I thought it would be a miracle if I wrote ten columns. When I expressed my fear of failure to a friend, she wisely said, “Just write one column at a time.”
My first attempt was “My Love Affair with the Rio Grande.” Since then, I’ve been all over the place. I wrote of working in Lajitas in the eighties, my great love of Big Bend National Park, what brought me to West Texas, and why I stayed. My readers now know some things I’ve never told before. I even wrote about drinking Pearl Tea with my grandma and I commented on conversations I’d overheard, both good and bad. One time I wrote a piece about having nothing, not one idea, for a column. I’ve written about misspeaking Spanish, travelling in Mexico, and even being lost in Chihuahua. I’ve shared what I’ve seen: the good, the outstanding, and the not so great.
I’ve been astounded by the response from readers. Not one person has ever said anything negative to me. People may think it, but they never verbalize it. Thank you for that.
I’ve been asked time and again if I’m “that” Beth Garcia. I wish I’d kept a tally of every time someone said, “I always read your column.” Your comments have made me laugh and made me cry. A few weeks ago a woman approached me and asked if she could touch me. I think she meant she wanted to give me a hug, but for a few seconds I felt like a rock star. And yes, of course I hugged her. Who doesn’t love to be hugged?
When I think of bowing out, I remember that I haven’t mentioned my great big Mexican wedding that didn’t happen or the hundreds of river trips I’ve taken. I haven’t told you about the hilarious words of wisdom imparted by my mother-in-law before she died or the time I went to Chihuahua with a gay man and barely escaped going to jail. I never mentioned my trip to Mazatlan or the harrowing bus trip that got me there. Oh, and I really meant to tell you about Garcia’s Misguided Tours to Guadalajara. Maybe another time.
The other day I accused a friend of making something up. Yeah, she wasn’t about to take that kind of disrespect from me. Her expression was priceless. I do love to make things up. But you know that.
For several months now, I’ve been feeling the need to focus my attention on the various novels I’m writing. What I’m trying to get to here is good-bye for now. I’m not good at good-bye so I will say instead, thank you. Thank you for sharing your time with me every week. Happy Trails, my friends.