These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, April 10, 2006

big sky country trip part 1

we returned from a week-long trip to texas yesterday afternoon. it was an exhausting road trip, but it was good to get back to my family and roots for a short time.

we left early saturday and were on our way after a stop at a doughnut shop on michigan ave. the trip was uneventful, heading toward chicago, then south on I-57 to missouri. that's where we missed 55 south and headed west. we ended up taking some route through central arkansas and stoped just north of little rock for the night. we left early sunday, our brains still reeling from the hour daylights savings time hour change that night. we arrived about 6:30 sunday evening.

it's funny, the further south you go, the bigger the sky gets. i forget the way it is since up here the tall trees cover the sky and you don't see any blue sky (unless you look out at the lake or tilt your head up). but there, it was blue sky for miles. the trees look like shrubs, compared to these here, so it's easy to see far.

my parents had a little BBQ going sunday and invited some relatives. we got to see my grandma, some aunts and uncles, cousincs and my niece and nephew. my sister linda was unable to make it taht day, so we didn't get to see my new niece emma grace until the following day at her house.

my dad looked great. he's been off the chemo for more than a month and a half and he looked as he always has. i'm glad we visited at this time when he's beenoff the chemo, seeing him as he was before. he's still thin (as always) and his hair'a a little whiter, his hands worse, since he can't make a fist with one of them, but he's still dad. it was great seeing everyone that night and eating some BBQ. lots of meat. a vegetarian's nightmare.

monday: i made up my mind to drop by the old workplace in alice and visit old coworkers. i felt apprehensive and didn't know how i'd be received. i really hadn't written to any of them in more than a year and hadn't talked to them for even longer. but they were receptive and saw old friends there. got the hugs and stuff. lois and nicole even made me act out the dancing scene from "young frankenstein" and do parts of "silence of the lambs." i was a little rusty, but they got laughs.

we then headed to see my sister and niece. she's a cutie. i got to hold emma grace, but quickly gave her over to dawn when she started crying. still, it was odd. the last time we saw linda, she wasn't pregnant and there was no one but her and arnold. it's strange to see my sister in this capacity as a mom. but, hey, she's doing good. so we sat around, talked, saw a little maury povich on the tube, and caught up. by friday when we saw emma again, she looked differnet. even a week made a difference. she'd filled out some.

i was impressed by emma's alert eyes. they're always staring and taking in. i know, some of you are going, that's the way they all are. but i don't know. there was a difference there.

after the visit, we headed to see my nephew ricardo practice some coach pitch baseball. we gave him the thunbs up. then it was off to see lorena, my niece, practice ballet folkorico. she's really good. she enjoys the dancing so much.

while there, i ran into a classmate, isabelle. we caught up on old times and the usual stuff about classmates and what they're doing now. we exchanged info and hopefully keep in contact.

later that night, we stopped to see our friend b.j. at the library. i got to know her from my days at the newspaper. she was a source and then we became friends. we've kept in contact since. we spent a couple of hours there after the library closed. good to catch up. we hadn't seen her since we left texas.


Blogger Leftylog said...

Welcome back!

And get a haircut!

8:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

texas? I'm jealous already.
That's a killer drive though.
Hope is all well at the Sentinel - I miss it!
- Sveta

3:25 PM


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