Motocross

Quick trip to Clyde to watch Aidan race. We thought the track was closing down and it would be his last race on his home track. Got there and Corey said someone had offered to buy the track so it probably wasn’t closing after all. Had fun watching Aidan doing his thing, got to visit with Corey and Ally (Susan was working so we missed her altogether!) and had dinner with friends Karen, Kaci and Kaci’s cute stepdaughter Natalee.

Abilene

I planned to take a little trip to Clyde to see Ally play volleyball and spend time with the kids–Susan was going to be off work so we could have some mom/daughter time, too, which we don’t get very often. Once I started thinking about it, I decided to go to Abilene first and see a few friends on Saturday, then go over to Clyde on Sunday for a few days.

I went to my friend Karen’s house first and then we met our friend Kelly for lunch. I hadn’t seen Kelly in at least two years, prior to the pandemic. She was one of my first friends when I moved to Abilene with a toddler and a baby in 1981. We both worked at the Abilene State School and remained friends when we both moved on to other jobs, she got married and had two kids, I had one more kid, and eventually I moved away to Alaska. Now we are both grandmothers after meeting in our 30s. 🙂 It’s always good to catch up with her and hear about her family.

Next Karen and I planned to meet our friend Dean at a coffee shop but it turned out it was closed “due to no staff,” so we all went to Karen’s house nearby. Dean, Karen and I were part of an Early Childhood Intervention team for many years for the West Texas Rehab Center and have all kinds of fun and funny memories from our years together. Although Karen and I see each other periodically, we hadn’t seen Dean in quite a few years, so again it was great to catch up on news.

Karen happened to find these old pix while cleaning out some storage. We were cracking up at the big hair but mostly marveling at how much better we looked! That’s Karen, Dean, me, our friend Michael who is now deceased, unfortunately, and our friend Ruth who moved away years ago and we are not sure where she is. The little boy is Karen’s son Kyle who’s now in his late 30s and living the life in France!

I told friends the top photo of Michael and me looks like an album cover for a band called “West Texas Desolation.” LOL

Karen and I reminisced into the night and attempted to solve all the world’s problems. We don’t ever seem to make enough headway but we give it a good try. The next morning we had some yogurt and granola and hot tea and then I headed for Clyde to see the kids.

A Full Friday

Rich got up early to get donuts, then everyone was off to school. Please note the steep hill I have to climb on the way home from walking Jack to and from his school every day. Perhaps it is counteracting the donuts a tiny bit.

Next we did some chores and then went back downtown to have lunch at Don Juan’s on the square. It was quite colorful and the fajitas were great! As we were walking back to the car, I saw three guys holding signs across the street. Realizing they were signs for peace, I told Rich “Oh my gosh, I have found my people in Tyler! I have to go talk to them!” Rich is more reticent than I am about speaking with strangers so he said he’d wait for me. LOL I ran across the street and I am sure they were wondering if I was friend or foe before I started gushing, “I’m so glad to see you here–I told my husband you are my people and I had to come talk with you!” They all smiled and one guy asked me if I lived in Tyler; I said no, we are here babysitting grandkids and live in Dallas. We all introduced ourselves and I asked if they were part of an organization locally–they said no, just something they do on their own. None of them were former military although one guy said his dad was in the Army and told him right away that Vietnam was a mistake going in. They have stood on this corner every Friday at noon since 2007! They said they don’t really get any hassles in Tyler and a cop drove by as we were chatting so I asked what about the police. They said no, they have always been supportive and helpful. Nice to hear! So, meet Dan, Paul and Rick–warriors for peace in conservative East Texas!

Near where we’d parked, we saw the Tyler Art Alley so we had to walk through and take pix. I loved all of the murals. Which are your favorites?

Jack had been working hard on his spelling words all week so I was anxious to see how he did on his test. When I picked him up, he said he was “pretty sure” he got 100. LOL Unfortunately he didn’t get the test back yet so we are still in suspense. He told me he’d call me Monday and let me know. 🙂 After school Elle went home with a friend to spend the night and Beck’s friend E came back again to spend the night with us. After dinner we went to Andy’s downtown to have some ice cream, then everyone stayed up way too late. Let the weekend begin!

Fun stuff

Exciting mail day! My sister sent a postcard from OR where she was visiting her daughter Alana who just started law school in Eugene, friend Paul sent a hello, and Miles’ grandmother Evelyn sent a note to thank us for coming to her 90th birthday celebration. Also, I have my Instagram linked to a company called Chatbooks and they automatically make me a photo book every time it gets to 60 pix (which doesn’t take me long 🤣🤣). I use them to make a birthday book for each of the grandkids every year as well. Last year I became part of their “100 Club,”‘ for those who’ve made at least 100 books, and they just sent out packages of swag to club members. How fun! Ok, even though it makes me a walking advertisement for them, I’m still happy. 🤣

About a month ago, a woman in my Buy Nothing group asked if anyone had any used bicycles to donate to Afghan refugee men who were arriving in Dallas and needed transportation to their new jobs. Some of our group members donated bikes and I posted a request on my personal Facebook page asking for used bikes or donations to buy new ones. Of course I have the best family and friends in the world and received enough donations to buy three brand new bikes. Wow, who knew bikes were so expensive any more?? But I did not want to get cheapos that wouldn’t last. We delivered the first two to Refugee Services before we went on our NJ road trip and I totally forgot to take a photo. This week I was able to purchase the third and Rich and I were asked to take it directly to the man receiving it. He, his wife and small children were among the last refugees out as Kabul was falling. He was very nice and had a great smile! We saw one of his babies behind him in the entryway but he did not really seem to want to chit chat so we didn’t stay. You know I wanted to take a pic but because of confidentiality and safety reasons I did not. 🙂

