ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

San Antonio........A City Beyond Home

Updated on November 25, 2010

The San Antonio Stroll

Such a lovely tune............

Sea World

The Alamo

The Riverwalk

The "Hill Country"

San Antonio is a vibrant and thriving city, full of both, American and Mexican histories. The city, herself, embraces these infulences and many more.

I speak not  of the city, but only of my time and learning there.

There is no desire to ridicule her or her varied citizens. But I was not at home here. No, in fact, I was too far from home....

I thought, I would never become at home here. I missed the familiar, I missed my family, I missed the mountains, I missed, yesterday. ( when I left her, is a hub to be)

My Arrival

A crisp yet warm late summer day.

As my husband maneuvered the 5th wheel through heavy traffic, I was glad to be hauling our bikes in the second and following truck. It appeared the drivers were fanatical, if they treated a truck and trailer with so little regard, how could I ever feel safe on my motorcycle here, in such a large city? Decked hiways?........Which one should I take?

Hubby took one,

 I took the other!

Oh boy,.......I did not yet know, the seperated traffic would again rejoin....

..... It was months later, that we would meet fellow riders and join in organised rides.......

I, tasted fear, in such a  large city.

The loops had many people. To a woman reared in a town of less than 600, a city of a million plus was threatening. At all moments, my guard was up. I would be lost among this crowd. There would be no one who knew my family name. No one to remember my Grandparents, any of my brothers, no one, to say, " yeah, your place was down in that curve".

I was lost.........

My husband had his work to fill his days.

I had nothing and no one.

My own imagination became my greatest foe.

The pep talks were getting harder to give, even to myself.

I Found The Library

We had to spend our time somehow.....some days Murphy ( my dog) and I walked the city blocks. We were careful at first......not to go beyond a point from which we could not find ourselves back. There would be no one to rescue us, we did not know our way around. I must remember every turn and each street. I must not lose such a large city, how could we be found?

We found the library.

It was such a place that was my friend and my refuge. Murphy would stay, tied to a tree, with his Tupperware bowl of water, waiting for me to emerge again from the building, that must have seemed to him to have engulfed me.

He was ( and is) such a loyal friend. Waiting there, alone, as I sought comfort. He asked me for nothing.

Murphy must have walked a thousand miles, tied to his leash, held by my hand, through San Antonio. He was my companion, and my protector, in these city streets filled with strangers.

A Mournful Thanksgiving

The news was not good for me. I would not be able to 'go home' for the holiday. Not a single child of mine, could come to me. The reasons were valid, not enough time for the trip, not enough funds, even if Dad and I paid, our own child was not feeling well, her obiligations would not allow it.........I would have no family,beside me, none, expect my husband and a dog, for the holiday. This had never before happened to me. There had always been my children, a brother and his family, a Dad...someone. I tried hard to be a trooper, refusing to complain, I looked very hard for the bright side..........but I could not find but one........I am still here, and I was in pain.  Pain, meant, I was still alive.

My hubby knows me well. He knows that I am at my best when feeding others. He knows it is a gift for me, sharing my bounty with others. He proposed inviting some of his crew to eat the holiday dinner with us. They, too, were away from their families.

Yes, I said.........what greater good is there than welcoming strangers? Bring them in........ I shopped, I cooked, looking forward to our guests.

The dinner hour was obvious, no guests were coming.

I held back the tears. I choked on them. I bit my tongue. This was not my husband's fault. He was here to do his job. He was earning our living. I could not, would not blame him. I knew, that he did not know how to express his disappointment for me.

Murphy needs a walk, I said. Stay and take a nap. We will be fine. We do this everyday. We know our way.

I Thought It Would Be A Long Walk

The library was almost 2 miles away, we walked that 3-4 times a week. This day, I needed time, a new perspective, I had energy to burn, I thought we might walk for hours. I really thought this.

A block away, the city streets were vacant. There was no traffic. Wal-Mart was closed. So was the pharmacy, the Sonic and McDonald's. Even the streets of a foreign city were lonely.

I made it no further than the bus stop bench, less than 2 city blocks, not even enough to cause rapid breathing. I sat down, and I cried. It was not my intent......or perhaps, it was just that. It was impossible to tell. I felt sorry for myself, and I cried. Murphy jumped up on the bench beside me. I cried. He lay his head in my lap and I cried. Readers, I am not a crybaby, I am not given to tears at the drop of a hat, or as a weapon, my heart was hearting beyond my ability to choke it down, and I cried......for a long time. I sobbed, holding nothing back. It was the cry of prayer.

