After a few minutes, Liz leaves to return to the car, and the man walks with her. He has to walk slowly, due to a previous life injury. Liz suggests jokingly that he should shave his frosty beard. But he won't, “cause I don't want the girls to chase me!” he calls after her.
A SPECIAL STOP: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
At one point during the route, John takes the SUV off the path down an uncharted stretch of road. Thankfully, they weren’t planning to kill the newspaper reporter along for the ride, though this next part is “secret,” according to the couple. (After a bit of haggling by said reporter, they agreed to let the Herald-Press print it — we thought it was sweet.)
John stops in front of a fence, and two large heads look up. It’s immediately clear who the beneficiaries of this stop are.
Helloes are called to Misty and Stormy (the deBessonets are on a first name basis) and the two reddish horses amble up to the fence. Both couples appear happy to see one other. The horses have grown shaggy winter coats, which Liz and John stroke with friendly familiarity. One horse has a strikingly fashionable blaze taking up the majority of his face.
After a brief how are you and how’s the weather, the ritual begins. One by one, Liz pulls out a couple of pre-cut apples and carrots from a bag and hands some to John, who flattens his palm and serves up the “meal.”
The deBessonets have permission from the owner and make this stop regularly.
The weekly meeting isn’t that far from the beaten path, since the deBessonets — both animal lovers — originally joined Meals on Wheels in Houston through a branch of the program called AniMeals.