Here's what we've been up to - with the exception of the metroplex traffic, all is well.
It's been 2 years since we made the trip to see my folks in San Antonio and our visit was long overdue. For the first time, DH joined us and that made the trip all the more enjoyable. Even after being married for over 21 years, I do not like being away from him.
The pre-trip arrangements are always the most hectic: Preparing food for Grandpa (because he was keeping an eye on the ranch while we were going to be away - thank you Grandpa!), thoroughly cleaning the house (because I like returning to a clean home), cleaning out the refrigerator (because I don't want to face any science experiments when we return), and packing (ever notice it takes a man exactly 3 1/2 minutes to pack for a 6 day trip?). Whew! I'm already tired and we haven't even left yet!
The boys also threw in their shotguns and extra ammo (one can never have too much ammo you know!) as they were planning on hitting a couple of ranges in the area.
We planned on returning on Saturday or Sunday, but had to cut things short. We got a call on Tuesday that a friend and former employer had passed away and his funeral was scheduled for Thursday, south of Pecos (about 7 1/2 hours from my folks). I felt badly, but we really needed to attend. Then my Dad recieved a call that a dear friend of his had also passed away and he made instant plans to fly to New York on Thursday morning. So we all scattered on Wednesday and went in search of appropriate clothes. Even though it seems like we packed everything but the kitchen sink, we didn't have anything appropriate for a funeral. Thank goodness for Tj Maxx and Ross - DD and I both found very nice outfits without breaking the bank and we headed west early Thursday morning.
We enjoyed catching up with old friends and if a funeral can be beautiful, Billie Mac's was. Why is is that we only seem to get together with people during funerals and weddings?
Afterwards, we pointed the truck north and headed for our dirt road. Getting up at 3 in the morning and pulling up to the ranch at 10:30 that night made for a VERY long day! But, as they say, there is no rest for the weary and we jumped right back into our routines.
I was able to stay home for a few days, actually 5, and then DS and I took off for St. Jo, Texas. He had been accepted to a Junior Olympic Shotgun School that ran for 3 days. We were so excited for him, but we had never heard of St. Jo and we had no idea what to expect. The fact that he was coached by the actual Olympic Shotgun Coaches, who had just returned from Beijing, was just amazing! Haley Dunn, who won the World Championships and was an alternate for the Olympic team and a world champion, coached as well and Tyler shot his very first round of 5 stand with her. I would have been completely intimidated, but not this kid.
I really can't complain about being on the go, because they were only home for the shooting school and they were leaving for Belarus on Monday for the World Cup. Can you say jet lag?!
Tyler was in shotgun heaven! That kid ate, slept, and lived shotguns for three days and is already planning a return trip. The Name of the Shooting Facility is WillaWalla Shooting Center and the family that owns it couldn't have been more hospitable. They spoiled those kids. Tyler shot over 1000 rounds in three days and learned so much that his head is reeling.
I can't believe how many shells they shot! We were emptying these buckets all weekend and each kid had a tub! We brought lots of hulls home and the boys have been busy reloading them.
As for me, I wandered off on my own for a few days and then spent Saturday with him. I eventually ended up in the kitchen and helped with the meal preparations when he was not shooting. There were only 18 spots, but along with the coaches, and parents, 50 people ate on Saturday.
So what did I do with all of that time to myself?! Well, let me tell you that it was an odd sensation! I have NEVER, in 21 years, been alone for 2 days and it felt strange to say the least, but I seized the opportunity and spent an entire day catching up with my college roommate who was so sweet and took time out from her family vacation to drive 3 1/2 hours and meet me for the day! We had so much fun and the fact that the Outlet Mall where we met had closed the majority of their stores, did not deter us for long. We spent the entire morning in the Kitchen Connection. Hmmm...I finally get a break from my kitchen duties and where do I end up? - A kitchen store! Who knew that wooden spoons, knife blocks and cheese slicers could be so much fun? I love that stuff, but actually, it was the company that I adored and it was wonderful to finally have some girl time with each other. We ate a delicious lunch at Chilies, shopped some more, and then sat for hours at Cracker Barrel where we probably drove the waiter insane because he kept asking us if we wanted anything and all we did was visit over multiple glasses of water and Coke and a very sweet raspberry iced tea that made my mouth pucker. Then I felt badly because N drove back to her family late that night, but thank you SO MUCH for a fabulous day!! I enjoyed our time together so much and I treasure your friendship so let's do this again soon!
I felt guilty because I simply went back to my hotel room and spent the rest of the evening like this:
The door on my original room wouldn't lock properly so they upgraded me to this:
I felt completely out of my element, but it didn't take me long to feel pampered. This dirt road girl quite enjoyed her surroundings last weekend (with the exception of that crzy traffic!), although they would have been much improved if DH had accompanied me! (grin!)
Alas, all fairy tales must come to an end and I really was ready to come back home. I missed my prince and fair daughter and the end of the dirt road is where I really belong - it's where my fairy tale meets reality and that makes me feel blessed beyond measure!