Sunrise, Sunset. But Nobody’s Fiddling On My Roof.

2 Jan

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle. The flattest place on earth, I think. You can see for miles out there. Huge trees miles away look like bits of fuzz on the horizon; far away houses are just dark little shapes. Remember those huge Tupperware bowls your mom had when you were a kid? They seemed ginormous, right? The sky is like an inverted crystal blue That’s-a-Bowl. No clouds, though, because the wind is so stinking persistent that nothing stays aloft for long.

Farm land in Texas panhandle near Amarillo, Te...

I live in the mountains now. Actually, I live in the high desert on a mesa near the mountains. Close enough to enjoy snow, but far enough that we don’t have to live like Grizzly Adams every winter. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to live in the mountains. The whole “purple mountain majesty” thing seemed magical. I wanted to live someplace with color, unlike the Texas Panhandle. It’s brown there. Occasionally, it’s green, but that’s usually just weeds or scrubby shrubs like Mesquite. But purple mountains? That sounded nice. Cool, too. Temperature-wise, that is.

But you know what I miss about the Panhandle? Sunrises and sunsets. We get pretty colors up in the almost-mountains, but nothing like what they get back in the pancake-flat Panhandle. My childhood home was out in the country, so I had an unimpeded view of the daily comings and goings of our yellow star. I have fond memories of standing outside, being still, watching as the sky slowly morphed from clementine orange to hot pink to deep purple as the sun set behind the cemetery to the west of our house. No wonder my teenaged years were so angst-ridden. My closest neighbors were all dead.

We’re driving through the Panhandle now. The trees all grow at a 45° angle because of the constant wind. The colors are drab. If you’re driving anywhere near Amarillo, it smells like money – cattle. The water tastes. Yes, that is a complete sentence. The water has a flavor. I could rattle off so many things I don’t like about the place I grew up, but they’re all (almost) outweighed by the sun’s daily fashion shows.

Photo courtesy Dimes2Vines blog. She has 10 kids and a vineyard!

2 Responses to “Sunrise, Sunset. But Nobody’s Fiddling On My Roof.”

  1. Emelda Hudson Brown January 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Hit it out of the park Mrs. April! If you’ve ever read my “about me” on Facebook I mention the following things I don’t miss: wind, snow, feedlot smells (aka money), and a teeny tiny growing season for anything nice. When we’d go visit the in-laws (when I had in-laws LOL), it always freaked me out because (well that’s a loaded phrase) their house is surrounded by pine trees, hills, etc. (Alabama). So I never saw the sun rise or set, and it would get dark early! Here in the land of hills, I can still see nice sunrises and sunsets, but doesn’t compare to the ‘handle. Or watching a front move in (cold front, storm system, tornado, dirt/sand). The song “Wide Open Spaces” definitely is describing our homeland. Of course the songwriter, Susan Gibson, lived across the hall from me at WT(SU). So she knows all about the skies.
    I completely forgot about the trees! You can stake them all you want, but the wind wins the battle. Now you do have to remember there is color – Palo Duro Canyon. Especially if there’s been enough rain – absolutely gorgeous. But 95% of the time – drab.
    Normally the Hill Country has plenty of color, but not in the past year thanks to our extreme drought. The only colors we saw were flames and smoke it seemed like.
    I’ve left my reply, now to say bye! Ciao! 🙂


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