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Serendipity Strikes Again


near Austin

I am sitting outside the Behemoth at Comanche Camp, at a place called Turkey Bend on the north side of Lake Travis, one of a series of sites lightly maintained by the LCRA. It's just a number of flat spots with fire rings strung out along the lake, next to where a creek comes in.

It's now a little after 6 pm, and 60 degrees. Perfect.

In the gathering dark across the drowned river, mammoth McMansions perch cheek by jowl on the low bluff, encrusted with gables galore, draped and dripping with multi-level porches, gazebos, hanging stairways dropping to the docks bobbing below. I can see right into them. But as far as can be told, there's no one home.

Is that possible?

Someone has to be over there. All the lights are on. There is furniture. Perhaps the owners have managed to intimidate themselves. I can almost imagine them, wandering peckishly from room to echoing room like redundant french royalty, abandoned in a Versailles bereft of servants.

Sacre bleu. Who the devil is this Dr. Guillotine?

Or perhaps the putative owners have retreated to some snug windowless den of somewhat human proportions, where they will feel dwarfed only by the walk-in TV. And surely many must always be elsewhere, servicing the mortgage.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful for their absence.

Overhead a long V of apparently misguided ducks are flying west for the winter. It is utterly quiet and deserted here. If you turn your back to all the insecurity lights in the ghetto of the gated rich over there, a million stars blaze out above. I have everything they have, except mortgage and neighbors. Perfect.

I love the occasional ironies of this transient life.

It is odd how grace can sometimes sneak into your life unheralded. Serendipity. Unplanned happiness. This morning I woke up cranky and sneezing, with a sore throat and a thick head. All I wanted out of the day was hot tea, antihistamines, and copious amounts of Kleenex.

It was one of those brilliant days when it seems jarringly unfair to be sick. Then, around midmorning, I realized that, willy nilly, I had to dump the waste tanks. That chore had been put off too long. What the hell, it would only take an hour. So I hooked up and drove out to the Corps of Engineers park west of town.

When I got through with that, I thought I might as well get the propane filled while I was out, which took me another 5 miles down Hwy. 29. It was 1PM when I finished there, and then I remembered there was a BBQ joint at Seward's Junction, a few miles further out.

When I got through with lunch, I managed to maneuver the Great White Whale out of the parking lot, and then hesitated for a long moment at the entrance. The mental umbilical to my driveway was stretched pretty thin.

Turn right, and I could be home in maybe 20 minutes. Or....I could go wrong, er, left, and wander around Burnet and the hills beyond.

Right. Left it is.

Thus by a lazy series of circumstantial and unpremeditated choices, I made my way to Marble Falls and Lake Travis. Drifting east on 1421, I ended up in this lovely spot.

The slanting light on the quiet lake wouldn't let me leave.

The secret of serendipity may be just knowing when to keep going, and when to stop. Move slow, and keep your head up. Like courtship.

Whoa there, Bud. Speed bump. Better stick to camping.

on the road again. Sort of.

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