So our Saturday adventure (that is, on April 30, 2022) was a trip to Taylor, Texas.
What’s that? you say. So glad you asked, I respond. Taylor is a town a little ways south and west of where we are. According to Wikipedia, it has a population of around 16K+, or that was the case in 2020. It is growing, and will grow a great deal more in the near future, both because it is a desirable location for people who work in Austin but can’t afford to live there, and also because the Korean high-tech giant, Samsung, has announced that it will build a semiconductor plant near the city quite soon.
We first became aware of the town shortly after we arrived in Texas. We had a friend, Judith Estrada Garcia, who ran a small art gallery in town, and we went there to visit her a couple of times. (She has now moved the gallery online, btw, and you can visit it here: https://estradagarciagallery.org/)
We rather liked the town. It was already in an upward swing back in 2020, and there was a cool, bohemian feel to the downtown area. There was an active art scene (as represented by Judith’s gallery as well as another that highlighted the work of local artists), plus there were some really cool shops and restaurants, and a terrific coffee shop that was always our first port of call when we arrived (to get hot coffee) , and our last before we left town (to get iced coffee for the drive home.)
About the photo: For once this picture actually has something to do with the story. It is a photo of Martha during one of our former trips to Taylor...but, not this most recent one. It actually dates back to 2020, just before Covid. And all the other complexity. Sigh.
We didn’t go back for nearly two years. But, then, Saturday morning, Martha came to me and said, “I’ve got a crazy idea. I saw a very interesting looking estate sale in Taylor. What do you say we make a day of it?” I said it sounded like a great idea and off we went.
We got to Taylor and the first thing we did was go to the estate sale. Martha really enjoys estate sales. I think, for her, the shopping is actually secondary. Her real thrill comes from reading the sale like it was a mystery novel. The people who lived in the house are gone...may have even passed on...but she’s off like Nancy Drew crossed with Sherlock Holmes’ smarter sister to figure out their character, history, personalities, genetic makeup, and astrological signs-- i.e. “Oh, look! They owned Neo-Pfaltzgraff Vitrified Stonewear with Peach Markings and Blue Laundry Ticking. That’s frequently purchased by left-handed retired proctologists whose Sun Sign is in Taurus and are half-Lithuanian and one-eighth Polynesian and collect coo-coo clocks from the Black Forest. Oh, and they vote Libertarian except during odd numbered presidential election years.”
She can be happy doing that for hours.
Let’s just say I’ve never actually had a major boredom induced psychotic episode while at a yard or estate sale, but, I’m sure you’d understand if I did.
We bought a few odds and ends, and then headed back into downtown Taylor itself. We thought we’d go to our old haunt, the coffee shop. So we parked...got out of the car...walking along the street...and...
It wasn’t there.
Oops. Where it had been was now a trendy-looking clothing shop for very young women who could appreciate very high prices. Oh, yeah, we thought. It has been two years, hasn’t it?
We then looked for the cafe that we used to always go to for lunch when we went to Taylor. It was just around the corner. We used to be able to go there just after visiting Judith’s gallery. Great spot. Nice sandwiches.
We eventually discovered it. It had a new name, and was (I think) under new management. Anyway, I certainly did not recognize any of the waitstaff. What I do know is that when we went and got a menu at the front counter, a young woman came bustling up to take our order. She regarded us with the chill disinterest you reserve for the hopelessly uncool and asked, suspiciously, if she could help us.
We read the menu, but apparently not fast enough for her tastes. “If you think,” she said, “it would be too, uh, *Mediterranean* for you, I would suggest you go across the street. They have more ...American...food there.”
Just what I needed. Nothing’s more fun then having a twenty-something be condescending to you about food. Particularly when I was eating “Mediterranean” before she was born. Heck. I was eatin’ escargot when I was ten. Which means most likely I was snarfing down snails and grossing out grownups at French restaurants before her *parents* were born!
I was about to discuss some of these issues, but, then, fortunately, Martha spoke up. We would just move it along, she said, thank you very much.
On the sidewalk, I turned to her. “What now?” I asked.
She thought for a second, then answered. “There’s one possible response to this situation.”
What can I say? When she’s right, she’s right.
More to come.
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