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February is a doldrums month. Except for the Valentine's Day celebration, it is pretty much the month where we all get stuck in a rut, becalmed in a sea composed of obligations and routines.

The holiday season is over and we only have snow, tax season, and Lent to fill our time before life is bright again.

BTW, not to be irreverent, but do you suppose we could convince the Government to change the date we need to pay our taxes to sometime in the early summer, when the rains are gone, the lawns turn green, and the flowers bring color back to the world? It seems a little cruel to have to endure Lent and tax season at the same time... but I digress.

This year my husband suggested we drive from our home in Wyoming to Texas in search of diversion and warmth. My response was a bit like, "Um... ok." Not exactly enthusiastic, but workable.

We loaded up on books on tape from the library and headed South. I should have stayed home and continued to edit my books for critique group review, as well as work on my new time travel, but the sun beckoned and I was looking forward to some uninterrupted time with my husband, who hasn't quite gotten this retirement thing down yet.

We had a trip full of wonderful discoveries like Belle's Chicken right off the highway in Abilene, that has a wood-planked porch boasting a sign that reads: "Unless you are God or George Strait, wipe your feet!" Best chicken EVER! (This is an unsolicited endorsement, but if they wanted to send me a small shipment, I wouldn't turn it down.)

Look for the building with the 3-D chicken head!

Moving on, we stayed for awhile in Austin, and I convinced Rog a short day trip to see Jo and Chip Gaines' retail Magnolia Market would be fun, and it was! (We also visited the new library and the State House... we aren't total Cretins.)

This was not intended as a travel log, but as a rumination of how things interconnect.

While we were staying in San Antonio, our room looked out over one of the many bridges on the Riverwalk (see picture above). I began to think about how February was a necessary bridge after the hectic holidays, to readjust our rhythms to the slower tempo of the Earth-At-Rest, and to prepare us for the more active Spring and Summer. Like the earth we need respite and balance.

It is also the perfect time to let your imagination run wild. Rog and I played with a plot for a Darcy Moreland mystery set in San Antonio, where the body is slipped into the river from one of the dark niches along the path. I am not totally sure, but I think there was a copious amount of wine consumed before the walk.

My point is, we need bridges to force us to slow down and to connect the facets of our lives. We need time to catch our breath and to open our minds. We are home now and I feel refreshed and more motivated to keep working the dream.

May you all be blessed with a restful and reinvigorating February!

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