Outside of Houston

This morning I was in the men’s room of the Walmart in Cleveland, TX.  I didn’t want to be there but you do what you have to do.  (For the record, this is Traci not Scott…. )

When we left San Antonio, we expected to travel an hour or 2, find a nice state park and call it a night.  That changed when I got a call from a girlfriend who was flying into Houston.  We made it all the way to Houston only to find out the place we thought we were going to camp was full and my girlfriend’s flight was significantly delayed.  Change of plan again.  Head north.


Our actual address (imagine that) is in Livingston.  Time to finally get my new license!! If I only have for a few months… so be it.  I found some great dispersed camping (goodbye clothes!!!) in Sam Houston National Forest.   We’re in the middle of the Texas woods.  If you had asked me, I would have guessed that “woods” or “forest” didn’t exist in Texas.  That is totally, completely wrong.  It does.

The weather has changed.  *happy dance*  We went from cold to what I like to call (stop reading now, Mom): balls hot.  We’re well over 90 degrees with high humidity – that should be a sufficient explanation for the name.  The forest is also suspiciously wet.  I think it may be borderline swamp-ish in some parts.  Jack was running around the RV this morning, “Sticky sticky, help, sticky”.

Last night I made my shopping list.  I took the kids to do groceries this morning.  I’m not proud that Evie knows what Walmart is.  It’s really a source of embarrassment for me.  She points them out when we pass them now “in case we need to get anything from China”.  Good job, me.

The kids were behaving ok.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 is best), they were at a 7-ish.  It’s unclear exactly what caused Jack to lose his mind, but he did.  He started running.  He was put in Cart Jail twice.  Even a stranger asked him if he was giving his mom a hard time.  Yes! Yes he was.

We made it to the check out.  I put our things on the belt and I pulled my credit card out and put in the machine.  The lady was about halfway done when he bolted.  How such little legs can carry a person so fast, is beyond me.

I saw it coming and I tried to yell, “Go right!!!  Go right… Head into the women’s room….”  But no.  Too late.  He zipped into the men’s room and then…. nothing happened.  I pulled up short just outside the entrance and listened.  Was anyone talking to him?  Had the men noticed a rogue little boy?  *heart beat, heart beat*  Nothing.   That’s not good.

I looked around for a dude who could go in after him.  There are always dudes hanging around the front of Walmart… but problem A.  Is that who you want to ask to go and look for your little person?! Problem B.  There were none around anyway.  Apparently 10:30 am is a touch early for them.

I stood in the entryway.  “Jack!  Jack!  Get out here right now, young man!  Jaaaaaaaack!”  Evie, right beside me, “Mom, can I go in an get him?”  Me…. torn. Interesting idea.  But no…. come on now… smarten up, Traci.  You can’t send your little girl into the mysterious men’s room.  Right?!  Right… of course that’s right.  Me, “No, this is something Mommy has to do.”

“Hello?  Are there any men in the men’s room?”  Everyone in the check out lines behind me was looking.  I could literally feel it.  No answer.

“Again, just checking.  Ummmmm… I’m coming in.  Please…. cover yourself… if need be?!  Here I come.”  {I have that awesome skin known as ‘translucent white’…. Normally I look like Casper the Friendly Ghost….but now everything from my forehead to my shoulders was scarlet…  I hate translucent white.}

I don’t know what I was expecting.  At the very least, I was expecting to see a little boy. I saw a normal, empty men’s room.  Awesome.  I’m going to have to check every stall.  Yay for me.  He was in the third and last one… standing against the wall next to the toilet… eyes shining bright and silently giggling (ass).  He melted me.  I couldn’t help but laugh with him.  (double ass) I scooped him up and rushed out just as Evie was rounding the corner.

One lady in check out half heartedly clapped several times.  Oh goodness.  Everyone else just smiled.  All I could think was, “Please please just get me out of here as fast as possible.”

I’m left with one final question that I just can’t seem to answer.  Having been in all 3 stalls of the men’s room… what is the angst with flushing the toilet?  I don’t understand.  Over in the ladies room…. we try (to varying degrees of success) to leave no trace.  It’s a worthy endeavor.

Making Christy’s famous green sauce:




Nope – didn’t come out even half as good as hers.  But that’s ok.  It’s still better than store bought.





At our “campsite”: