Monday, May 29, 2017

Visiting Our Texas Family

I don't know if it has to do with security.  Strike that!  Of course it has to do with security.  It's like when people set a trap for a criminal and announce that they are leaving for the day, week or some undecided amount of time so someone can go violate your property.  So we don't tell people much about our vacations until after the fact.  Maybe I've just heard too many stories about houses being ransacked or parties being held after posting something on Facebook or someone saying there is a party at your address.  Thankfully, we had a house-sitter/dog-sitter while we were gone.  So now I can tell you a little about our getaway to the lonestar state.

I love seeing family.  I also like visiting a state that I haven't been to before.  So, to get both of those in on a trip, I'm already excited.  Sure, it was a little rainy flying into Austin but the weather was beautiful for the rest of the week.  First stop with Aunt Karen and Uncle Sonny was something called Whataburger.  I'd heard of it before and it had been on my mind.  You see, Las Vegas has been slowly getting these big burger chains coming to town after years of neglect.  White Castle, Smash Burger, Steak And Shake, Shake Shack, Bobby's Burger Palace... even Chick-fil-a are joining our desert cityscape.  So, it was very good.  I may have ate more than I should but I knew I wasn't going to get the chance to do it again for a very long time.

Next stop was a small town called Belton.  I would just call it a beautiful country estate.  Lots of trees, flowers, squirrels, cardinals, hawks, doves all enjoying nature.  The cardinals wouldn't stay still to get photographed.  Karen said it best, "The only difference between weeds and flowers is if you like them or not."  It's very true.  Lots of purple flowering "weeds" strewn amongst Indian paint brush/fire wheel flowers.  We brought some seeds back to try and plant the latter here at home.  Fingers crossed.

Added a few books to our collection, drank a little wine while couple painting and learned a game called Mexican Train.  Sure, the name sounds a bit racist but at some point everyone uses the train and gives it something.  I know there is a painfully drawn out analogy in there somewhere but I'm not going there.  What I do know is that I have to add it to my list of games that I'll sit back and watch or play once in a blue moon.  I came to the conclusion that adding up numbers isn't something I do for fun which leaves me out of a few card games as well.  Understanding what relaxes you and what doesn't is a good way to enjoy your vacation.

I couldn't leave out the graciousness of a man named George.  When he heard that we were coming into town, he told our family, "Bring them over to the party barn and we'll show them some Texas hospitality!"  That man held true to his word.  We were ushered into an amazing structure housing a huge bar, restaurant kitchen equipment and a lot of seating.  If there was a dart board set up, I would not have left of my own free will.  Great food, great friends and good times.  Somewhere in back was a huge garden as well as a chicken coop (with a huge rooster protecting his girls.)  It seems a lot of people have chickens out there.  (Here's a picture of Sonny and Karen's collection that gave us fresh eggs every morning.)  The man has a great eye for classic cars as well.

Never let time get the best of you.  I know, we all push things off.  You have a life ahead of you but, like me, I bet you've said, "I'll go visit (insert name) sometime."  Like good friends, family accepts that you have a life to live in your own wacky way and there is a feeling of reconnection that re-establishes itself seemlessly no matter how you spend the time you are together.  So, go find that time.  Life doesn't seem so short to the living but take advantage of it while you can and get together sooner than later.  We are better for it.  Karen, Sonny, Kendall, Adam, Luka and Sheila (all pictured except Adam) you gave us a great present with your time and I can't express how happy we were to spend our vacation with you.  We miss you already.

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