I thought of Thanksgivings when my children were gathered around me. I thought of all I had learned at my Grandmother's knee. I thought of the days when my brothers brought their lady friends to my home........this day was so different. I was so very far from home. I was so alone............All the years before, somehow my husband had made it home for the holidays. I felt guilty.....for the times before that I had not thought of what  it had cost him for the coming.

The tears fell and fell as Murphy curled upon that bus stop bench beside me. I could not go home yet, I would not lay this at my husband's feet. He felt bad enough for me, that could be seen in his face.

I cried myself weary. I questioned my own ability to 'hold it together'.........then the "voice", could it have been God, Himself speaking?...........

'this is where you are, do something useful, while you are here"

How simple!

How renewed!

How refreshed!

How Rescued I felt!

Monday Follows

Do something............

What could I do in such a city?

I could cook and would prove in time to be my calling.

On Tuesday afternoon, I had a job, a purpose, a reason...........I was 'alive' again.

All it cost me, was the sound of my own heart breaking.

A Church Home

Even though, I was a Christian....I had not pledged alegiance to a church here. There were many, some of them of national reknown, to choose from. The choosing could be a daunting task.

It was my morning off.......I put Murphy in the car, and set about the chores, they might have been car tags, paying taxes,.....the particular business is not remembered.

Suddenly, I pulled into a McDonalds...........still, I do not know why. It was not for the food, it was not among my usual practice......I found myself here this morning. It was just before 11AM... that little window between breakfast and lunch. It was not that I was hungry, indeed, I did not know why I had stopped.......I was pulled, even commanded to do so.

In the line before me, a young mother and her two sons. Matthew and Luke, she called them. Today, I can not tell you who was whom.

The man behind me and the young family seemed impatient. She pulled her sons aside, allowing him to go forward. He did.

She offered me the same courtesy. Seeing, that the younger boy had bent and distorted legs, seeing that he was not what one expected of an 8 year old boy, I said only, " Mam, its just a hamburger, give your son all the time he needs".

He took a great deal of time. It did not seem to be too much to bear......He, was like any 6 or 8 year old, focusing in on the cookies. With great patience, this young mother, explained to him, cookies were a desert, to be eaten after the meal, asking him, again, what did he want to eat?

Finally the selections were made and all of us were seated.

I watched her, not in ridicule, but in admiration.

This young mother was an example to us all. She never lost patience. She answered her sons with patience and truth. She eloquently blended the two. I was glad, that I had not had been called upon to walk her life.............yet, she was a beacon to those who might also be called. She caused me to recall, the times, when I may have been impatient with healthy and vibrant children. I felt myself, being less than her. She was so much younger than I had been, as the mother of an 8 year old child..........

My children were grown. My "job" as a parent was done..........still, I sat, admiring her.

I presented the mother with cookies, to be given at her discretion. She expressed surprise and the gratitude.......over mass produced cookies. She was an example to me, from each angle that I viewed her.

I sat a long time, observing, hearing, reflecting......I simply sat there in their presence.

Murphy was in the car! It was warm, though not hot........still, a dog awaited my return. I went to the counter and ordered an ice cream cone for his reward.

As he knelt before the car door, lapping at his cone, the young family came out........the little handicapped boy asked for permission to feed and to pet my dog..........I took my cue from the boy's mother. We made small talk.........a boy, and his pets, family protectors.........a playful boy, a boy unable to run.....

This day lingered in my mind. A little boy, with bent and mishapen legs........he would never be allowed to play catch or run beside a dog. This boy, broke my mothers heart. Why was it this way for him.............why was it not so in my own family?

I told my hubby. I told each of my daughters. I told a few co-workers. It would not find rest. The images stayed with me. I considered presenting these boys with the gift of my dog if only I could find them again. He was frisky enough to play, gentle enough to was my own selfishness that kept me from searching for them.......I knew it, and though he is too protective of me  to say it, I think my husband did too.

The Church Sign Said...........

The neon sign announced that the pastor would be speaking on a particular topic. It was one I had curiosity about, I had not heard this topic spoken on before. I made a note to go to this service.

