Hello from Amarillo

My fingers are begging to write and I can’t hardly wait to get words on a page.

It’s been a crazy, TIRING, exhausting….ten days!  I have a contract on my home and with that came all the added pressure of trying to get it emptied before I left for my Summer trip to Colorado to work at the YMCA of the Rockies!  Yep…Colorado!  Home of the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak, and my adventure this Summer!  I’m excited to explore the west.  From Longview, I guess that would be North West.  I’ve made it as far as Amarillo.Yesterday was super emotional for me.  I walked through an empty house, knowing that most probably, I wouldn’t be coming back to live in it.  Yes, I had tears and long unbecoming sobs.  The kind that you can let out when there isn’t anyone there to observe the emotions.  If the sale goes through (and I know it’s not done until it’s signed), I will come back and begin looking for a new place to live.  A fresh start without family memories stored in each room.  Cam is right.   A house is just walls, memories are in the heart.

I had an army of unbelievable generous friends who helped pack and move our things to storage units or their home to store for me.  How incredibly blessed I feel to be surrounded by these women and men who live the love of Jesus.  They brought food, energy, laughter, organization, and love.  My friends, I am so very grateful to each one of you… for the love that was bestowed on me.

So, here I sit in a beautiful home of a stranger, writing on an incredibly comfortable couch. (Here, I have to laugh because Amalia Bedelia, just popped into my head).

This time, instead of camping or staying in hotels,  I’m using Airbnb.  It’s a website that lets you find actual homes of people, who rent out rooms for the night like a hotel, only much more economical and there’s the added benefit of talking to a local person about things to do and see.

This house is beautiful.  I was too exhausted last night to do anything except take a wonderful, jetted bath, crawl into bed, and fall instantly asleep.

Now, I’m awake early and thinking about the first leg of this trip.  This trip, I have my friend, Annette, riding with me as far a Denver.  It’s been nice having conversation, pointing out scenery, and having someone to stop and look at things with.

We met Cam for lunch at The OldWest Cafe in Denton.  It’s one of my favorite places for breakfast.  It was over in about an hour.  I collected a hug and kiss.

We stopped in Decatur to look at the Petrified Gas Station.  It took a bit of searching to find it off the freeway, but I’m recommending stopping to see it if you are close.  Finally found a girl who gives directions like I do, “Exit by the McDonald’s, turn right, look for a flashing light, go past the square, and you should find it.”  She didn’t know one street name.  My kind of girl! 

At first, we came upon a place that seemed to be the right spot even though we hadn’t passed the square.  Annette and I took pictures, but it was pretty run down.

At first, we came upon a place that seemed to be the right spot even though we hadn’t passed the square.  Annette and I took pictures, but it was pretty run down.

Heading on to the square, we took pictures of the pink Granite courthouse.  Pretty stellar for a small town!

Went into an antique shop and the older lady told us some things to see like the ‘Waggoner House’ and we told her that we had stopped to see the Petrified Gas Station.  She said that it had been in many movies.

We went to see the Waggoner House.  It once must have been something because even in its run down state it was hauntingly beautiful.  I’m adding a link here about the Waggoner Family because I knew nothing about them and the antique mall lady seemed to think everyone should have known them.

As we were coming back out the road, I saw an old Texaco sign and I am drawn to old signs, so I decided to go in that direction to take a picture.  It turns out that the Texaco station was the REAL Petrified Gas Station with the Whistle Stop Cafe and the old motel.

 

How quaint it must have been in the 1940’s to stop and spend the night here.  As we snapped pictures and awed at its cuteness, a train passed by adding to the charm of The Whistle Stop Cafe.  It’s closed on a Sunday, so we could only peer in the windows.  According to the antique lady, it does plenty of business.

Back in the car, we headed on toward our destination for the night.  It’s beautiful, but long stretches of road and we stopped often for candy and restrooms.  Stopped somewhere along the way and browsed a gift shop selling lots of pecan items… and candy.

It was getting late, but it must be against the law to go to Amarillo and not eat at Big Texas Steak House because the place was packed.  There’s plenty to do while waiting for the table.  Now, I’m not saying it’s the BEST steak house, but it certainly has personality!

While we were there a guy from Australia stepped up to challenge eating a 72 oz steak.  They sit the ‘challengers’ on a stage in front of the grill and start a timer.

 

Obviously it’s an attraction because as soon as he sat, signed the waiver, and the steak was handed to him, people surrounded him to take a picture.  Yes, I did too!  Funny enough the guy’s name was Dallas.

It costs $72 to eat it as a challenge, but the waitress told us that it would cost $200, if it was ordered simply as a meal at the table.  Dallas had to pay because with 13 minutes left, there was still plenty of food on his plate.

Our dining companions at the next table turned out to be from East Texas and asked us if we knew Amy Whittle.  Quite the coincidence sitting by someone who is friends with my principal!  After we finished eating, we found our home for the night and checked in.  It was around 10:00.

So, I’ve made the circle of events of the first day of my Summer adventure.  On to Denver for the next leg of the trip.  Looking forward to seeing God’s beautiful mountains.

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