Let’s talk about distances. Distances and appointments. They often don’t mesh well when you dwell in the Western Hill Country, where the moon rises in a pastel blush and the stars sparkle even on slightly overcast nights; where foxes’ shadows flit between low juniper bushes and coyotes sing you to sleep.
Yesterday morning my double-alarm, set two minutes apart, with the clock positioned in the next room so that I had to get out of bed to silence it, jolted me out of deep sleep at 5:45 h.
The objective was to make it into Kerrville on time for a 7:30 h appointment at the Sid Peterson Regional Hospital. My thyroid gland is not as cooperative, as it ought to be, so some nuclear imaging was needed to check it out. Getting up almost two hours prior to a date with an isotope filled capsule seems excessive, doesn’t it? Not so, when one lives, as stated above, in our beautiful but remote area, especially when one drives a borrowed car to boot! As you well know, we shipped our trusted family car Ruby to Costa Rica last year, which rendered us wheelless for our winter stint in Texas. Luckily we have a child filled with compassion for his hapless parents. He kindly lends us his car for the duration. It’s a very nice, sporty, low-slung Volvo. A pretty and responsive car, great fun to drive. Only, it’s not quite the optimal vehicle for zipping through ranches on caliche roads.
The most direct route from our place to the City of Kerrville, county seat and home of The Museum of Western Art http://museumofwesternart.com, leads through our neighbor’s property. Even though this shortcut reduces the driving time to just under an hour, their eight mile long ‘driveway’ connecting ranch headquarters to Hwy 41, is a bit too bumpy for our borrowed city car. A shame, really, because there’s always the expectation of catching a glimpse of some of their exotic farm animals, while passing a pasture.
|Enoch the giraffe with his son Saba and two Beisa antelopes|
|Mom and babe zebras|
In any case, not so yesterday morning, because the darkness of night still hovered when I left home just after six. To give you an idea, why I had to plan on a 90 minute drive for my appointment, we have to examine the geographical position of the ranch relative to Kerrville. Namely the simple fact that my destination lies to the SE of my home, whereas the only way out of the ranchlands is toward the NW. And all of those additional miles on smooth asphalt roads make the tires sing, but it does add on the minutes.
The truly ridiculous mileage accumulation event happened today, though. I had to return for the second iodine uptake measurement after 24 hours, so I moseyed on down to Kerrville once more dark and early. Afterwards, instead of going straight home, I had to drive all the way up to Junction to collect three packages from our post office. Junction is a small town in Kimble County to our North. It’s our official postal address and every time a package is too large for the mailbox, we have to pick it up there. The distance from Kerrville to Junction, city limit to city limit, is about 50 miles on Interstate 10.
To summarize my morning, I had a ten (10) minute appointment at the hospital and a two (2) minute stop at the post office, which took me two hundred and forty (240) minutes to accomplish.