Sunday 19th August, Austin

And now the end is near and we must face the final curtain …

Perhaps that is a little over-dramatic, but in a couple of days time we will be on our way home. It has been good to see Dick and Laura Law and spend some time with them in their home in the Hill Country above Austin. Laura has always said that they bought a view and it happened to have a home attached and the view is certainly stunning – although the home is too.

On Friday we visited the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. Library is something of a misnomer as it is really a very excellent museum based around the life and times of the President who took office on the death of JFK in 1963 and who was then re-elected the following year. His work on civil rights and health care for the poor and elderly was hugely significant, although his legacy is sometimes seen as his failure to end the war in Viet Nam.

On Friday evening I had an unplanned conversation with Gary, a visitor to a neighbour of Dick and Laura. Gary is an attorney who has also been an elected official and a volunteer worker for the Republican Party. In the last Presidential election, Gary worked for Ohio Governor John Kasich, who was one of the 16 candidates who failed to gain the Republican nomination for President. Gary therefore knows a bit about politics and so I asked him what he thinks about President Trump. I’ll tell you what he said when I get home.

This morning we went to Church on the Hillin Jonestown. The church had formally been known as First Baptist Church, Jonestown and changed its name last year. The congregation was small – perhaps a couple of dozen people – but very friendly to our little group of visitors. The sermon was very different from those at the services we had previously attended in the US and focussed on analysing the chronology of prophecies in the Book of Daniel. It was an interesting experience in that while I knew of its existence I had never heard Bible exposition like this. Again, more of this later

This afternoon, another conversation with another neighbour, Dave, a sixth generation Texan who owns 30 guns and uses them to hunt. In his working life, Dave works with extremely high-tech medical equipment.

Wildlife update: Well, Texas hasn’t been able to compete with the racoons and alligators in Louisiana, but the bird life is impressive. Here’s a list of birds seen:



Lesser goldfinches




I was promised an armadillo, but I’m beginning to think that there is as much chance of seeing a unicorn, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I must also give an honourable mention to Nina, Dick and Laura’s rather elderly, but extremely good-natured standard poodle.