So the good news is, Warren quit his job this week and I got hired to start a new job, which I'll tell you more about soon. We're equally thrilled. The funny thing was, we had precisely one day of overlap where he was off his first full day and I had a day of no appointments, allowing me to play hooky from my deadlines. So we ran away for a day, driving 250 miles round trip from Austin to Hearne to Sommerville Lake for a picnic. It was SO GLORIOUS. I love, love, love a good road trip.
When I told Warren about my experience in Maine with the loupe (which I wrote about for my Austinist column this week), he gave me my very own loupe, which we took with us and used to examine all sorts of little bitty things along the way. We also stopped to take in grand beauty, like the cotton field in the picture above.
We discovered the power of prayer in Hearne. And also, we found this window display (below) featuring two ginormous shrimps attacking a hamburger. I think I will use this image to inspire a sci-fic screenplay.
In Hearne, we also took a five minute tour of the weekly newspaper office. The publisher happened to spot me on the sidewalk and invited us in. As you can see, the paper is called the Hearne Democrat-- singular-- which led me to inquire if this means there is only one democrat in the town. The publisher denied that, but I'm not so sure.
We spotted a (wo)mannequin impersonating Marilyn Monroe, so we took turns imitating the (wo)mannequin and, as he so often does, Warren out-posed me. As the loser, I was locked in the pressroom of the Hearne Democrat with two ginormous shrimp for an hour. Ouch!
And no Texas road trip is complete without a stop at-- I think Larry McMurtry might've coined the term for DQ's-- a "Texas Stop Sign." We got a medium dip cone and it was MAGNIFICENT. A great appetizer and a good thing we got it, too, since we didn't wind up eating our spectacular picnic until damn near dinner time.
I'm a huge fan of a perfectly packed picnic, so that was my job. I boiled us up some eggs from a local farm, cooked up some butternut squash ravioli which I enhanced using basil from my garden, parmesan, and some fresh ground salt and pepper. We had locally made fig preserves spread across fresh baked (locally) whole wheat bread and topped with organic raspberries, which we also used to top the organic dark chocolate (dotted with dried blueberries). I also brought a tin of albacore (bonus points: I remembered the can opener), some dried tart cherries, and a Mexican Coca Cola. The gnats were out in full force-- it was like a blizzard. So we didn't last too long at the park, just long enough for a little Frisbee, some Hula Hooping, and the Vewy Womantic picture at the top of this post (and yes, I do know about my hair-- forgive me, I'm trying to grow it long again and it's a Damn Process). Some pictures of our splendid meal: