Although we've mostly been content watching Netflix, Amazon and Acorn (British, Irish, and Aussie TV series), yesterday we decided to take advantage of a sunny day and get out of the house. So we took a drive in the country, safely enclosed in our SUV. A hundred years ago, the town of Rowlett was mainly a farming community. You still see longhorn cattle, goats, chickens on properties near us, including the small ranch right across from my daughter Hannah's backyard where black cattle with a white stripe around their middles called Belted Galloways graze contentedly. We saw lots of people jogging or out walking their dogs, but keeping their distance from each other.
If you get less than a mile out of town, the landscape changes considerably. There you see larger lots with horses ambling through the pastures. We even saw tiny white baby goats attempting to climb a bale of hay. New housing developments, some quite expensive, are popping up all over these once rural areas. We found ourselves wondering where all these folks go to work, as there isn't much around them.
A bit farther out and you are really in the country. You see a mix of mobile homes, small houses and the occasional large older home that probably once anchored a family farm. There are lots of farm buildings, some still in use and others abandoned, as well as small businesses like machine shops, tool sales, etc. Here you see more cattle, including the small herd we saw with newborn calves sticking close to their mamas. Small churches appear once in a while, including Spanish language Iglesias.
We drove through a few tiny towns with names like Nevada and Josephine, where there is almost no commercial development. I'm guessing these folks must have to drive a long way to get to a Walmart or grocery store, or to get medical care. The land is flat with only a few trees and several water towers are visible on the horizon. Fields are plowed and ready for planting.
Our jaunt ended with a drive through the pretty town of Rockwall, just across Lake Ray Hubbard from Rowlett. Some of our favorite restaurants there were delivering take-out orders, but mostly it was quiet. I imagine Rockwall's popular Saturday Farmer's Market and outdoor concerts will not be happening during this time of uncertainty.
We comfortable in our snug little house with Toby for company and prepared to ride out this storm. Hope all of you are doing the same and staying well. Cheers.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.