Golf, New Braunfels, Texas.

What does it say about you when you keep a travel blog but have been so busy traveling that you haven’t been able to find time to sit down and write?  That you are one lucky person. Or at least that’s how I see it.

Indeed, the month of March had me traveling every single weekend, some for fun, some for not so fun, but as a true traveler I try to find beauty and joy in every place that I am fortunate enough to get to visit (my mom would be proud, I think).  Some places are harder than others to find that beauty.  The Hill Country of Texas, however, is not one of those places. For me, it simply is happiness.

It’s happiness because it’s home, you see. I grew up in Texas, though not exactly in the Hill Country, but Texas is Texas, and this part of the state has so many wonderful memories for me that it always feels a little like taking a deep breath when I land in San Antonio every March.  I went to college in Waco, at Baylor University, not too far away from this area.  I dated my husband in San Antonio (we were both stationed elsewhere in Texas and this was a good meeting point) and even lived in San Antonio for a while when the Air Force said we had to.  I have fabulous memories of meeting my mom in Austin (she was a professor in the University of Texas system) when she had conferences there.  And, every March I come back here, along with my family, because this is when our annual family golf tournament takes place.

What, doesn’t everybody have a family golf tournament?

Well, we do.  This was our tenth one, and it is truly a fun time there in New Braunfels, Texas. And I don’t even play golf!  But still, I love our annual pilgrimage so much that I wouldn’t miss it.

The tournament’s roots, however, began with a tragedy.  It was an attempt to turn something unthinkable and horrible into a time of honoring loved ones who’ve gone on before us, into a weekend of enjoying the company of those we love and, well, just having fun.  It began, you see, with the death of one of my cousins, a young man, a college student, who died in a bizarre accident while spending time with his friends over spring break about 12 years ago.  Losing a child was, of course, an almost insurmountable blow for my uncle and aunt to recover from, but into their grief my mother stepped and suggested that we find a way, at the very least, to honor his memory.  The way that spoke to her was to start a scholarship in his name, and the way that spoke to my uncle to raise money for that scholarship was to play golf (we all have our priorities).  And thus was born the Drew M. Bingham Foundation, which has given away a surprising amount of money to college students in need.

And now, both my mother and my uncle have passed on as well.  Ironic, isn’t it?  But also amazing that such a legacy continues beyond their lives.  My cousins, brothers of the one who passed away, have truly taken what she started and run with it!

I wish Mom could have heard the numbers that were announced for this year’s scholarship awards.  I wish she could have heard the total amount of money that we have raised over the past decade- she would have been so amazed that this idea of hers, intended to honor a young man’s life and to help my uncle and aunt survive their grief, has grown into what it is today.

Talk about a legacy.

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