The short days and chill nights of November closed upon a quiet Thanksgiving vacation in the home of the Annie Moses Band. Friday after the delicious holiday, the group set out on the road once more, their hearts full of gratitude for the good things that God has done, and also for the gift of a few days to rest and recuperate before the long and festive Christmas tour. Our road wound its way through a less charted quarter of the United States. This road took us south-west, traversing the flatlands of Texas. The cowboy spirit does infuse the air throughout those wind-swept plains. The way is charted by tiny towns and cattle ranches, where one sees cows packed tight in their pens for miles until their broad backs meld in with the horizon-line. The smell is quite awe-inspiring, I must say. :)
Finally, after a long day of travel, we arrived in Abilene, TX. We had a very delightful time performing Sunday for the Texan folk! Thanks guys. :)
Monday our road wound its way even further west. Soon we were well into West Texas, where the prairie-land grew into a veritable desert. The road stretched on and on, our view unbroken by mountains or hills. Mesas alone graced the skyline, and the wind as it rattled our vehicle was powerful. Tumbleweeds tumbled across our path, huge in diameter. Throughout the desert land, oil pumps sparsely dotted the horizon, and every once in a while an irrigated farm would break up the desert color.
By lunch we had driven quite into wilderness, and we were hungry. Thanks to our handy-dandy navigators, we were able to find a place to eat in this rustic country. Thus we found ourselves, in the midst of a no stoplight cluster of wrangler shops and trailer houses, stopping at this little diner and counting our blessings. We seemed very out-of-place to the inhabitants within, and were soon an item of curiosity. We didn't have spurs or cowboy hats on, you see. :) But the friendly, personable company of cowboys and cowgirls and the warm goodness of egg sandwiches and coffee warmed our souls and our stomachs. Soon we were on the road again.
We passed over into New Mexico, and, when many mirages of familiar traveling staples had begun to glimmer before our eyes, a sign for Artesia graced our sight. Only forty miles away. At this point, however, our truck was discovered to be on empty, and diesel is not found easily in New Mexico. There were no towns or fill stations between us and Artesia, so we turned off the A/C, prayed, and kept on driving. God must have extended our diesel reserves, because the twenty miles of diesel in the truck's reserves stretched for the full forty, and we arrived safely in Artesia.
We had great fun there! The tiny town, full of sweet people and the strong cowboy spirit, was so enjoyable to be in. We had the pleasure of performing with a choir built from the surrounding churches, and, on Tuesday night, had a great concert. We even discovered a much-desired coffee-shop in the midst of the little city, called the Jahva house, so to emulate the name 'Yahweh'. The Christian folks who ran the coffee-shop gave us a very cosy environment and some splendid loose-leaf tea. Yum!
Wednesday found us once again driving through the desert plains to Oklahoma City, where we spent that night, Thursday, and Friday morning with our paternal grandparents. It was a very sweet time! On Saturday we traveled out again for Springfield, MO, where we had a blast getting to fellowship with several good friends and also meet many hospitable and kind people at the church. Saturday night we performed a joint concert with the church's amazing choir and orchestra for an energetic, full house.
The next morning we played two more concerts in the Sunday morning service slots, both for large crowds. They were a great deal of fun! Thanks for all the energy, guys! After the services we were blessed by some beautiful and thoughtful Christmas gifts from a very good, sweet friend, and, thus blessed, we set out again. The road to Nashville shortened before our eyes, and, in the midst of a midnight frost, we found ourselves at home…