Earlier today a small group of us went out and served the homeless. It was hot!
In case you don’t know we are in Texas. The temperature right now is reaching at least the mid to high 90’s every day.
I honestly don’t know what the high was today…I just know it was hot.
We went to a number of our normal stops and gave away a lot of drinks, snacks, toilet paper, books and a few socks. After a few hours…we had given away most of the food. Only a few snacks left. The last place to stop was in the heart of the homeless area and I just didn’t feel we had enough. I hate to start handing out stuff then run out. So we called it a day.
Our group got back in our air conditioned cars and chatted on our cell phones and decided where we would go eat lunch.
We sat in an air conditioned restaurant and ate food that was served to us and drank unlimited amounts of cold beverage.
My guilt boiled up when we packed up and drove away from the people who did not have a choice. I was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. I wanted to take a cool shower and put on clean clothes. The people sitting along the street, trying to stay in the shade, they didn’t have a choice.
I know for many of them it was a string of bad choices that helped them end up on the street. I know I could also end up on the street. But for this moment this is where they are and where I am…and today I felt guilty for having the opportunity to walk away.
Usually my family patiently treks around with me as search for photo opportunities. They sit in the car listening to music, looking at their phones, waiting for me to walk across the field, cross the road or work my way inside an abandon building.
This recent trip was a little different. Some extended family made the trip to West Texas with us. As the entire group went to breakfast, someone had to wait in the car with the dog. It is way too hot in Texas to let your dog stay in the car if the air conditioner is not running. I volunteered to hang with the dog. Tina suggested I drive around and take pictures – she knew I had been eyeing a few places. I quickly jumped at the idea.
I drove back out State Route 84 to a dilapidated shack. I had noticed the shack on our way into town.
As I drove to the shack I noticed this house that appears to still be occupied and out by a rundown barn stood a windmill…honestly the windmill caught my eye…I love windmills.
I am finding myself drawn to the old-style water towers. I am considering a photo collection of them. Here is the Snyder Texas Water Tower…found during my photo drive.
I hope you enjoyed this small tour of Snyder Texas...I sure enjoyed taking the photos.
When I first moved to Texas I was told the way to tell the seasons apart…
Winter: The sky is blue, the grass is brown and there are no leafs on the trees.
Summer: The sky is blue, the grass is brown and there are leafs on the trees.
Apparently my friend forgot to mention the one season that is bright and colorful. Lush green dotted with pinks, yellows, purples, whites and so many more colors.
My absolute favorite season….Spring.
This afternoon Tina and I drove to West Texas. The highways lined with beautiful spring flowers. The median filled with pink, the fields of green stretched to the horizon.
Me, driving along the highway, surrounded by spring blooms…my happy place.
It is an abandon grocery store. If you look closely at the weather worn painting on the side of the building you can make out, Piggly Wiggly. This is a grocery store chain mostly found in the south of the United States. I was actually surprised to learn that this chain still exists. I guess because I’ve never seen an open one.
On the opposite side of the building was a weather worn painting I really liked.
I actually think the weathered look adds to the appearance of the painting.
To view more photos inspired by the word “weathered” visit The Daily Post.
Grand Prairie is one of many areas referred to as the mid-cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Recently I happened to be in Grand Prairie for work. As I drove down Main Street I noticed a marquee in the distance. I am always attracted to old theater marquees. And the Uptown Theater did not disappoint. Now that I know it exists I can’t wait to catch a show.
The marquee caught my eye. But when I stopped to take a photo, I noticed the doors.
The doors remind me of the movie house era, when tickets cost a quarter. (Not that I remember those days!)
The letters C or D…this is what Cee wants pictures of this week.
C = Cowboy
Awhile back we were visiting family in Snyder Texas. I found this cool piece of metal art at the local college. It actually represents their mascot – The Westerners. However, I’ve chosen to call him a cowboy…for this challenge!
If you enjoy black and white photography I would encourage you to visit Cee’s page.
Last year, shortly before I started the “Blazzin Saddle” ride, the men parked beside us started talking about “Skull’s Crossing.” They told stories of a climb so difficult people fall over in the middle of the road. They said the road narrows at Skull’s Crossing just before you climb the steep hill. So people that were spread out across the country roads, suddenly crunched together to climb the impossible climb.
The description of this ride states it will challenge top level riders with its hilly terrain. Needless to say I freaked out a bit.
We reached Skull’s Crossing before the first rest area (less than 10 miles). The road curved right, then left. It dipped drastically across a small bridge, then it began to rise.
I made it about half way up and noticed a woman had flipped her bike into the ditch. I also saw people stopped along the side and people weaving back and forth in the middle of the road. It was like a war zone, with bodies strewn across the road (slight exaggeration…but you get my point!) I was no longer afraid of the hill, I was afraid of the riders around me. I was afraid of crashing. I unclipped my shoes (clips are used to attach a riders shoe to her pedal), to avoid a fall (if you are familiar with cycling you will understand I was still new to clips and lacked confidence in my cycling ability). Once I unclipped I lost all momentum. Needless to say I did not complete the hill on my bike, but I finished it pushing my bike.
This year I was determined to beat Skull’s Crossing. My hill climbing has improved. Wearing clips is now second nature and I feel much more in control.
I rode along a winding country road, my surroundings felt familiar, I knew Skull’s Crossing was getting closer. I tried to avoid the crowds so I could approach the hill without anyone near me (that didn’t happen).
The amazing thing is, once I started climbing the hill I felt focused on the climb. I felt all my energy pushing the pedals, pulling the pedals and I watched the road in front of me pass on by.
About midway up the hill I noticed my riding buddy to my left. Typically she beats me up difficult hills. I encouraged her, “We got this!”
As she quickly fell behind me, all I heard was “Damn it..(not sure what is said here) …came off!”
I had no idea what happened to her bike. I knew stopping in the middle of the hill was not an option. I turned back toward the hill to find a rider directly in front of me. I told the rider I was preparing to pass her as I guided my bike around on her left side.
As I crested the hill I worked my way through the other riders to the right side of the road so I could stop and wait for Rachael.
Although I was panting heavily from the climb, I felt like riding back down just to ride back up again. I was that excited about conquering Skull’s Crossing. No worries though…I was that excited…but not that stupid!
By the time Rachael caught up I had calmed down. She recently got new clips and one of her clips slipped out of the pedal. Fortunately she did not crash unfortunately she was not able to complete the hill.
The next day I revisited Skull’s Crossing. This time in a car and with camera in hand. Usually when I’m on a bike hills look really big…but as I stood at the base of this hill preparing to take a picture, it looked extremely steep and bigger than it looked the day before.
I was even more excited that I had conquered Skull’s Crossing!