Photo by Elisabeth Misner at Texas Safari Ranch

I am sitting here in my little red pickup truck looking across a small field at three longhorns with a calf and wondering if I’m looking at them, or are they looking at me? There can be no question that our eyes are locked in a long, intense gaze. Their horns are so impressive, and they are so massive. I am in awe. This is the quintessential Texas pastoral scene, and I’m in the middle of it. 

Gratitude fills my soul. 

I know I am home. 

It’s a difficult thing to explain, the urge this 4th generation Texan had to be connected again with the land, to see the bluebonnets burst out of the ground in the Spring, to hear the welcoming drawl of “Howdy, y’all” when entering a small shop on one of the many beautiful squares in seemingly forgotten towns all across this state. 

This urge started for me when I was 23 years old after having moved out of Texas to go off to California for my university education. I started to make my way back to my birth state when I was 22, looking for a job in Dallas, Texas. I finally got that offer I wanted so much in November of 1988, but I also got a job offer in Pasadena, CA, back where I had attended Ambassador University. 

I had a choice to make. 

Wisdom told me not to make that decision without getting some input from others who might see things about these two jobs that I was not seeing in my blind desire to go home. So I sought the advice of a business consultant and friend, the founder of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. 

“Where are the jobs, Elisabeth?” Ivan asked me. 

“One is in Pasadena, and the other is in Dallas,” I replied. 

“Take the job in Pasadena,” he sagely advised. 

Perplexed, I countered, “But you don’t know anything about the jobs yet. How can you say that?”

His response came quickly, “If you don’t get it by now, I’m interested in you. It will be much easier for me to date you if you are here in California as opposed to Texas.” 

Hmmmmmm. Well, that was an interesting turn of events. I had not included that factor into the equation. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued, and I took the job in Pasadena, CA. 

It would not be long before my next question had to be voiced: “If things continue to progress between us, would you ever consider living in Texas?” 

His response was positive, “Yes, I believe I would.” 

I agreed to revisit the query after his young daughter became 18. Along the way, we agreed to consider Texas as a place for us to spend our later years. Life often moves in ways we do not foresee, and we ended up needing to move to Texas sooner than we thought we would in order to support my father, who was recovering from a medical injury in 2013. 

I am so happy to be home. To be where there are wide-open spaces of ranches, farms, wild flowers, mostly just space. Space to reconnect with who I am at my heart of hearts, a Texan. My heart is just as content as these longhorn cattle lying in the field, ruminating. Great peace fills me, and I rest in the spirit of this great land. 

I am home.