Friday, February 21, 2014

TToT14: Wrap it up!

Well, it has been a fine trip to TX. The weather has been extremely cooperative, and we have spent enough time outdoors to have built up stores to keep us going through the next few months at home. Sort of like Frederick. Plus, our furnace broke while we were gone! Nice timing, furnace, nice timing.

Nine highlights from our trip in random order:

1. I've written about it before (last week), and I'll write about it again. Hardly anything makes me happier than watching my kids play with their cousins.


My daughter and my sister's older son are in interesting team. Charlie has a strong will, and he can bowl most playmates over with it. Maggie comes across as a pushover in some ways, but she can hold her own with Charlie, and it is fun to watch. One afternoon, they spent an hour playing together without any parent interaction or supervision. Beautiful!

2. I don't go to church except when I visit family, but I grew up going every Sunday. I can't begin to number the hymns my sister and I have sung next to each other. It warms the cockles of my heart when we stand next to each other and sing familiar songs again. I may not be able to attend to a sermon for more than 30 seconds, but I do like the hymns.

3. Kiddie Park. There is an ancient amusement park for the preschool set in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park. We older cousins hypothesize that it must be decades out of code. I have a 70-something-year-old uncle who visited this park when he was a boy. But we love it, and we just keep our fingers crossed. One to five years old, there was a little something for every cousin.


4. Glennon. Do I need to expound on that any further? Probably not.

5. Lots of good, quiet times with my parents. Making supper together, watching TV, playing games, discussing my hidden talent so I could write a blog post. A night out at a bar with my dad and park adventures with my mama and the kids (with this memorable statement from Maggie, "We are going to throw huge and big and small rocks into the huge river!"). I leave my worries at home when I visit my parents.

6. Watching Downton Abbey with my original family. Such a small event and such a highlight. We laugh at the same lines ("sloth under water" (BTW, Lizzi, you must tell me if it's a Brit thing to pronounce sloth with a long o or if its just an early 20th century thing)) and react similarly to the same events. Then we all shared a high class beer and discussed the episode. Why is it that Cora cannot hold her head upright?


7. Tex-Mex to feed my soul. Taco Cabana or La Fonda, I won't turn it down. I could eat Tex-Mex once a week so it's just as well that I only indulge in TX. I feel obligated to put away a basket of chips and salsa in addition to my entree and my margarita to get the full good out of the meal, so I'm afraid I would soon weigh 200 pounds.

8. Grown-up cousin time, too! Golly, I love those people. It's funny to think these steady, grown-up folks who carry such huge responsibilities on their shoulders were the same ones who made up silly dances for each other to copy, participated in farting competitions, and played rounds of septuple Solitaire. We may have left the silly dances and farting competitions behind (not the multi-player Solitaire games), but we've retained our senses of humor, and those growing up years together have cemented our relationships.

9. The innumerable moments of bonding between generations. My dad putting Leo to bed each night, my sister brushing my daughter's hair, my brother playing a very long game of Keep-the-Ball-on-the-Roof with my daughter and nephew. Too many more to name and all equally precious.


And number 10:

There's not one of our number who will be disappointed to see the Dude at DCA on Saturday. Soon, Dude, soon!

34 comments :

  1. First comment? For real?

    Isn't it magical how we transform when we return to our parents' home? I love that suspended feeling of still being a responsible adult, yet not really, because mama and daddy are there to take some of that away.

    Glad you're enjoying your trip. And cousins. And Tex Mex.

    Somebody's going to put an eye out at that park....

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    1. For realz, Dyanne! You won! And I am shameful for only just getting around to responding. Travel and family, travel and family. They keep a person busy.
      Fortunately, all eyes intact. :)

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  2. Ahhhhhhh love that way that when you're with Your People, time changes and becomes richer.

    Your relationship with your cousins sounds awesome, and it's so brilliant that you're providing your own children with the opportunity to build those strong relationships with theirs.

    #4. No further comment needed.

    We pronounce it with a long o (like in 'slow'). Always. Because that's how it's *meant* to be ;)

    Sounds as though you've had a beautiful time reconnecting with your place, your people, your traditions and your food. A wonderful Ten :)

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    1. A wonderful to have experienced! :)

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    2. I have been slothlike in my replying.

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    3. Travel, out of town company and settling in. Oh my.

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  3. Truly sounded like a wonderful trip and so glad you got to visit with your family this past week. There truly is nothing like getting to be with your family even at this age, it still totally warms my heart. Wishing you a wonderful weekend now, too! :)

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    1. Thanks, Janine. It's been a crazy one, but it looks like tomorrow may afford some catch-up time.

