Nothing is more soothing than driving in a car with the windows down through the vast highways of Texas. I realized that in 2011, during my week in Forth Worth on a mission trip working with refugees from South and West Asia. Everyday we would get up at 6:45, eat breakfast and drive for almost an hour in the spring sunlight, the rural breeze, the country music, and the feeling of utmost freedom to the residential complex where we would teach the refugees English, play with the kids, help setting up apartments, or do anything needed. It was my first trip to the South, and immediately I fell in love with their accent, with the endless grass fields, with mansions each occupying a whole hill, with the sunshine and the weather. I will forever remember the nights we sat together, reflecting on the experiences of the day, praying for our privileges, and then playing werewolves until late. I will forever remember cooking dinners with the most awesome people, laughing and inventing new recipes. I will forever remember the cold showers, the freezing nights we hogged each other’s blanket, the talks in the dark before falling asleep. But above all, I will forever remember the last afternoon in Texas that we spent at Stockyard.
This area used to be an important livestock center with packing houses in the 19th century and remained important until the 1950s. Nowadays, it is a historic district with shops, bars, restaurants, and twice a day – a cattle parade.
The railroad played a vital role in Stockyards’ development as the center of the cattle industry. Now still in use, this railroad attracts more tourists who are drawn here for a chapter in the history of the country.
Under this canopy is a range of stores and restaurants. The old structure reminds a time long past.
This was my lunch. Was I a meat destroyer, or were Texas-sized barbeque ribs not really that much bigger than the normal ones?
Twice a day, volunteers ran the cattle through the street, reestablishing an activity of a glorious time in the past – a time of prosperity, an important time in the development of the American economy.
This lake behind the camp where we stayed with the colorful and peaceful sunset featured heavily in one of my stories later on. Credit to Betty Lai for this amazing photo. She doesn’t even know I stole it from her Facebook.