the above from her vantage point in heaven.  Down here on earth, her two older sisters were graduating from college.

Alexa graduates from UT Austin

Alexa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a BA with honors, majoring in Latin and minoring in linguistics.  She will take her teacher’s certification exam this summer in Latin, and is seeking employment in the Austin area.  Meanwhile, across the state at my alma mater, Texas Tech University, …

Tech grads with Cowamungus

We attended the graduation of my second daughter Geneva and my son-in-law (Geneva’s husband) William.  Here they pose in their regalia before one of two bronze cows that grace the entrance to one of the buildings in the Agriculture College of Texas Tech.  Inside the building in the background is a restaurant named Cowamungus, which serves cuts of meat from the undergraduate butcher classes.  These cuts are also sold in Cowamungus’ butcher shop.  Perched on the statue in the background is Alexa and Veronica.

William received a BA with high honors in history.  He is Texas Tech’s first humanities graduate to be admitted to Cambridge University for graduate work.  As a member of Sidney-Sussex College, he will pursue a doctorate in Medieval canon law. 

 Geneva received a BS with highest honors  in chemistry.  She too will pursue graduate work at Cambridge University, assisted by a Gates-Cambridge fellowship.  As a member of Trinity College, she will work toward a doctorate in chemistry.

Geneva and William will not be the only married couple among the student body at Cambridge, but they are one of very few married couples who have entered Cambridge as “foreign” students, already married. 

The summer before us looks rich from this vantage point.  We’re going to be enjoying some of our last extended times as a family before the children scatter to their further educations and vocations.  Then our nest will have only one chickie left, to blast through her senior year in high school and off to who knows where.

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