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  4. What Lizzi said! Great that you're kids are building strong relationships!

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  5. Sounds like a lovely trip...and one not too quickly forgotten.

    BTW Please explain the *joy* behind Downton Abbey...I have TRIED to watch it and just cannot for the life of me get into it. I would love any insight you can offer! :)

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    1. OK, Mrs. AR, for me, at this point, it's mostly that I'm invested in the characters. Once I fall for a character I'll stick with him or her. (I'm talking fictional here, but I wonder how far I carry that into actuality.)
      I'm the beginning, I really loved the way the show demonstrated the stark differences between upstairs and and downstairs but also how changes were forcing their way in. I liked the theme that you had to get with the program and adapt or get out. Very Bob Dylan: Times, They Are A-Changin' (in an apocryphal way).
      It's gotten really quite silly at times, very soap opera-y, but now, as I said, I love the characters and I love watching them live out their lives. And I've always been a sucker for parlor-scenes where manners mask all sorts of subtle communications.

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  6. Your trip home sounds delightful!
    I'll say ditto to Dyanne about going home to mom and dad.
    Have a safe trip back to Dude!

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    1. Made it. It's been crazy, but we're here! Thanks!

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  7. safe trip home... sounds like a great trip! sigh!

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    1. Yes, sigh. But home holds charms as well.

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  8. DOWNTOWN ABBY and GLENNON and TEX MEX all together = perfect post! And I adore ADORE the sweet, fun, family photos! So glad you had such a magical time in Texas, Sarah!

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  9. Love spending time with family. My husband's family gets together every year at the beach. All the cousins get together and have played together year after year. So important. And we are also Downton fans. We invite me mum over each week to watch with us. Hate it that this week is the end of this season. Pooh.

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    1. Such fun to watch with others. The Dude's not in to it, so I loved watching with my family.

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  10. Enjoyed the family travelogue! Haven't visited this supersized state but do hope to someday. I have a friend living in San Antonio. I, too, find hymns/songs speak to me more than most sermons.

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    1. Yes, set it to music, and I'll get all welled up. San Antonio's a fun city. Highly recommend visiting in the spring.

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  11. Cousin time is great - we grew up with a bunch of cousins in a rather close age range and spent loads of time together. Then when my younger half of aunts and uncles had their kids, we called them "the little cousins." (They are now in their early twenties - yikes!) And then the "big cousins" started having kids and there's a whole slew of them from early high school on down to infant. It's awesome. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

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    1. P. S. - I still think of you pretty much every time I find a new Brussels sprouts recipe. Just pinned a great shaved Brussels spouts salad with lemon vinaigrette.

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    2. So you know what's I'm talking about with cousins. But can you play septuple Solitaire? I have two cousins named Pete, and they are still, to this day, Big Pete and Little Pete (unfortunate adjectives for the name). Little Pete has a few inches on Big Pete now, but there it is.

      I LOVE that you think of me when making BS!!! Now, shaved sounds like a good idea. I've also heard of pulsing them in the food processor. And I love a good lemon vinaigrette. That's my go-to veggie prep after steaming or roasting.

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    3. Septuple Solitaire? As in seven cousins all playing it at once? Yah...we can do that. Although there were five and a couple of aunts and uncles.

      The shaved BS with the lemon vinaigrette is on my Pinterest board just waiting for you to try it! Lemon goes on everything. Just everything.

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  12. Sounds like an amazing time! Isn't it nice to go home and kind of slip back into the simpler times? I wish I could do it more often. I prefer being at my own home now but I remember a time when I couldn't spend enough time at my parents' home.

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    1. Simpler is right. It's the magic your parents' home holds.

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  13. It all just sounds great. I only live a few miles from my parents, but it still feels good to go home.

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  14. Ahhh, taking a trip home to original family. Love. We travel to Colorado each year to see My People and there's nothing like hanging out with my brothers and my dad and dad's wife. It's refreshing, and makes me feel young. There's something about sharing stories with people who knew you when you had farting contests and were there on long car trips when you were a kid. Love that you got this time with them. Plus!! Tex Mex!!! God I miss great Mex food. You'd think there'd be better Mex here but there's just not. I remember when I first moved here, how shocked I was that none of the restaurants had green chili as an option. It's just wrong!
    I love that your kids had so much fun with their cousins, too!
    But um, sloth with a long O? That seems just plain old weird. I've never watched DA but if you like it, maybe I should!

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  15. What a wonderful feeling to be in the warm embrace of original family. Glad the trip had so many good moment. That amusement park sounds fun. I'd have my kids all over that with no worries. Love the stepping back in time feeling.

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