Wednesday, February 17, 2010


On Saturday mornings, I drive about twenty miles to an egg farm to buy the emptied and cleaned eggshells I use to make cascarones (confetti eggs). There are a few small mobile homes and trailers on the property; I suppose some of the workers live in them.

This past week, there was a truck and trailer with a carnival ride loaded on it. It is rodeo time in San Antonio, and the rodeo is a huge two-week event that includes an impressive carnival. Shortly after the rodeo closes, there is Fiesta, another two-week event where the carnival is a big draw. So the "carnies" usually set up their temporary homes for a stretch in the south Texas sun.

Seeing the carnival truck reminded me of the home my late husband and I lived in when we were first married. It was a 35-foot travel trailer and quite cozy. We lived in a small and well-kept trailer park. Some of our neighbors were just passing though--snowbirds (people from the north who come to Texas just for the winter); some were young people like us who could only afford to live in a travel trailer; some were the carnies. The carnies had interesting names--none were Bob, or John, or Bill. One in particular, was called Crispy. I always wondered how the he got his moniker.

My daughter was born when we lived there. She had a tiny cradle that fit snugly in a nook between the "living room" and kitchen. Our first Christmas tree was only about two feet tall. I decorated it with white lights and tucked sprigs of baby's breath in the boughs. The tree lights cast a beautiful glow throughout the house that reminded me of what I imagined snowy nights might be like. I remember too, that while we lived in that tiny trailer, San Antonio had a record-breaking snowfall, 13 inches in 1985. It was amazing. And we stayed warm in our little travel-trailer corner of the world.

And it was a marvelous thing to be able to take your house, possessions and all, to a car wash for spring cleaning!

Living in or having a business in travel trailers seems to be quite the trend here in Austin. There are "mini-malls" of sorts, made up of groups of travel trailers outfitted to sell food--some quite elaborate, and some selling pretty high-end food. The mini-malls are really pretty festive and carnival-like.

That trailer is gone, but it is nice remembering it. It was a much simpler time. It is also nice to remember the good times my husband and I had there. I miss them both.

Here three pics I snapped of the carnie truck. I like the colors. I like seeing the ride deconstructed and pondering what the ride is (which i could not ever figure out!). I think it is funny that a carnival would impose a "no open-toed shoe" rule at a carnival where probably half of the patrons are probably wearing flip-flops!

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