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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Grass is greener
this side of fence

Rabbit and deer carcasses attended by turkey vultures dotted the highway as I traveled east and south for the Memorial Day weekend. Bare ground in the pastures explains why so many rabbits hop about in the right-of-way, where grass and wildflowers abound.

Pastures greened up some as I neared San Angelo, and the hill country was a sight to see. My sister lives just a few blocks from US 67, where I entered San Angelo. I was able to follow her directions right into the garage. We enjoyed a game of tennis and a good aerobic workout in the pool at her health club.

Leaving San Angelo was even easier, as Loop 306 merges into US 87 east. I turned south on US 83 for the drive through the beautiful hill country. Driving 80-mph on I-10 east of Junction was a frightening experience. I seemed to be the only one taking advantage of the new speed limit, and I passed cars, trucks, moving vans, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. It was a relief to turn off onto US 83, where traffic is light and the old-fashioned 70 still reigns.

Arriving in Uvalde, I turned on US 90, which is the main street running east and west. Paula Villalon Pena directed me to the beauty shop on east 90 where she works, then recommended a motel I had passed on the way. Her house is only two blocks from the motel, and we ate at a nearby Kettle. No way to get lost there. She drove us to the football field for her son Robertís graduation. I was the honorary grandma.

Construction on US 90 from Uvalde to Del Rio slowed me up a bit. I found son David smoothing dirt in the front yard of their new lakeside home. We swam in Lake Amistad twice, enjoying the late afternoon breeze. Sunday we barbecued hamburgers with his wife Helen, son Jason and Deanna, and Jasonís friend Mike. Helenís parents, Archie and Joann Beasley, joined us. I even got in a visit with great-granddaughter Jasmine, who lives in Del Rio with her father.

I stayed at the Lakeside Motel, where fishing boats crowded the parking lot. They pulled out early and returned at mid-afternoon following the fishing tournament weigh-in. Motel rooms are filled during tournaments, the clerk told me.

I left early Memorial Day to beat the boat traffic and drove 75 mph (legally) all the way home. A trip that I remembered as five to six hours took 3.5 hours this time, and I was home before noon.

Turkey vultures and a few deer carcasses on the highway were the only hazard on US 90 and 285. I saw the remains of a few vultures that didnít take wing quick enough and was grateful that I managed to dodge them. David, whose early career as a truck driver in the oilfield took him over many of those same roads, said he has hit a vulture, and they stink.

They may stink and look ugly, but thank God for creatures who clean up rotting flesh. Between Fort Stockton and Pecos, vegetation and wildlife are so scarce that vultures canít survive. Nobody stops to pick up the rabbit carcasses, and they litter the highway.

Arriving home, I thank God for helping me keep on track for the entire 830 miles without making a bobble.

And the rooster survived. He is crowing his head off as I write.

ďÖYet there was this hope, that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and share the glorious freedom of the children of God.Ē Romans 8:20b, 21, NIV

EDITORíS NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager. Contact her at HYPERLINK ""

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