“Is there a good place to eat around here? And how about a grocery store?”
“Just up the road is the town. There is one Bar-b-que place, but it will be closed up by now – they sell out fast.”
It was 3:00 p.m.
“How about Mexican?”
“There are five Mexican restaurants, three that are authentic, but one is kind of hard to find. Two are right on the main street, across from each other. We have a Dollar General and a Family Dollar, but most of us shop at Brookshire. Sorry about your luck, though.”
“Day before Thanksgiving, everyone’s going to be out doing their shopping.”
We were tired and hungry and some things just have to be faced.
Thanksgiving had brought us to this place in the middle of nowhere – Pittsburg, Texas, population just over 4,000. Anything near the centers we wanted to visit were booked up.
Sometimes it’s the unexpected routes in life that reap the greatest treasures.
The camp itself, Barefoot Bay Marina and RV Park, set on Lake Bob Sandlin, turned out to be just the right mixture of glorious nature and solitude that we needed, and; the trip into town was pure gold.
Perlatas won out as the restaurant of choice – mainly because it was easy to find and on the same side of the road as we were travelling. At first glance, the place was empty, but a waitress soon appeared and directed us to a table. I was too exhausted to note much about the decor, but the walls were bright pink, and the table and chairs basic. A large hand-painted sign on the wall indicated “banos” with a flourish. A different woman arrived with a basket of fresh tortilla chips and salsa for each of us, which we eagerly tucked into.
I immediately started to feel better. We’d tried twice, on the road, to find a place to stop for lunch, both times unsuccessful. Parking lots with a forty-foot motor home plus tow vehicle can be challenging. I had been hungrier than I thought.
The food came on large platters and my heart soared. I love Mexican food at the best of times – but this was above and beyond. Soft corn tacos topped with chunks of white chicken, cheese and vegetables, with a side of green salsa. It was manna from Heaven.
“You’d think we haven’t eaten in a week,” I apologized to the waitress. “This is so good!”
She lingered and we talked a while. She’s a mom, with a child the same age as our youngest granddaughter. We swapped stories. When I told her this was our first meal in Texas, her eyes widened.
“Where are you from? What brings you here?”
“The warm weather,” I told her. “We needed to get away from the cold.”
“Do you know someone in the area?”
“No,” I confessed. “But you know what? We’ve travelled many places and every time the best thing about a place is the people.”
And she hugged me. It was unexpected and absolutely delightful.
I was feeling better on so many levels.
The parking lot at the grocery store was, as predicted, busy, but we will still able to get a spot close to the entrance. Inside, I opted to walk, as the aisles were crowded. Despite the season, people were polite and friendly. At the cash, a man appeared to bag our groceries. His badge read: Store Director.
Store Director carried our bags to our car for us and wished us a Happy Thanksgiving.
We got back to the RV and I fell into bed, done in, but heart warmed.
Our sojourn to Texas had started on a good note.
Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.