As a small child growing up on a cotton farm in the blackland prairies of north Texas I had but one dream. I wanted to be come an ice skater. Each year during The Great State Fair of Texas, Mom and Dad would take my older sisters and me to watch the Ice Capades. The beauty of these performances would leave me dancing on the black dirt for days. I told my teacher when asked what I wanted to be when I grew, "an ice skater!" I remember her saying that was not something I could probably ever do as there were no rinks or schools in which to practice. "Well, then I will paint pictures for the skaters," I responded.
The teacher was right in her observation about ice skating. My own lack of discipline kept me from fully developing my drawing and artistic capabilities. By the time ice rinks were being built in malls in the '80's, my knees were too messed up to allow learning a skill such as ice skating. Now at 68 years old I allow the fear of a broken hip to restrain my desire to fly across the frozen water. Occasionally I will sit in my easy chair, let go of my spirit and allow my mind to be on skates. There for a few moments I glide, hearing the blades cutting designs in the ice. Feeling the spray coat my ankles and calves. Moving magically and gracefully across the glassy ice.
Three weeks ago was the beginning of preparations for the Thanksgiving weekend extravaganza. It included hosting the meal for the day following Thanksgiving. This is the first time I have done this in our new home. Just finding where I had put dishes for the enlarged portions was a little challenging. There was a day of pie and roll making with Middle grandson. At the same time Son, Husband and the other two grandsons were working to move Girlfriend and her two children.
The traditional Thanksgiving Day on Thursday was a day filled with all things UT and Horned Frogs. The University of Texas Longhorns and the Texas Christian University football teams played each other Thanksgiving evening. Our son graduated from TCU. Our nephew is in the UT band and is a senior. So on Thanksgiving Sister, BIL Girlfriend's daughter are all in burnt orange while I along with Husband, Son, three grandsons and Son's girlfriend are in TCU purple.
Attired in our Horned frog colors of purple Hubby and I accompany Sister and BIL to the UT band practice. Hubby and I stood out in the sea of burnt orange! We received wondering looks as we stood in line for the turkey and dressing with all the UT band members. At the UT campus store and again we were in the minority in the undulating waves of burnt orange. We then make our way to the Darrel K. Royal Stadium.
Sister had scored some prime seats for all 11 of us. She and BIL fit right in as the seats were in the middle of Longhorn season ticket seats. Again, Purple Horned Frogs in the burnt orange ocean. The weather was just right for a game, just cool enough to be comfortable but no need for heavy coats. The game results with TCU winning that night is just a line in the history books now. Neither team landed a major bowl invitation. But the fun of watching my Sister banter trash talk with my grandsons still brings a warm glow to my heart.
The next day we gathered to enjoy a traditional sit down Thanksgiving Day dinner. What a joy to sit at table with family members and new family members. To give thanks for all the joys of the year. To pray for guidance for the latest challenges for my Mom. To simply break bread together in love. How very fortunate we are.
The next week it was off to the coast for a brief trip to celebrate my living to be 68. Lots of photos taken to be shared at some point in different posts. Back home in time to pickup a nephew at the airport. The next three days would be about my youngest nephew's graduation and celebrations. It has been wonderful watching as this redhead has grown from the tiny baby I first held about 30 minutes after his birth to the young man receiving his engineering degree.
Between all the events and eating, Christmas decorations were pulled out of storage. Tree assembled and decorated. Penguin collection appropriately displayed. Nativity scenes placed about the small apartment. Angles hung from the patio fence. I barely finish the cleanup before Cousin arrives for a week of visiting, touring and shopping. We shopped south Congress St. in Austin. Next day it was Fredericksburg shopping and a driving tour of LBJ's ranch. Thursday was more shopping in nearby Georgetown. Friday was cooking for an extended family gathering in Dallas on Saturday. Friday evening was dinner with two of my high school classmates and a moonlight cruise on a small lake in downtown Austin.
Saturday morning by 8 AM we were in Icie on our way to Dallas, 200 miles away. My family gathering was a small group this time, only 28 folks this year. My Aunt Opal who passed in October was sorely missed as were her daughters and grandchildren. My Oldest Sister and two nephews could not get off work to attend. A third nephew and his family had the flu. Attendance was down by about 18 to 20 people.
Out of necessity Cousin, Hubby and I had to eat during the week she visited. And eat we did. Mexican on Monday, great margaritas. Tuesday was a local restaurant in The Domain with splendid bread and butternut squash creamy soup. For dinner we settled for Green Dragon apples, oranges, variety of crackers and gourmet cheeses. Yum. Fredericksburg was more great cheeses with soups and sandwiches. Our return trip included a stop at Salt Lick Bar B Que. Monument Cafe for breakfast on Thursday before Georgetown shopping. Dinner was smoked pork roast, baked sweet potato and oven roasted Brussels sprouts. Friday evening dinner was more bar b que as well as at the family gathering on Saturday. By Sunday evening about all I wanted was a Rolaids! Fried egg sandwiches with glasses of milk and the last of the apple pie was enough for us.
A little time Sunday evening with Son and his family as the tree was decorated rounded out the weekend. Monday afternoon one last trip to the airport to drop cousin off for her return trip home was like the end of a 3 week party. Today I am not doing much except digesting all the joys and some sadness from the past few weeks. One nephew and his wife lost a daughter in law near Thanksgiving to heart failure. My mom developed giant cell (temporal) arteritis causing her the loss of sight in her right eye. She will have to be on steroids for the next 18 to 24 months. Her ability to chew and swallow are also affected by this disorder. A major adjustment for her at 96 years of age.
All in all I still believe we are one fortunate family. With a lot of love, laughter, tolerance and forgiveness we continue to be very blessed. I mean wow, just wow.