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.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the trip part 1

we took a trip to texas to visit my family. we'd been there in december, so it'd been only six months and, since we've moved up here, it's been the least time between two trips.

the plane rides

it was easy as pie going down to texas from o'hare. we sat in the row with two seats. perfect for us. i had my ipod. no problem. dawn read and slept.

however, there was a chatty cathy behind us who talked pretty much the entire flight town. i wanted to strangle her. dawn said, though, that the guy next to her, asked a lot of questions. so perhaps if he'd feigned sleep, she would have shut up. it was ad nauseum conversation. i could hear her through the earphones at times. argh.
the flight back had other issues. the flight time changed, so we were at the san antonio airport nearly two hours early. then we found out that our seats had been changed and we were on the side with three to a row. luckily, i had the window seat this time. but it was crampt. at the back of the plane, you hear all the sounds. it's loud. i kept having visions of the plane suddenly losing power or someone jumping up and claiming the plane for himself. i kept an eye on the flight attendants and the wings. all went well. but i didn't even take the complementary drink.
we landed safely and drove the nearly 2 1/2 drive through chicago and around the lake to holland.

nieces and nephew
it was so good to see lorena, ricardo and emma grace again. i love those little ones. they've grown so much, even in six months.

we took rena and ricky to corpus to get books. we wanted to spend some time with them. rena took to (surprise) an illustrated version of "pride and prejudice." (by the time we left saturday, she was more than halfway done). she also got more books of the spiderwick series and the illustrated version of "the three musketeers." ricky wanted dinosaurs. while he's not the reader rena is, he enjoys looking at books of the big beasts. he bought one and we bought him another one on predators. i'd like to see him read more because of the upcoming state test, which he needs to pass to continue onto the fourth grade. i'm concerned.

we had a great time with them. they were pretty much well-behaved. we took them to friday's. it was their first time there. we even sang elvis' "burning love" on the way home and had them laughing.

little emma grace is only 15 months old and she's a hoot. we tried to spend as much time as we could with her and linda and arnold (he even took the week off from work to be there). emma is a ham. she likes to climb onto of the fireplace front (a foot off the floor) and sorta dance around, even does a bit of a bow. she's got a great smile that's contagious. if you tell her "how does emma cry?" she'll crinkle her face and squint her eyes shut. my fave is "how does mamma laugh?" she utters this funny "et, et, et, et" laugh and doubles over in a comical gesture. it's quite funny. of course linda doesn't laugh that way, but oh well. near the end of our trip, she warmed up a lot to dawn and somewhat to me. i chalk it up to the fact that i'm always grabby, touchy and she probably does't like it.

it was so much fun to hang out with all of the kids. it's nice to see rena and emma together. that little girl looks for rena all the time and goes to her like a sister. likewise, rena loves emma and carries her around. ricky? he just loves his cartoons and riding his bike around and picking flowers. he brings up flowers he picks from the side of the dirt road.

i miss those kiddies.


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