Last month we had the priveledge of welcoming a couple of friends to help in our motel endeavors. Ava came up from Austin with great enthusiasm to be a part of this motel revamping experience. She was a huge help with painting. Joe's friend Tabb traveled all the way from Virginia to help us run the motel for a couple weeks. "Run the motel" really means manage the front desk and put in some manual labor assisting with renovations. Fortunately, Tabb is skilled with a brush, so he and Ava brightened up our office/apartment by painting the building and fence white with brown fascia board trimming.
When Tabb's two week stint in Sanderson was over, he returned to Virginia only to find his mind repeately thinking of west Texas. Yep, we know the feeling. Tabb wrote down some words about his observations in our little piece of the world.
"It’s a Dry Heat
There are a few things to be said about this “dry heat” stuff. I will share two.
The heat is hot. The ground (and everything else) is dry.
These are truths about the desert.
There are other truths about the desert I learned while I was staying at the Desert Air Motel. 93 year old Jim Stone told me that, “Everything in the desert will bite ya, stick ya or sting ya.” He was right.
Despite receiving this sage advice early in my stay I still got stuck twice by agave plants and once by an unidentified pointy-ended bladelike relative of an agave that is good at hiding in patches of taller, softer grasses.
The sap of the agave is poisonous. If ingested, it causes a variety of abdominal displeasures none of us want to visualize. I didn’t find any literature on the effects of getting punctured by one of these very hard and extremely pointy blades. So, I will share my experience. It hurt. A good bit.
These plants are easy to avoid. They are large and move so slow that they seem to be rooted in place.
I only hit this one plant because it was right next to the fence I was scraping and painting behind the motel. My first couple of days there were spent working on that fence with Miles, Joe’s son.
Nick’s friend, Ava also arrived to be part of the work crew. We prepped and painted the motel parts most visible from the road in the time we had available.
I got to manage the motel for five days and met some of the most interesting people during that time. I had fantasized about the cast of characters I would encounter as they travelled from here to there. My writer’s mind failed to create characters as vivid as the one’s I met in reality."
West Texas is not a lush paradise like Virginia. The plants, people and animals thrive despite dry conditions. This place of dry beauty and open horizons has a way of building character, grit, and passion for those that live and frequent here. It has a way of calling people back into its realm. We have a feeling Tabb has caught this feeling and will visit Sanderson again.