Before I commence with my post, a little lesson on Mormon-speak. Some basic info about stakes, wards and branches.
A stake is a geographical unit comprised of units called wards or branches; wards are bigger than branches. A stake is led by an ecclesiastical leader called a stake president (which Husband is) assisted by two counselors. The stake president travels throughout the stake, as do his counselors, ministering to the needs of the bishops (ward ecclesiastical leaders), branch presidents (branch ecclesiastical leaders) and any member of the different units who are in need of his counsel.
So now you know, in case you were wondering what your Mormon friends are talking about when the say 'stake', 'ward' or 'branch'.
With that little prelude I'll get on with this thing called a post.
Sunday I traveled with Husband as he visited one of the congregations in our stake. One of the smallest and farthest from our Little Corner of East Texas. A branch.
The branch is about 100 miles from us. 100 miles from civilization. 100 miles out in the middle of no where, 100 miles of sheer desolation, or so it seemed to me.
I've traveled to this little branch before, several times as a matter of fact. This time though I noticed how isolated the entire drive is. Husband said it just seemed that way because I didn't know where all the towns were located. Maybe. I like my version better, you know all creepy and mysterious. Creepy and mysterious reads better than we were surrounded by civilization the entire 100 miles.
So, as we're driving I tried counting the cars we passed, zero, and the cars that passed us going the opposite direction on a two lane highway. See what I mean, you don't travel down lonely two lane roads in a civilized area. Oh, there were maybe 25 cars that passed us going the opposite direction on the trip up there.
Up there, was Oklahoma. Cue the music. Ooooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain....sorry couldn't resist.
As isolated as this place may seem, I love going up to Idabel. The members of the congregation are humble, hardworking and very devoted people. There are two Hispanic families in the congregation that I absolutely adore. For some reason the matriarchs of the two families think I've hung the moon. I have no idea why they do, 'cause I sure haven't done anything to merit such treatment. Go figure.
Whenever I leave Texas, I always think of something Husband's grandfather told me the first time I came to visit down here.
Husband and I were dating, I was leaving Texas to go back to my home in Utah. Granddaddy said to me, 'Girl, I hear you're leaving the country.' Visualize confused look on my face. I'm thinking what is this dear old man talking about, I'm not going out of the U.S. I gave Husband a confused, bewlilderd what-in-the-world-is-your-grandfather-talking-about look. He whispered to me, 'To Granddaddy, if you leave Texas you're leaving the country.' As if that made any sense to me.
I now know that 'leaving the country' has something to do with Texas being a republic or some such nonsense...now all you Texans settle down I'm just making a point, not dissing the Great State of Texas.
Those were the thoughts running through my mind after we crossed the Red River
and saw this
I was once again entering the country, no passport needed.
Husband suggested we stop for the photo op. Cool state sign don't you think?
One of the few cars we passed was this little beauty.
You never know what you'll run into 100 miles out in the middle of nowhere.