Saturday, August 9, 2014


Here we are in beautiful Arkansas.

Sculpture at Crystal Bridges Art Museum.

We made it. My mother and apparently her little dogs were anxious for our arrival. It didn't actually take too log. We stopped in Adair to see Grandpa. He filled what empty spaces I had in the vehicle with Gramma's collection of baskets. I am now the proud owner of a LOT of baskets. When he asked me if I wanted them I really had no concept of the number. 

After packing the Suburban to the gills we traveled on to Arkansas. We were enthusiastically greeted by four little dogs and one Grandmother. We had a short respite and then went to the waterfall. I think it had a name. It didn't seem to much matter. The kids liked climbing on the rocks and wading in the stream. Joe didn't even mind when he slipped on a rock and cut his knee.

Today we spent at Crystal Bridges. It is an art museum and there are also hiking trails. It is a beautiful place. The purpose today was senior pictures. I think we'll have to go back another time and explore some. We didn't even make it into the inside portion of the museum. The kids quickly hot and tired and hungry. They just didn't last long at all. Daniel may actually have been the worst. He was not excited about pictures. He tolerated the production. He loves us. Hopefully, he will be as willing for the studio portion.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bacon Bar and Grill

This is our third full day visiting family in Oklahoma. The kids are having a grand time. First, Grandad has a swimming pool. The kids have wanted to swim every day as soon as they wake up. Almost the entire first day was spent outside, which explains are varying states of crispiness. I really thought I had done a better job applying sunscreen. The second day a little less time was spent in the pool, and most of that was during time that didn't have a lot of sun.

The next big excitement is cousins. The cousins are younger but that doesn't seem to matter much. Even Daniel and Hannah will play with the little ones. So, of course, the Oklahoma cousins think their Texas cousins are the coolest. I think Jacob is the only one not completely enamored with the little cousins. They are girls and when one is six it is common knowledge that girls have cooties.

I love family. I have loved sitting and listening to my sisters. I have loved sharing a sunrise with my dad. Today a plethora of cousins will be descending. I miss this a bit. All my Oklahoma kin are so close. They have proximity and see each other. We are not without extended family in Texas but we don't visit often. We are just spread out a little too far.

There is something special about growing up with your cousins and being able to spend time with your grandparents or aunts and uncles without your parents around. I loved being at my grandmother's house. Once my sister and my brother and I decided that we should go see her. She lived on the opposite side of town. We got on my bike. All of us. With Jada behind me and Miles in the basket that was attached to the handlebars I pedaled that bike across town to Gramma's. It seems terribly daring to me now. I have no idea how that bike (or the kids for that matter) made it without incident. At the time it seemed a perfectly logical way to travel.

We have one more day here. Tomorrow we'll go to Arkansas to see my mother. I am so grateful for this chance to be here. I love my family. I wish we could come more frequently. Maybe the next visit will be the Oklahoma kin taking a tour of Texas.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Once when we were coming back to Texas after visiting family in Oklahoma, my husband remarked that the return trip always seemed shorter. Actually it was more than just a remark. He said something smart-aleky about the car liked Texas better. After 20-ish years of living in the Dallas area, I have figured out why it takes so long to get to Oklahoma. It has nothing to do with vehicular preference. Apart from the fact that we never leave at the planned time, the largest factor in our inability to escape the city is the 562 things we try to do on our way out of town.

This most recent trip is an example. I thought we would leave about 1:00. We had a few things to do. On paper they sounded simple enough. So, here is the list.

1. Go to high school get Daniel.
2. Drop off dry cleaning. 
3. Take Hannah's friend home.
4. Get Miles.
5. Pick up prescription for Miles. 
6. Drive north.

Seems a simple enough plan. Except that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING takes much, much longer than anticipated. Just getting out of the door takes longer. All the very simple, seemingly small things we intend to do take about 30 minutes. Each. Which means it takes us about 6 hours to get to the Red River. It's surreal. I look at the list now and still can't believe it took us so long. But it is like that every time we try to go anywhere. There is always just a few small things that slow us down. 

Maybe I need a new super power. The awesome and amazing ability to get out of Texas in a reasonable amount of time.