After the service, the pastor calls for any who desire to come to Christ to come forward..............

such a ruckus.......what an unfamiliar noise.............I dared to take a peek......

it was the little boy, on his crutches, coming before us, to declare that he believed in Jesus as his Saviour..........I was aware of the many times I had been selfish and demanding, hurrying others......

I was overcome, and I was confused.............I had little training............I was not a member of this church...what was the protocol......should I stand or remain seated............oh, readers, I was so selfish..................this was NOT about me at all.  Yet, on my mind was what should I do?

Finally, the deciding thought:    You are a Christian, here is a young one coming to accept,  go and greet...........

ok, what do I say, to him, to his mother who will be with him, this is not about dogs and ice cream cones, or bible school lessons, I can not pretend to know what this child has been privy too,.... but we have met I acknowledge that,( she does not owe me for cookies) or I do I pretend not to recognize?  tell me, help me......Oh, God, I do not know what to do..........I trust you, Please God, tell me............

As I made my way, with such thoughts,  the little boy, recognizing me says,.......I promise you......he says.....

"I know you, your dog likes ice cream!"

And a little child shall lead them...............I had to go to San Antonio for this lesson.

As I stood there, in the midst of God and a childish heart.....

Greater Stories

There is much more to life than how lonely I felt in a large city.

There is more to the story than a boy admiring a dog.

There is far more, than the fact, that I wrestled with the idea of presenting Murphy as a gift to this boy..............and more than my selfishness for choosing not to do so.

I am neither a teacher or a philosopher..........I am simply beside you, telling you the lessons that I have learned, as they have applied to me.......


Be kind to the stranger you meet today.
Tomorrow, they be your only friend.


San far from home, with no memories to ground me........would in time prove to be one of my most cherished memories and favored cities...............I would see many more.

I will speak of those in another hubs......


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hello James A Watkins......

      It has been a while, good to see you again.

      Through the years, hubby and kids had dogs, the

      family had dogs, but Murphy is " my dog"!

      Those little boys have stayed with me through the

      many moves......I am go glad they have a kind Mother~~

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      What a lovely story. Thank goodness for the Voice of God in that dark moment. Thank goodness for Murphy, what a comfort he brought to you. And that mother and little boy who left their indelible mark on you. I sure enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      It was!

      Now, I am a well seasoned

      traveler. I no longer see

      moving on as closing doors,

      but as a new adventure.

      Well, I have found it hard to

      say 'goodbye' to some key people.

      Sometimes, those smaller cities

      are so clandestine, that after 20

      years, you are still a newcomer!

    • giselle2323 profile image


      7 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Two years ago, we left the safety of my home...A big city, to move to a smaller one. When we moved it was winter and I was miserable. Time passed and I found out that there was a plan for me. I needed to move, in order to grow and become the woman I am now. I am thrilled that your journey to San Antonio was powerful and uplifting.

    • Judicastro profile image


      7 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Travel safe my friend, stay in touch.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      You were an unfamiliar place,

      searching for a friendly need of a companion.

      that is my point!

      God Bless YOU!

      We are due in Oklahoma City on Monday morning.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      That is a great praise that you offer!

      I thank you, and invite to read other hubs,

      I have voiced. In turn, there will the reading

      of yours......

      May your own holidays be joyful!

    • Judicastro profile image


      7 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      As I read this hub I felt as if I were in that city with you. We too have lived so far from home, our children, our family. We have spent holidays alone and with strangers. This Thanksgiving bought home one son and we ended up eating with dear friends and their family. I have gone through the breaking and felt very much like Mary's alabaster jar. In many ways we are going through an even deeper breaking in this season. Thanks for a beautiful hub dear friend.

    • Avamum profile image

      Sarita Harbour 

      7 years ago from Yellowknife, Canada

      You have a very comforting way with words, onegoodwoman. I enjoy reading you!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      you are correct, but I have not been broken yet, I have only been lonely.........please, continue to read on.

      The greatest of my gifts is yet to come.

    • FloBe profile image

      Flo Belanger 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      So aptly put! My heart was moved again as always when I read your words. God meets us in those deeply alone places when we have reached our "end." It is there that he can use us in our brokenness to reach out to others and to be ministered to in the giving. Thank you for sharing your experience.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)