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Friday, August 12, 2011


There is town named Hell in Texas. The truth is, lately, the whole state is Hell.

My cousin, Dorene warned me las

t week, “We’d love to see you guys but its hotter than Hell here”. Hearing that from her was shocking. I knew Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Floyd did not raise their youngest daughter to use four-letter words...and she was using this one in every sentence.

But Hell it was. When we left Santa Fe, the car thermometer

started climbing, from the mid-eighties upwards. By the time we crossed the Texas line at it was 99. When Francesca started complaining I cut her off quick pointing to the multiple roadside signs, “Don’t Mess With Texas. $250 Fine”.At noon we made a bathroom
stop stepping out into the 102 degree heat. The good news was it was “dry heat” so it only felt like 101. What it was

was too damn hot and it felt good to be visiting an air-conditioned bathroom, even if every urinal user had a photo of John Wayne staring down at him. Wayne’s stern look reminded me to not to mess with Texas, or, to call the movie cowboy by his real name, Marian.

Walking out a strange man flashed a postcard in my face. Yes, I got it, “Don’t mess with Texas, Florida boy”.

I was an easy target. Cowboys don’t wear shorts.

But we had a cousin to visit. By the time we got to Dallas it was 106. It was crazy heat, the kind that makes you think of nothing else.

Approaching Dorene’s neighborhood, we saw no one outside. We assumed that every Texan had their face stuck in an air conditioner vent, or, they were de


When we rang the doorbell at the home of Doreen and her husband, Gary, they invited us in using the intercom, “Hi, it’s too hot to greet you. Come on in and stick you face in one of our guest air conditioner vents!”

Francesca, Pi, and I scurried inside and...wait. I am making stuff up.

Doreen and Gary were perfect hosts. They actually met us at door, hustled us inside their palatial walk-in cooler, sat on blocks of ice, and we exchanged greetings there.

Everything is big in Texas. You’d think this is the kitchen of the Big Texan Steakhouse but it’s actually where Doreen and Gary prepare food.

We went on a house tour and the the next day, when it was over, ...No, I’m making up this part up too. Their house is large, big enough for croquet but too small for golf.

We enjoyed seeing their collections like

this one featuring

sand from around the world.

Gary’s torch collection? Well, he’s just getting started and he has only one but it is a doozy. Gary got it when

he participated in the torch run preceding 2002 Winter Olympics.

He loved the experience and swears, when run was over, they gave him permission to take it home.

We loved being with our Texas family. We had to go through Hell to see them but the visit made us appreciate 98 degrees we’ll soon be facing

in Miami.

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