The Eagles on the International Bridge on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.

T is for Del Rio, Texas

The voter registration office in North Carolina helped me figure out how to vote in the Presidential Primary in 2008. I explained my predicament. I would be moving to Texas, but their primary had already taken place. Hubby — before he was Hubby — and I visited during their election.
Del Rio,” the clerk said, “my niece was born there. Her father served in the Air Force.”
We weren’t moving to this town that bordered Mexico to join the military. Hubby accepted a civilian job at Laughlin Air Force Base, known for training many of America’s pilots.  Hubby lived in Texas briefly while in the Army.
A former newspaper co-worker laughed when I told her we might move to Del Rio. “I was just there,” she said. While visiting her boyfriend in Houston, they drove west to Big Bend National Park. Del Rio was the last stop — three hours away — from the park.
We visited Del Rio twice before our cars pulled into the driveway of our rental in the Chihuahuan Desert. Our dogs winced at the prickly and thorny plants in the grass. I spied scorpions in the bathroom light fixtures.
This was a different place. While the temperature soared into triple digits over the summer, it was mild in the winter. I frequently used my favorite weather quip: “To me, hell would be a cold place. So, I like it here.”
Work was sporadic for me, as I didn’t speak Spanish — all my Italian study didn’t count and had long been forgotten. Days were spent with part-time job titles like freelance writer, substitute teacher, test administrator and my personal favorite — RV park clerk. I studied how to write and began my memoir. I joined the Creative Writers of Del Rio group and helped publish two anthologies. 
Hubby and I explored our corner of Texas. And, I enjoyed finding everything from cookie cutters to garden stones in the shape of the state.

Today, when I hear people talking about my former town, I say, “My son was born in Del Rio.”

P.S. If you ever drive through Del Rio, stop by Broke Mill RV Park. They’ll treat you right.

Cheese and crackers in the shape of Texas.
Or you can find garden stones in the state’s shape.