It Was A Picture Perfect Experience


“Unbelievable” is the best word I can use to describe it.  “Entertainment” is another. It all factored out to be an extremely pleasant and positive experience for us.  I had the thought as the General and I drove to the extreme northwest reaches of the greater Austin area late yesterday afternoon that we were in uncharted territory.  “Concrete jungle” was another concept that factored into my mindset. 

Apple Computer, Inc.






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I guess for a Sunday afternoon, the traffic wasn’t bad.  I honestly didn’t know what to anticipate or expect.  We don’t get out much on the weekends.  Once we are home (I mean “I am” home) for the weekend, I try to keep it that way.  The call of city life isn’t a concept that draws me back.  In terms of difficulty or quagmire of traffic, there wasn’t any yesterday afternoon.  Traffic was moving at posted speeds.  Do you have any idea how unusual that is in the Austin area?  Posted speed limits are ingeniously posted at frequent intervals simply to give drivers false hope. 


If you drive in Austin traffic, you know what I’m talking about. “School zone” speeds is what I’m talking about. The signage may reflect a posted speed limit of “65”, but you immediately get the sense that somehow you must have missed the “School Zone – 20 mph” posting because nothing is moving.


Before we got to our destination, the General asked: “Where are we?”  At least I knew the answer, but I couldn’t prove it. I agreed with the General. Everything looked different. Then again, how long as it been since I’ve been to Cedar Park? Many years ago, I worked with a foster family that lived in Cedar Park.  Truthfully finding their home was an easy process.  It was a relatively short drive from Round Rock and I guess you could say, “I took the back roads”. 


“Back roads” is a concept that I long to have resurrected.  There even used to be “back roads” to Henly. Reflecting back fondly, that was the day.  When we lived in the “Castlewood” neighborhood of Austin, I’d sometimes take the back road to Dripping Springs on my way to Henly.  Even in the late 1970s, the absence of what I considered to be traffic was a source of refreshment.  However, sooner or later, I’d make my way to the one flashing traffic light at the intersection of RR12 and HWY 290 in Dripping Springs.


What a different environment from the one that now announces, “Gateway To The Hill Country”. Getting back to Cedar Park, I bet it was once named Cedar Park because it was mostly open spaces covered with cedar trees in a park-like setting. It is just a guess on my part, but can you prove me wrong?  Whatever the origin, it is something very different today. It is figuratively a concrete jungle. 


A close personal friend from a work related connection had invited us to attend the OVO CIRQUE DU SOLEIL at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.  His company maintains their own viewing suite.  Consequently, he invited the General and I to attend the performance.  I’ve known the guy for several years and we meet for lunch at least once a month, but I’d never had the pleasure of meeting his family.  Now that I’ve met them, picture perfect is the best way I know to describe them. 


With the exception of his four year old, I think his other children all had their own cell phones.  His four children span the range of childhood.  They are a close-knit family.  As it turned out, my friend was not only inviting me to meet his immediate family, the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL event turned out to be an extended family event for his family. Immediately after I met one of his aunts and his father, he said to me: “I forgot to tell you, this is a family event.  I’m related to all these people.” Gregarious and friendly are the only terms to describe them.  No wonder my friend is so personable and thoughtful, he didn’t have a choice. It is all in the DNA.


Actually, there is something about the presence of adults and kids together at any venue that always fills me with a sense of hopefulness.  When our kids were small or even teenagers, we seldom went anywhere without them.  Even at church, anything that takes place as a fellowship or extracurricular activity is always open to a cross-generational perspective.  I like mixing age groups. It provides children and young people with a sense of identity and connection.  It is also good for those of us who are approaching our golden years. I guess you could say, “It keeps us young.”


I also had the thought while we took inventory of the H-E-B Event Center that sometimes the General gives me too much credit.  She noticed the Texas flag, American flag and Canadian flag hanging at one end of the auditorium.  Turning to me she asked: “So is the Canadian flag posted to honor the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL performers?”  I am amazed that she thinks I’m so smart.  For all I knew, this group could be from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Consequently, I answered that I didn’t know. 


If I’d done my homework I could have told her that she was absolutely correct. However, even that would be wrong. Ovo is a touring circus production by Cirque du Soleil that premiered in Montréal. However, the cast members are from 16 different countries. The show is built around the world of insects, but boy can they fly.


The cluster of trapeze artists was my favorite.  Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable is the only way you can describe their performance.  Actually, that was true of the entire show.  It was amazing.


It was an absolutely feel good experience. In addition, the two-hour performance was over by 7:00 p.m.  It was still light outside.  It wasn’t one of those experiences where you get home past your bedtime.  Top shelf is the only way you can describe it.  I guess you could say that it, too, was a picture perfect experience. 


All My Best!



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