Texas–a land whose peaceful, rolling Hill Country encouraged long runs; whose cowboy boots introduced my feet to line dancing; whose karaoke bars allowed me to hone my theatrical skills; whose ticks gave me Lyme Disease; whose animals captured my heart.
I reflect fondly on my Texas adventure despite the many hardships allotted me during my six months shacking up with nearly ten people in a trailer in the Hill Country.
This was my second exposure to the labor-intensive world of animal rescue and rehabilitation, the repetitive long hours and interrupted nights of sleep. Here was my first scorpion sting, my first encounter with wild snakes mating, my first sheep shearing, my first goat milking, the first time I touched a lion’s paw, the first (and hopefully last) time I butchered a dead horse. Texas was home to the first time I swam in my skivvies (carpe diem, people), the first time I saw a bullet wound (never mess with a Texan and his rifle), my first time driving manual all by myself (it didn’t go well), my first bed and breakfast experience (mmmm… asparagus omelet).
My initial days in Texas began with the unknown, sprouting growth and reflection in my life and career. I’ll never forget the smell of a skunk with distemper, the strength of a cardinal’s beak or the cunning minds behind the masks of raccoons. (Plus, I compiled the above video so that I really won’t ever forget just how cute a kid goat is.)