I realize the purpose of the luncheon last Monday was to hear Lisa Whelchel speak and her talk was refreshing, funny and enjoyable to all who heard it but most of my time was spent with the wonderful ladies of San Saba. I arrived twenty minutes before eleven thinking I would be one of the first people there but the hall was already filled with people. I was checked off the list by the ever lovely Glenna Boyd and she told me her mom was sitting at the second table if I would like to go sit with her.
Texas is known for gracious and beautiful ladies and as I sat and watched women filing in, I saw gorgeous smiling faces, loving friendly hugs and knew I was in the presence of true beauty. Young men were walking the room placing expertly arranged dishes of chicken salad with spinach leaves and tomato on tables. I looked over to the serving area to see Tea Hardman busily scooping out contents from a container she had obviously worked hours to prepare.
Soon the sound in the room was filled with the din of familiarity, oneness, community, commonality and the kind of kinship only living in a small town can bring. I found, other than Glenna’s mom, that I really had not met many of the ladies at my table and so we had a great time talking and getting to know a little about each other. The subject of how one ends up in San Saba, Texas always comes up as fun conversation. One of the women said it took her awhile to adjust to small town living and I said for me it was like coming home to where I had grown up as a child. What struck me was while I had not really known these women, sitting there with them it was as if we had always known each other and we were as comfortable as a cushion on a couch with each other. I have lived many other places and awkward silences, standoffish attitudes and snobbish behavior is pretty much par for the course.
I like to call it the San Saba soul song; it is music your heart hears when you enter the county. You might not be aware of it but your shoulders start to relax and you feel a bit lighter, less tense. The strangest things happen and even your spouse’s jokes start to sound funny. Normally errant children become complacent, compliant and want to do the things their parents want them to do. Dogs that once wouldn’t obey for even the costliest treats return to yards on command and in fact, never even leave them unless on a leash and never ever jump on anything they are not supposed to. The world seems to gel in a way that just seems right, brighter and happier. It is impossible for anyone to be snobby, standoffish or cold to another here.
Okay, so I am making all that up but only in that life here is some kind of utopia. Of course life isn’t perfect in San Saba. Life isn’t perfect anywhere because in order for that to happen one would have to go someplace devoid of human existence. If there is a place with people in it then that place is going to be messy. All I am saying is I saw and heard at that luncheon the reason living here is wonderful. I saw love, laughter, friendship, caring, community, helping, reaching out and I saw pride in who and what we are and stand for.
I attended a luncheon last Monday but I feasted on the strength of community, became full from the bowl of friendship, drank from the cup of kindness and ended the meal with a taste of appreciation for what I have here in San Saba. I have not ever hesitated in life to say thank you, having cancer twice has taught me I have an expiration date just like a carton of milk and so, dear ones, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your lives, your town, your world.