Thursday, May 1, 2008

Headed To Austin To Meet Up With The Midlife Gals...

By the time you are reading this, we will be well on our way to Austin, hoping to arrive in time to meet up with Snooty Son for lunch some place he has chosen to keep a mystery. But, he has never steered us wrong yet, so I'm willing to wait for the surprise. Yet, being the direction-challenged woman that I am, I prefer to know ahead of time so that I can spend hours obcessively looking at the place online and compulsively mapping out my route, lol.

The rest of our trip is pretty much mapped out, except that I'm going to meet up with KK & SalGal of Midlife Gals. They lead very busy lives these days, but are being nice enough to meet up with me for some cocktails & clicks (pictures). Actually, KK, Mr. Snooty and I went to grade school together and the last time I saw her was in Austin, when I was with my best friend about 4 years ago. Aside from that, I haven't seen her since grade school. Although we know many of the same people, our paths just never crossed. Until I read the More Magazine article called Women Who Blog. Once I hit their blog, I knew I was hooked on their humor and I knew KK was my old pomegranate-stealing-tree-climbing-fence-walking-partner-in-crime from the old grade school days. What a hoot! It really is a small world, after all. So, if all goes according to plan, I'll have pictures upon my return. I'll feel like a real idiot if it doesn't happen, won't I?

Anyway, I have made this drive to Austin so many times that I just mentally shift into *auto pilot* the second we pass our county line, headed for the Capital City. While I wouldn't want to ever try it, I'm certain there are stretches of highway that I could drive with my eyes closed. That's how flat it is out here in the desert. It has a beauty all its own, though. You don't want to close your eyes if you are a lover of wildflowers. But, by the time you hit the Hill Country, it's a whole new ballgame as far as scenery goes. I'm just hoping to still get a glimpse of the Bluebonnets, if there are any left this late in Spring. But there will be an abundance of other wildflowers if they're gone.

Lady Bird Johnson, rest her soul, was a true jewel in the cap of Texas. She instigated the *Wildflower Program* within the Texas Department of Highways, which is now spreading to almost every county in every state in the United States. The idea was to have the mowers of Texas highways save all their clippings (with seeds) and trade with other regions in the state. The result is stunning roadsides & fields of flowers all over the state of Texas. Next, she and a friend opened the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, dedicated to the same concerns for our environment with a nationwide campaign for the same program. It's a wonderful place to visit if you ever happen to find yourself in Austin. Where there were once no wildflowers ever, in certain parts of our state, there are now acres and acres and acres covered in wildflowers and it is continually breathtaking.

So, in honor of the wonderful work that Lady Bird Johnson did before it was fashionable to do so, I offer you a letter she wrote about preservation of wildflowers and the earth, that is just priceless:


My dear friend Helen Hayes and I founded the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1982 to educate people about the environmental necessity, economic value and natural beauty of native plants. Our Center works for more than the lovely blossoms in our open spaces. We are concerned for all of North America's native plants, from the smallest sprout to the tallest tree.


To learn that more than four thousand native plant species are in danger of extinction in this country gives us a wake-up call and brings close to home the Wildflower Center's mission. Will these plants be lost to all but memory, with succeeding generations losing even that fragile connection? Are there sources of food, fiber or medicine that might perish with them? How do we save these species in the face of an ever-expanding human population and its impact on the land?


As daunting as the prospects may seem as we search for ways to protect and make room for nature, we must remember that there are success stories in all of this. Although we may not be able to save every single species, we can each do our part to protect them. Some of the answers lie as close as our own backyards, and as far as the highways that transverse this nation to its outermost reaches.



The landscapes of homes can be complemented by, if not completely replanted in, native species. Is there a park in your neighborhood? Every kind of park -- from a vest-pocket-sized park to a city, state or industrial park -- is a natural candidate for indigenous species. Median strips and roadsides filled with a bounty of regional native plants--perhaps the biggest "gardens" in the world -- increasingly capture the interest and applause of the driving public.



My hope for what lies ahead in the field of landscape design - our own and that of the professionals - is not a revolution against the use of non-natives, but a resolution to educate ourselves about what has worked for Mother Nature through the ebb and flow of time and to put that knowledge to work in the planned landscapes that are everywhere a part of our lives.
I'm optimistic that the world of native plants will not only survive, but will thrive for environmental and economic reasons, and for reasons of the heart. Beauty in nature nourishes us and brings joy to the human spirit, it also is one of the deep needs of people everywhere.


Warm regards,

Lady Bird Johnson

15 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Oh, I am so envious. I love their blog. Drive carefully...I once drove from Austin to Marble Falls, and while it is not a long drive, there are lots of hazards out there! Who knew you had to watch out for armadillos?

P said...

Have fun. Can't wait to see the clicks.

Daryl E said...

Have a wonderful time .. cant wait to see the photos!

Daryl

Treasia said...

Have a wonderful time. Looking forward to the pictures.

Meg said...

Oh Snooty! How fun!!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

I hope you have way too many drinks & giggles with the Midlife Gals and do things that will make a blogger blush but still write about.. drive safe. Looking forward to your next blog

your daughter said...

I'M SO EXCITED FOR BLUEBONNETS! See you tomorrow! Have a good drive :)

brneyedgal967 said...

You AND KK AND SalGal together? I don't know if Austin can handle it! Wish I were a fly on the wall! Have fun!!

scargosun said...

Hope you have a WONDERFUL time and thanks for the Lady Bird post. I don't know that much about her but what an incredible project to undertake. We all have benefited.

noble pig said...

Can't wait to see the pics from this trip. Sounds like a blast!

Iwanttocomebackasmycat said...

I just discovered your blog this morning. Thanks so much for blogging. I am in school and fill my lonely times with reading blogs. I can identify with you about having a family with major dysfunction. It was a pleasure to read your blogs and listen to your songs.

Janie said...

I think I'll ditch my company trip and head to Austin.

The four of us could have a freakin' wreck...or cause one!!

Have a great time!!

Backpacking Dad said...

Thanks for copying that letter. It was well worth the read.

Snooty Primadona said...

As it turns out, we only got together for a little while, so it wasn't long enough to do much more than giggle for a bit and play catch up. Which wasn't really even close to catching up.

Still, it was great fun and we had a most excellent trip to Austin.

Janie said...

awesome.

 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs