Why does coming back to Houston fill me with unreasonable joy? I can hardly wait to feel the warm Gulf air and have my hair stick to my neck. I’ll be hot through and through, will not want to go inside. St. Louis has routinely been 20 to 35 Fahrenheit degrees colder than Houston, perfect weather, really. But I want the sauna that is Houston. No, not sauna, for those can be dry, and Houston will be humid.
We’ll find some good, cheap Mexican food to eat when we get to Houston. But most of all, we’ll see family and friends. We can’t see nearly everyone, so it will be collaborators more than anything besides family. What will it feel like to sit at the picnic tables outside what was for 32 years our laboratory, talking with Gerda and Chandra? We can’t go in, but we can stay out there. Everyone wants to own places, but it is only the public ones we can truly keep forever. So we can go to the park by our old home, but not the sold home. We will be like the birds migrating through, finding places to perch where we can.
We’ll drive to central Texas, perhaps through the charred ruins of Bastrop State Park. Will we become Texas snowbirds? If it’s this cool in St. Louis now, what is it going to be like in a month? In 4 months?
Houston, here we come!