About 60 miles ESE of Lubbock, in Dickens County is a tiny little town of Spur, TX- population 1088.
Spur is where both of my dad's parents are from, where my great-grandparents lived during my childhood, and where my grandparents retired to around the time I graduated high school. It's an enchanting little town.
I've been traveling back and forth from Lubbock to Spur nearly every weekend since I moved home. My grandparents are caring for my two dogs because I can't have them where I'm currently living. Yes, I am one of those who consider their pets their children. It's been tough.
Luckily the hour drive is a really pleasant one. I really enjoy the landscapes of West Texas, and it feels so familiar as I remember driving the same path many times as a child. I've done some of my best thinking during those drives. It's quite a spiritual experience for me. I marvel at the world God has created.
On my way to Spur yesterday, I started thinking about my very first memory of Spur. When my parents were divorcing, my Mamaw and Papaw (great-grandparents) took me to Spur to have a little visit. I was three, but pretty close to four. My Papaw was a cotton farmer. They had a huge barn, a big covered porch, and a little sun room that I spent most of my time in. I remember that they had their own bedrooms and I couldn't quite understand that. Mamaw said it was because Papaw got up so early.
Every morning when I woke up, Papaw was already out in the fields working. I'd look out his window and sometimes I could see him on his tractor. I loved him so. I'd eat breakfast and get cleaned up quick so I could go outside and play. On the porch there was a big swing and usually a new batch of kittens. They had SO many cats! Mamaw said it was because mice like cotton and cats like mice. All I knew is that I loved kittens! I was actually very allergic to them and usually had a reaction, but I really didn't care.
Before long, Papaw would come by and pick me up for our daily trip into town. He'd take me to the corner store and buy me a Slush Puppy and a Lik-M-Aid. I'd sit in the passenger seat quietly while he ran his errands. We were best buds.
I have to interrupt this part of the story to tell you a little bit more about Papaw. He died when I was 8, and I just cried and cried. He was a good man and I've only realized that more and more the older I get.
The Watson land bordered the Spur cemetery. At one point, they needed to expand the cemetery and asked to buy some land from my great-grandfather. He said he'd be delighted on one condition- they allow blacks to be buried in the cemetery. Up until that point, they weren't allowed. The very first person to be buried on that section of the cemetery was a black man that had worked with my grandfather for years at the Watson Gin. (Oh, P.S. my maiden name is Watson) My Mamaw and Papaw are both buried there as well.
Now, where was I?
After our errands, Papaw would drop me back off at the house and I'd sit in the sun room playing with paper dolls or sit at Mamaw's desk sewing buttons like she taught me. In the afternoon, Papaw would come home for a snack- Buttermilk and Ritz crackers. I tried the buttermilk and thought it was horrible, so I just ate Ritz. Then it was time for a nap.
In the evening came dinner and watching the black and white TV. I loved it there, so much so that I asked if I could stay a little while longer. My Memaw tells me now (my grandmother) that I was so well behaved, that they kept me another week, but they took my younger sister next and brought her back early because she was a pill!
After Papaw died, Mamaw had to sell the land and the house. I drive out there once in a while. The owners let my family hunt out on the Watson land every year.
Time moves on and things change, that's just the way it is. I am so blessed to have had the experiences I did and be able to remember them. I thank my lucky stars for my dad's side of the family- they created a stability for me in those early years when everything else was so crazy. I think it's what gave me something to strive for all of these years later.