We arrived in Fort Worth in January 1990 driving a white VW bug and a red and white bus. It was cold and flat and windy, but it was a city and not the truck stop that Del Rio had been. Rob would be flying the B-52 at Carswell AFB. We could look forward to 3-5 years there before the Air Force moved us to a new base. But something happened along the way. The Cold War ended and so did the Air Force’s need for B-52 pilots. Rob got an early out and began flying for American Airlines and what was supposed to be a temporary home turned into a permanent residence.

What I did not initially understand about the state, I came to love. The people are fiercely independent. They are part western and part southern – the best of both worlds. They love their state, something you begin to understand when you visit the Alamo. It’s hot in the summer. So hot you want to cry. And there are wild flowers, and sunsets, and thunderstorms. And then the calm after the storm.

We bought some land with a small house on it where we could have chickens and cows. We had honey bees for a time. There was a well with naturally soft water that actually tasted sweet. There was also a temperamental septic system that we often cursed. We had pecan trees and oaks, and the squirrels would leap from tree to ground to tree. There were hawks and rabbits and sometimes possums and coyotes. When the weather was pleasant, or we just had a lot of dead wood to dispose of, we would have bonfires. We lived close to the church and often used our house for gatheringsĀ – socials, scouts, youth activities.

I remodeled the house and turned it from a ranch home into a little cottage.

We lived through droughts and floods. (Literal and figurative!) We made friends. We raised our children together. We took them to the lake in the summer and carpooled to art classes and music lessons during the school year. We watched them grow up and marry. We celebrated their milestones, made food for their weddings and mourned at their funerals.

In the evenings, we would sit in our living room and look out the window to our pasture.


I have traded that view for something new and different. Not something I was expecting at all. The something new feels right. But 26 years is a lot of life to leave behind. And as I consider the new and different, I wonder what the next 26 years will have in store for me.