Garden update and other fun

I really do love all of the events that a big city offers!  Last week we got to see David Sedaris and I haven’t laughed out loud so much in a really long time.  He was hilarious and we thoroughly enjoyed him reading some of his works and talking about his life. I also bought his latest book, which is a compilation of his diaries from 1977 to 2002.  He stayed after to sign books and we waited for awhile but there were so many people in front of us that we decided to go on home since I had an early morning the next day.

Unknown

Then a couple of days ago, we went to see the poet Naomi Shihab Nye. She was equally engaging, read some of her poetry and prose, talked a bit, and answered questions from the audience.  About 15 years ago I took a creative writing class at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and she came to speak to our class, did a public reading, and then had dinner with us after.  She was very kind and friendly and it was great to hear her thoughts and insights.  I was glad to see her again and to find that she is still a compassionate and thoughtful person.

Unknown-1

We have been hauling water at the garden as there is a leak in the water line and the city has turned it off while repairs are made. Hopefully it will be back on by Friday, they say. It’s been pretty hot the last several days so we don’t want our plants to get too dried out!  They are coming along well and I noticed today that we have blossoms on our cantaloupe plant and eggplant plant (is that redundant?)  We have quite a few potatoes and will harvest them soon.  The tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes!

Is my husband becoming a Texan?  He made catfish and hush puppies the other night!

31899292_10211596303159588_8912087856806100992_n

Rally4Reform

The NRA came to town for its annual convention. We were blessed with the presence of both Trump and Pence, along with Cruz and Loesch and LaPierre, among many others.  I am thankful I did not have to hear any of them speak because I might have lost my mind.

Several counter-events were held over the weekend.  Rich and I took the DART downtown to City Hall on Saturday morning to join the Rally4Reform sponsored by the students who led the March for Our Lives awhile back.  I’m really inspired and impressed to see so many young people getting involved and taking a stand for gun reform.  Although this event was not as big as the march was, there was still a decent turnout and the program was very impressive. Speakers included one of our local Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America leaders, another woman who was a survivor of gun violence herself, a woman whose son was shot and killed by an off duty security guard, a student from Newtown CT, and Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver who was one of the students killed in Parkland FL.  Mr. Oliver is an artist and created a mural behind the stage a little at a time between speakers.  In the end, he took a hammer and slammed it into little silhouettes representing the 17 people killed in Parkland.  It was extremely jarring and hard to listen to; in fact, several people were visibly upset and one young woman in the audience began sobbing loudly. (As an aside, Rich noted that one of the TV producers in attendance noticed the woman and directed a cameraman to walk up close and video her, which seemed very exploitive).  Mr. Oliver then took sunflowers and placed them into the holes he had just created in each silhouette.  He asked his wife to come on stage with him and he spoke about his son and their desire to end gun violence.  He also noted that Trump had time to speak to the NRA convention but not to call his family to express any condolences in the loss of their son.  He publicly invited Trump to come to their home in FL and to sit in his son’s room for a few minutes, to meet the other families who were suffering, and to have a conversation about ways to bring people together to solve the problem of gun violence.  Although all of the speakers were very moving, he definitely touched everyone in the crowd.

Afterwards we wandered over to the convention center just to see what we could see. As we approached the corner, there was a small contingent of open-carry fans congregated near the portapotties with their guns on full display.  Honestly, I don’t get the point unless it is for the intimidation factor. We rounded the building and came across a large confederate monument alongside the sign welcoming NRA members.  Makes me wonder what kind of society we live in.

 

 

Quick Little Road Trip

Last week we took off for Clyde, TX to watch granddaughter Ally play softball, then on to Amarillo to watch grandkids Emery and Luke run in separate track meets.

We arrived in Clyde around 3:30 PM on Thursday, visited with Susan for a bit as it was her day off, and then the kids got home from school.  Corey came in from work and we went out to eat before the game, which wasn’t scheduled to start till 7:45 on a school night, which I thought was pretty late for 11 year olds!  Ally had to be at the field an hour ahead of time so we all headed over there and enjoyed sitting at a picnic table talking and laughing while waiting for the game.  I guess the game before theirs started late because Ally’s never got going till after 8 PM.  Last year, she was on a pretty good team and I was amazed at how well those girls could hit the very fast pitches coming their way.  I just assumed this year’s teams would be even better.  Well, I would be wrong! LOL Unfortunately neither team had anyone who could pitch worth a flip so it was really a battle of the “walks.”  Seriously, almost every kid got up to bat and was walked on balls or hit by the pitcher and walked.  Additionally, the catchers couldn’t catch the balls the pitchers were throwing so they were constantly chasing the balls down and this led to girls stealing home and scoring runs besides the runs they were scoring by being walked home.  They were only permitted to get 6 runs each inning and basically walked that many in each time (or scored by stealing).  It was SO tedious!  Those poor girls!  Thankfully for all, the game was also timed so eventually time ran out and they were allowed to finish the inning they were in, which I think was only the 3rd or maybe the 4th at most.  Ally’s team lost by 1, mostly because the other team batted last. Or should I say walked last?!  It was really sad and I hope they will all improve as the season wears on.  Despite the game, we had a lot of fun with Susan, Corey and the kids and discussed their upcoming visit to Dallas in the summer. We always enjoy having them here with us!

 

We spent the night in Abilene with our friend Karen since Corey’s grandma had come to town and had already planned to stay with the kids before we decided to come.  We had fun visiting with Karen, though it was so late by the time we got to her house that none of us stayed up too much later as she had to work the next morning.  We slept in a little bit and then got back on the road to Amarillo on Friday.  At least it is a little closer to Abilene than it is to Dallas so we had a relatively short drive compared to leaving from here.  We arrived just as Bonnie was getting in the car to pick up Luke from school so I rode along with her while Rich stayed at the house with Ada who didn’t want to go.  The kids are really entertaining and funny and we had a nice dinner at home, then watched “The Greatest Showman” before bedtime.

The next morning Luke had his track meet, which was super cute and funny to watch.  Their track meets just consist of various relays so there were no individual events but Luke ran in 4 or 5 races and seemed to have a great time.  He was a pretty fast little runner and his former track star mom was proud!  We came home for a couple of hours, then went to Emery’s meet in the afternoon.  Again it consisted of relays only but the older kids were more organized and looked good in their races. Emery has a long stride and did very well in her events. Watching track brought back lots of memories of Bonnie running in middle school, high school and college.  I am not sure how many hours I’ve spent at track meets in my life but it’s gotta be up there!  Once a track mom, always a track mom, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the kids.

 

Sunday we got up and had a nice breakfast before the long drive back to Dallas.  It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but we loved seeing everyone and getting to be involved in some of the kids’ activities.

As an aside, Emery always has some funny quips when we see her.  This time she was doing cartwheels and round-offs in the house so I told her she is really good at it and maybe would want to go to gymnastics. She paused for a moment as if thinking it over and then said, “No, I prefer to be self taught.”  That girl cracks me up.