Monday, May 30, 2011

Epic Texas Trip

Me, the 1 and the 5 year old, on the road.

The Drive
Denver to Kansas City ~8 hours, hotel with family....then KC to Dallas ~ 8 hours with a lovely break for bite of dinner with cousins in OKC...Arrived at The House late, alone, setting up children to sleep comfortably in the cluttered dark.
About 11 days later, final breakfast and good byes, then ~7 hours to Amarillo, and another 7 the next day back to Denver.  All was well with the girls, save for baby's diaper rash on the way to Texas and my craving for adult conversation on the way home, it was pretty simple.  Just as I intentioned, smooth and easy.  Much gratitude to live in a beautiful and safe country.

The Family
Graduation of sister from KCAI, congratulations Ariel! Check out her work here.
Hilarity of parents directions through town and parking fiascos, the joys of the family of origin, no?
After everyone arrived back in Texas safe and sound there was much preparation to be done for the newly graduated artist's reception.  First full week consisted mainly of assisting the cleaning and shifting of stuff in order that my sister's party should appear professional.
My mother works and works and works, then works some more.  Dad does as well though his workshop is on the property, no commuting.  My brother lives there and helps out as needed.
My efforts to help were met with apologies and indignant protest. Eventually I stopped asking what needed to be done and simply slipped in what I thought would aid most the mental affected from the visual.  Like windows.  I've discovered that if my windows and mirrors are clean, it can lend a whole feeling of clean throughout my house.  I should have realized, though, I need to be more gentle, and Live and Let Live.  After speaking to several of my contemporaries about their parents' living condition, it is apparently a relative normal stage of life.  It's challenging to live in a place where the prevailing mindset is so different than my own.

The Visits
All the memories of the town where I grew up, drifting through as I pass by this or that landmark. No longer ashamed of my childhood escapades, comforted with the knowledge that I was a child and children do silly, dangerous things, they make mistakes...and that's natural and it's okay.
Difficulties with Miss Manic Monster Monkey while we were there prompted theories that public school is the answer to all our ills---but I don't have "ills" with my daughter. I don't believe that because she is having a hard time she should be yelled at and put away in some distant place 'cause I refuse to learn from the experience, to find a new way.  I don't believe that sending this child into the current education system will help her---other than to teach her she needs to dampen her self  in order to conform to a bureaucratic defined ideal.  It is my opinion that the system is broken and needs to be fully overhauled (another post).

Visiting Great Mimi in the nursing home out East Texas a ways, along with new explanation of who the people were that Miss Monkey was to meet that day, my biological Father and his wife.  The First Born handled the elder home very well considering her past history of growling, overt rudeness, behaving not the least bit friendly to elders.  Though rather heart wrenching I handled it better than I had in the past. Were I able to teleport I would be there every weekend.  Baby E of course was the cutest thing barely on two feet.

Lazy pleasant visits with a college girlfriend and her new husband found them flourishing, and after a gracious invitation we stayed with them our last 2 nights in Texas.

Our last day, my mother got into Grandma-ing a bit, a trip to the Dallas World Aquarium, then tailgate lunch, pony rides and inflatable pool back at The House.  It was a rather idyllic day.

The Snake in the Dolls
In process of clearing the back deck, I discovered an old leather suitcase under a tarp.  Knowing it would have to be moved I thought to peep inside to discover what might tumble out of the rotted thing should I grab the handle and start hauling away.  One glimpse of that singular shape in the shadowed interior and I yelped and jumped back, hearing the rustling inside.  "We've got a snake!!"""  My brother dissected the suitcase with kiln tongs, alternately removing doll parts and fetid clothes before locating the serpent.  After pinning it with the tongs then handled the 3', but rather lanky, scaly fellow, and relocated it to woods near the lake.  We surmised the snake had been hibernating and simply hadn't woken to spring yet.  And, Mom, in very typical fashion did her level best to salvage some of the dolls that had been so poorly stored.  Only a small one survived, if Mom managed to remove serpent funk from the poor thing, I'm sure she sent it off to my Aunt to whom it may have belonged many many years ago---can't wait to hear about the arrival of that package.

And so ends May.  We returned home to jubilant husband welcoming us with a full fridge and a tidy household.  After some serious cleaning of the playroom there was a bit of time to relax and enjoy the holiday weekend.

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