She holds forth under big skies now,
In a flatliner belt of the steer and the cow;
Nodding pumps toil for oil, twisters whirl
On plains around the home of our Texas pearl,
Where cowboy accoutrements make up part
Of a multi-cultural melange of art:
Miniature lighthouses; film posters and books
Reward the spirit wherever one looks.
We revel in stories concerning her dark-eyed,
Two best friends whose eyes grow wide
As they spin tales of interstellar travel, antsy;
Excited by exploits in their universe of fancy.
When they wind down, Kate's erudite mate
Modestly shows trout flies he fabricates
And dips eloquently into an impressive store
Of Texas politics, history and fishing lore.
A former Virginian, who world-debuted in Radford,
Kate has scarce time for the summertime lark
Of a visit there but the budget does afford
A breezy visit to her Fairfax patriarch.
Or pursuing family lines in tiny pancake
Delaware and rugged New Hampshire to revive
The ubiquitous lovefest, far from cowhand stakes
Where her kids and lover and close friends thrive.
In essence it's more of an encore
Of sublime mergers in earlier times
Into a family circus and adventures galore
Before her departure for New England climes.
How we missed that child, generations
Of relatives burdened with angst of anticipation,
Marking days with memories, and then
The mutual joy when she could drop in again.
Sadly long north-south spans still strike a blow
At our clan and limit merry meetings;
Reunions and tech-mail enable a flow
Of family news and other greetings.
There's no denying a preference for presence,
For hugs and admiring a pretty face and eyes
That reflect extraordinary gifts inside
To wisely size up you and the world besides.
"KT" would hop a train for Wilmington station
When classes closed and her dad-- impatient,
Would abscond with his cutest of loot--
And for us the endearing voices grew mute--
To traverse the Outer Banks and a ferry trip
For Carolina landfalls and a northern fork to call
On folks in Western New York; an extra fillip
Was past the border, to Ottawa and Montreal.
As a teen, the bonds would turn tenuous,
Then happily tighten, to draw some of us
To a graduation then a brief aberration
During freshman studies at College Station.
With grit, she prevailed over difficult sledding,
Reversing the trend to make us proud, heading
On to unfold a diploma scroll; then choosing her fate:
A permanent niche in the Lone Star State.
Though she had long vowed never to marry
It made a difference and her opinion varied
When romance loomed, having caught the eye
Of her Romeo, who took one look and moseyed nigh.
David's keen for the west, it's embedded in his genes:
A culture of chaps, Stetsons and Tex-Mex cuisine.
Kate's tastes are eclectic in men, music and art;
She tumbled hard; he and Texas won her heart.
We were spellbound when the knot was tied
And the groom grasped closely his diminutive bride
And smilingly, gently picked her up
And over the threshold of his pickup truck.
So again the vacuum came to pass
Of missing our vivacious little lass
But tempering the loss was the afterthought
Of the happy marriage Our Maker had wrought.
They rounded up two compadres, captivating pals:
Madison and Garrett, to meander in the Hale corral,
And share rubbing the fur of two cats; it's a fact
Canines won't do for they don't attract.
For Kate and her bunkmates there's no stopping,
Ever on the road for work, school and shopping;
Over interstates and rural routes, Texas-style,
Where distance is measured more in minutes than miles.
Kate peppers her days with the spice of marriage,
Whipping around in her Kia van-carriage;
Her photos are framed aptly in scrapbook art
Which features her charges as the major part.
She's multi-dimensional and also famed
For political chats and hard-fought card games;
Her tongue moves swiftly you will find,
Smoothly keeping pace with a nimble mind.
She teams with her mate as consummate guides
To chauffeur and shepherd visitors in swift rides,
To view tableaus and Stockyard jamborees:
Comanches pow-wowing, spinning freely
To drumbeats, feathers brilliant as they wheel
In their herky-jerky, moccasined toe-and-heel;
On to bullriding and the burst of ear-splitting
Guitars at our first honky-tonk show, somehow fitting.
When the grand gala ends, we reluctantly part
And vault plains and mountains to home and hearth,
To relate the news of a hospitable patch
Where family roots flourish unsurpassed.
Kate reveals a giving, generous heart, spelled
Out in her hand-made card that tells it well:
"It was our pleasure to have you
a wonderful time
"The first of many, we love you guys."