Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where have we been?

Thursday afternoon, we drove from downtown Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi. And on Friday, we drove from Jackson across the pine forests of Mississippi, Alabama and into Georgia. On Friday night, we visited with good friends and ate fantastic steak and Bob rudely beat everyone at Scrabble. (Note to self: pack our own Scrabble board and Scrabble Dictionary, and Scrabble two-word helps book for the next vacation) Our gracious hosts had an old board, and our fancier version has a turntable and slots that hold the tiles when you jiggle the board.

We drove into Newnan, Georgia on Saturday morning and lo and behold, right behind our hotel was a Toyota dealership and we were just thirty miles on the odometer from needing that fifteen-thousand oil change. I am still amazed at that timing and positioning.

And we noticed a Chick-fill-you-up place across the street. It looked brand new, but it had NO playground. Instead, it had this small house on the front with the non-politically correct name: DWARF HOUSE. Being too curious and nosy, I asked the worker in the middle of this huge eating establishment if that little house was for kids' parties or what? He laughed, and said, no, its in honor of the original founder's first eating establishments that were named, "Dwarf House" and we found out that THIS Chick-fil-eh was a full service SIT DOWN type place with menus and much, much more than just chicken. My husband, Bob had to hear it from this gentleman himself, as he would not believe what I had heard with my own two ears. I wish I'd had the camera at the ready when the patient worker explained, that, yes, they served steak, ham, and much, much more than just chicken. Bob's "REALLY???" and incredulous expression was priceless. We had time before the nephew's wedding to fortify ourselves, and almost wept with glee to eat on real china and use real metal forks and spoons and to be waited on by a real live person who brought the food to our table. Hog heaven.

The wedding, in this beautiful old town of Newnan, Georgia was so fun. Fun for us, as we had no role except to sit on the groom's side as aunt and uncle. This nephew actually attended our wedding thirty years ago, and we reminded him how well behaved he was at our wedding seeing as how he was not actually BORN until two months later.

Our six-foot-six nephew has a beautiful singing voice, and sang to his bride. Too cool. And he tilts his head in a most endearing way. After seeing the bride in person for the first time from the second row of honor, and through tears, and in this very starring role, we enjoyed hearing Bob's oldest brother who is a pastor and prof at a Bible college, give the sermon and administer the vows even as he did at OUR wedding thirty years ago. Bob's brother has ramped up the vows and included a "curse" from Laben and Jacob's exchange in Genesis. Whoa. Bob's niece was sitting beside us, and she leaned over and said that each of the married siblings had received this "curse" of 'God do to me, and more' if I break these vows.

The wedding was beautiful, and the decorations were beautiful, and the bride and groom were positioned in front of us, with the pastor to the side so we could see. They voiced their "I DOs" loudly and with confidence. And then proceeded down the aisle after the first kiss. Then there was this cool power point slide show of them as young adults entering mission training, and how they met, and their plans to continue mission training. Then the bride and groom came BACK DOWN THE AISLE and dismissed each row with a greeting and a hug! I got to shake the bride's hand! Wow. Her dear MOMMA had greeted us as entered the church. Somebody had told her about us, and she said something about reading our blog. Oh, my. What a gracious lady. So friendly and sweet on a day when she was losing her first daughter. Losing a daughter but gaining a son.

It was fun visiting with lots of my husband, Bob's relatives. Some, we were meeting for the first time, as we had not been able to attend the youngest niece's wedding and her little boy has his grandpa's full head of curly hair. (unlike my boys who, more like me, had no hair until they were two years old)

After the wedding, we went back to the hotel and Bob again trounced everyone at Scrabble after dinner at this fancy Canadian moose place. Bug-a-Boo Creek. Tasty salmon. I figured if anyone can "do" salmon, the Canadians can !!!

Then up we rose on Sunday morning for the short, six hour trip to see second lieutenant James at Fort Knox. What fun. We arrived just as James was "getting off work" and I realized I had never heard him use that phrase before. Usually, James tells me he is getting out of class or is "done with lab" and the phrase "getting off work" was amazing unto me.

James is enjoying his work of repelling off a fifty foot tower. When we talked to him yesterday on the trip home to let him know we had made it back to Texas, he said their working with a group of junior rotc cadets was fun. The junior rotc cadets were petrified, and James said he was able to help them concentrate on depending on the equipment and focusing on his calming face. How cool. To go from being nervous himself to confident, and then be able to turn and help others---how cool is that??!! Nothing better, I'm sure.

So, we are back. After having crossed many rivers, and seen many vistas. Thanks to the blooming Mimosa TREES (not the drink, for all you young people) we had a colorful drive. And the prettied-up first mile of a new state complete with wildflowers and clean rest rooms, made it memorable, too.

I enjoyed driving one route, but coming home another, like in a big circle. Anything to avoid Little Rock. (I have seen that a lot on our past few vacations and was ready for a change).

One note about the town of Burbon, Missouri---the huge letters on your water tower made me wonder if the water tower was full of burbon. That is a lot of burbon. Now I am wondering if there is a Burbon school district. And all the jokes that would accompany having such a name emblazoned on your cap and jacket.

And our near-movie moment: When Chevy Chase drives downtown St. Louis in the VACATION movie, he mistakenly goes down the wrong exit near the Arch...we re-enacted that scene at midnight, very bleary-eyed, and while the lighted Arch was pretty reflected off the water, Bob thankfully did NOT take the wrong exit, so we stayed safe. I think Bob wanted to avoid downtown St. Louis by using the loop, but he had missed that exit, which found us dangerously close to downtown, and all I could think of was how Chevy Chase lost all his hubcaps in a very ugly section of town.

My glasses broke. Time to reduce this font and "publish" and make corrections later. Ha. Laundry is a-calling. Good thing I took some knitted dishrags I had made. I gave away a few, and kept busy in the car knitting more. Bob's brother's mother-in-law has an insatiable appetite for the dishrags, so she took all I had made, and scarfed up any I knitted in her presence. I am glad she likes them. Four more knitted for my friend in Ennis on the drive home. The car's door bins are just right to hold skeins of cotton yarn. (Canadian Sugar 'n Cream, and made-in-the USA Peaches & Cream)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting today! You are the first one I have actually heard from about the "wedding day". I really enjoyed reading your description. It was hard not being there, but I am glad you were. --A far off neice that is the sister to the groom :-)

ShalomSeeker said...

The only bad thing about your trip is that I didn't get to spend more time with you! I was very disappointed about that! It seemed like I never stopped moving for four days...after spending three weeks moving to get everything ready to be there! Whew! I am still recovering. Seriously.

So glad your trip went well.