Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Remember that first week back in school as a kid? Every teacher invariably made you write a paper about what you did during the summer. Other kids wrote about great vacations--Disney World, the beach, the lake, etc. Mine were always so boring. I slept late, watched TV, read, went to the library, read some more, washed dishes (because I had such a MEAN mom that actually made me work!!!), blah, blah, blah. Well, times have changed, and I wish I knew where Mrs. Wistead is today, so I could give her a different point of view!

We just got back from our annual trip to see the family. First we went to Arkansas to see my DH's side, then up to northern Illinois to see mine. Seven states total, and we never just drive to one place to the next. Thankfully, I am married to a wonderful man who loves to stop at every antique store from point A to point B! We came home loaded down with treasures. The granddaughters are always excited when we come home because it is like Christmas (as a matter of fact, I do start my Christmas shopping on our vacation every year). I was able to find Libby 8 Nancy Drew books that she hasn't read, and Charlotte was excited to get two new additions to her webkinz menagerie.

I still haven't gotten back on track yet. I am sure that it will take a week or two, and my oh my, it hurt Sunday when we had to be awakened by a rude ole alarm clock! I was hurtin' for certain and very glad that our church has two services, so I could make the second one because I couldn't make myself move fast enough to make our usual first service. Sometimes I feel like it's not worth taking time off because it is so hard to get back into the groove after two weeks of eating out and having fun, fun, fun!

But even in the midst of our good times, we had reality smack us a couple of times. The day we left, the roofers finally put on a new roof (translation: major bucks!) and they called while we were on the road--where's the money??? Several days into our trip, our daughter that lives with us called to say she had car trouble and had put her car in the shop. She was using our car to ferry the granddaughters back and forth, and it broke down on her! She managed to get it to a gas station, and through the magic of cell phones we were able to get it towed to our personal machanic. If you don't have one that you personally know, I highly recommend it! This is a man we go to church with, have known for years, and know that he has our best interest at heart. When our daughter called me to give me the bad news, the first thing I thought of was thank goodness I can call David!

I has Janet give me his number, and I gave him a call. It was about one in the afternoon when I got in touch with him. After I told him who I was, I said, "David, are you busy?"

He said, "No, I'm just sitting down for a bite of lunch."

"Well", I said, "I don't want to keep you, but I was wondering if I had my car towed over to your house, if you could look at it and see if you could repair it."

"Well, sure", he said, " but I'm not a mechanic".

Long story, short. I had dialed the wrong number! I finally figured that I had dialed the area code of where we had been in Arkansas, and had called someone in the Searcy area. What are the odds that I would call someone with the same name as the man I was trying to reach in Austin, Texas? Not only that, but it just renewed my faith in man-kind, because here was this man who didn't know me from Adam, and was willing to let me tow my car to his house to figure out what was wrong with it? I still chuckle over that one every time I think of it.

We went through Iowa and Illinois, and saw some of the areas that had been so hard hit with rain and flooding. This summer has got to be one of the wettest (for them) on record. My brother and his wife were flooded out twice this year. I kept hearing dire predictions about the farmers not being able to plant corn, but even thought some of the corn was shorter than I had ever seen it at this time of year, it was still taller than "knee high by the fourth of July". A lot of the corn looked beautiful and lush, but as soon as we got back to Texas, it was done--crispier than Grandma's Fried Chicken! I think the most beautiful thing I saw was in Kansas. On the toll road there was field after field of sunflowers. It was breathtaking, and brought to mind, Van Gogh's Sunflowers. But the artistry and the geometry that a farmer can produce in planting row after row and field after field of sunflowers is something that even Van Gogh couldn't duplicate. As we drove near, one just saw green, and as you passed the plants, you saw the precision of the rows, and even though I had to turn my head , as we passed, the golden yellow heads nodding as we drove by as if to say, "Hello, and a glorious good day to you!"

In between our family visit's, we took a couple of days to (you guessed it) antique. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Liberty Missouri, which is just north of Kansas City. We try to do something special for our anniversary on the 4th of July every year.We couldn't have picked a better place! It was lovely, and the owners were so nice--we felt more like we were staying with relatives or really good friends! The house was built in 1889, and they have decorated it beautifully. Our bedroom and bath was luxurious. We felt so pampered and spoiled! Not only did they fix us a feast for breakfast, but desert in the evening when we got back from dinner! If you ever have a chance to go through Kansas City, stay at the Stone-Yancey House. You won't be sorry. Here is a link to their website: http://www.stoneyanceyhouse.com/.

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