cotton fields forever
Ah, Lubbock, the only place in America where Republicanism takes the form of a giant cube.
My weekend on the High Plains was both fantastic and utterly surreal. Driving up Friday night took 8 hours (it should be 5 1/2) because of storms, ice, snow, and an unfortunate, black ice-induced wreck on a dark road south of Sweetwater. (I'm okay; my car, not so much, but it's still driveable.)
Other than that, though, the weekend was lots of fun. My friend Mark Not the Methodist is a new professor at Texas Tech, and we had a great time hanging out in the city of my birth. We saw the Red Raiders lose to OU at the beautiful United Spirit Arena, and marvelled at what less than $200,000 will buy in Lubbock as opposed to the places our other colleagues are trying to buy houses. I also stopped by to see the woman who played matchmaker for my parents 35 years ago, and she invited over one of my youth ministers (the interim one we had in 9th grade or so) and his wife to reminisce, and I had a fun lunch with a friend from Austin.
The best part, though, was just getting to be in West Texas for a few days. My sister has a theory that you always feel the most "at home" in the place where you lived when you were three or four years old. I am lucky to have gotten to travel all over the world, and I have seen many beautiful places, but I think my sister's theory is right. For me, there's nothing like driving up onto the Llano Estacado and seeing mile after mile of cotton fields wrapped under the blanket of the huge Texas sky. When I'm there, it just feels safe, like home. And that's worth a little trouble in getting there.