Afterwards, I responded to Todd’s request by photographing the Deniger clan – all four generations in a group pose out in the backyard. Back inside, while we were half-heartedly watching the Cowboy game, Carolyn started talking about her plans to find some property in or near Dallas on which to build a new house. Her main parameter was that it should “wrap around” a central courtyard in keeping with a southwestern tradition. The wheels in my mind were really churning. I was visualizing a U-shaped plan, so Todd and I retreated to the computer where we scribed a simple layout based on the square footage she desired. Then I put the pencil to the paper, and within a hour, I had a fairly definitive floor plan along with several elevations to show Mrs. D. She was quite impressed and thanked me for my expeditious response. I said, “Ma’am, I’m on call on the road all the time. Have T-square, will travel.” The beautiful day finally came to a close. I reposed in my van bed, looking up at the stars, and really gave thanks for one memorable day. Geemonee, does it get any better than this?
The next morning, I gave myself a little exercise run on the ol’ velocipede for one last view of the neighborhood. As I was hitching up the bike, the eldest son pointed at me and said, “Bill van.” Todd explained to me that was his nomenclature for me while his older brother Bill was known as “Bill car”. Kids have the darnedest way of identifying people. I had gotten into the habit of amusing Andrew and Benjamin by contorting my mouth into a ghoulish expression. They in turn would respond by pulling at the corner of their mouth and sticking out their tongue. It became an involuntary reaction with them. They were like little Calvins stepping out of a Bill Waterson comic strip. Yeah, I was getting somewhat attached to the little tykes.
I was outta there by noon, and drifted west on TX 276 until finally being swallowed up by I-30. I had certainly been blessed with an abundance of autumn colors along the way. Then I thought, “Hey, it ain’t over `till it’s over. I could still look forward to the fall foliage in Dallas in about a week.” It would be like an added bonus. Another godsend of the trip was that, because of my circuitous roving, I had been subjected to only a hundred miles of interstate driving (out of 1300 miles), and that was just getting in and out of Dallas and in and out of Little Rock. Yes, I could safely say that was about as perfect a journey as I could ever expect to take. Thank you, Lord.