Nothing too unusual about an old farmer in a tractor, except this particular old farmer hasn’t worked on a farm in about four decades. This cover-all clad cutie is my husband, trying out his dream tractor in Noonday, Texas. In just three more years, he’s retiring from the company he’s worked with for forty years, and we’re moving closer to home, to a little 50-acre farm in Central Texas. Believe me, MSB is looking forward to being put out to pasture–especially if he can sit in this air-conditioned cab while he’s there.
He and his brother, who owns the 50-acre spread adjacent to ours, worked the land last weekend, and BIL told him of a tractor dealership about an hour and a half”s drive from our home. So, of course, he wanted to go see what he could find.
Talk about a beautiful drive! Rolling hills and sky-scraping pines all the way from here to Noonday. Horse ranches, cattle ranches, hay pastures. The only thing better than driving through it would be flying over it to see the patchwork quilt created by God and man. Of course, if you fly over it, you can’t stop for barbecue in an award-winning restaurant in Bullard (population 2463), or shop in Noonday (population 777), or stop at a winery that names its wines “Number 10,” “Number 9,” etc. (we bought Number 10). And if you were in a plane, you couldn’t stop at the roadside truckfarms, where this morning’s produce is for sale to anyone who’ll stop along the highway and buy it. Which of course we did.
You’ve heard of Vidalia onions? I’ve been to Vidalia, Georgia, and seen the acres and acres of onions there. Let me tell you, they raise some of the sweetest onions in America. Caramelize those babies, and you’ve got a dessert dish. Closest thing to the Vidalias we have in Texas are our own 10-15s, developed at Texas A&M. They get their name because they’re supposed to be planted on October 15 for optimum sweetness. Pick up a Vidalia or a 10-15 and you won’t find a sweeter onion.
So I thought until we stopped at one of these roadside stands that touted Noonday Onions.
Now, a lot of our soil here in East Texas isn’t soil at all, it’s clay–red clay, like in Georgia–and these onions we bought aren’t the big doggers you can find in the store. The biggest barely equal the size of my fist, much less MSB’s fist. But let me tell you–I could pick up one of those honeys and eat it like an apple!
Of course, you kinda have to like onions before any of this sounds appealing . . .
One of the roadside places we stopped at promised a 35-mile view of East Texas, and of course, the only camera we had with us was on my phone–which doesn’t do the scene justice. I decided to post it up here anyway because I’ve learned through my travels all over the United States that folks picture Texas as looking very much like the Desert Southwest, and granted, there are areas in Texas that do match the description. But Texas, being the size of a small country, has virtually every landscape you could possibly want, including the heavily forested east. We have hills with trees in East Texas, hills with rock in the Hill Country, and a mountainous region in the Big Bend area. We have canyons and plains in the Panhandle, and sunny beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Yep. We’ve got it all.
And I’m rambling.
Truth is, other than our little day-trip this past Saturday, I don’t have much to write about. We had such an easy, laid-back day–weekend, in fact–that I’m not overly anxious to jump back into work today. And the kind of work I’m jumping into has little to do with writing. I’ll be making bread-and-butter pickles, jalapeno jelly, and onion relish out of the fresh produce we bought.
Working like a farmer’s wife.
Oh yeah. To me, that’s a little bit of heaven.