Friends and Family Make Life Sweet

The coronavirus drones on; we have been staying home for months and months now, wearing masks when we go out, being careful. We don’t want to get ill and we certainly don’t want to get anyone else ill. My daughter Bonnie and her three kids all got the virus in Amarillo, thankfully it was a mild version and they are okay after quarantining for two weeks. Surprisingly, her husband did not get it. We have heard many stories of extended family members, friends and acquaintances having varying levels of sickness, unfortunately I have several friends who have lost parents recently. It’s all so sad that wearing a mask has become a political statement and that people still claim that the virus is a hoax and the numbers are exaggerated. Here in Dallas, we are seeing growing numbers once again, as is the whole state of TX.

I’ve always enjoyed “snail mail” but it’s even nicer since we are stuck at home much of the time. Emails and texts are instant and I mostly keep up with people that way–it’s great. But there’s something very intimate about receiving a handwritten message that gives me a little glimpse into someone’s life on a particular day at a particular time when they sat down to communicate. Every day I wait for the mailman and excitedly check our box. You can imagine how thrilled I am at Christmas time when we tend to hear from more people than usual. 🙂 ‘Tis the season!

Here are a few things we’ve received in the last month or so. Cards, notes, a little jar of paper stars, several new masks, including kitty cats, flowers, RBG and a “social workers are essential” (thanks for that one, Susan!), my mom sent Rich a new cookbook she read about, and she likes to send me news articles she knows I’ll like, my new hoodie from my favorite radio station in Alaska, KUCB, with a note from my former boss, my Christmas cards came in so I am working my way through those. Many thanks to all of our loved ones for keeping us in their thoughts and hearts. It means a lot!

Quick Visit to Clyde

We drove to Clyde to see the kids and to watch Ally play volleyball. Arrived early afternoon and spent some time chatting in the front yard, thankfully it was not too hot outside! Susan was off work and the kids did not have school because of a teacher work day, except Aidan had one virtual class through TSTC for his aircraft mechanics class. We waited for him to finish and then drove over to Abilene to have a late lunch on the patio at Rosa’s. Then back home to hang out for awhile longer, Corey got home from work, and we got ready for the volleyball match.

We had to buy tickets in advance because Susan said they limited the number of people in the gym. Also masks were required. Well, obviously this was just “on paper” because once we were in the gym, hardly anyone was wearing a mask and everyone was squeezed together in the bleachers, yelling and talking and laughing without masks. We stood at the end of the gym against the wall by the door and tried to distance as much as possible. A couple of women kept coming closer to us while chasing a toddler and did not seem to notice or care. I really wanted to tell them to “give me 6 feet!” but I was a little afraid of getting punched out. I just kept moving further away. Rich left the gym a couple of times and went outside in the fresh air. Our friend Karen came over after work and it was good to see her for a little while.

Volleyball was fun and Ally did a great job on the front row. I totally don’t get the new rotation system where kids just come in and play a certain few positions and go out again instead of rotating all the way around like they did when my girls played. Ally basically played three positions in the front row and then rotated out. They started out doing well and then got behind and lost the first game, then lost the second one as well so that was that. We visited outside for a few minutes and took some pictures before heading back to Dallas.

It was a long day but Rich didn’t want to spend the night. We stopped to get gas and a drink and although the store ‘required’ masks, there were two guys in front of us that didn’t have any on. Just like in the gym, I wanted to say something but I was reluctant. The cashier was an older woman who was wearing a cute Halloween mask so I complimented her on the mask and then said “I thought y’all required masks and those guys sure weren’t complying.” She said they try but it is hard to enforce it. I felt for her, especially after she said she has COPD and is a cancer survivor. Made me angrier about those young guys who were so selfish and couldn’t have cared less if they infected her.

We got home about 10:30 and slept in the next morning. I think our long day wore us out! Fun to see the kids and catch up on their news. I’m sad we don’t get to see them more often but everyone is busy and we have the added complication of the virus to contend with. Aidan and Ally were really sweet to sit and talk with us outside when they probably would have rather done something else. Aidan says he is really liking his aircraft mechanics program and he has also gone back to work at McDonald’s because he was “a little bored.” I’m glad he has a good work ethic and it will give him some spending money. Ally loves school and is doing well, is a little social butterfly and likes being around her friends. They are getting grown up but still very kindhearted kids.

October, Please Be Kind to Us

Went by the White Rock Center of Hope for my friend Bettina’s birthday (she’s the one on the phone). It was good to see Gabriele and Dianne as well. The whole system has changed due to Covid–no clients in the building at all and everything is done by phone. It’s probably more efficient, but less personal. I am thinking about going back soon because it seems pretty safe….hopefully. I miss volunteering there and hanging out with my friends.

We picked up our first Comeback Creek Farm box of the fall season. The lettuce and kale were so delicious! I am not sure how we will use up all that squash but Rich will probably find a way. More highlighting of voter flyers, cards in the mail from family and friends as well as a new hoodie from Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, I started on my 500 tiny piece Springsteen puzzle from Sarah and it’s gonna take me awhile!

I’m glad to be out walking again!

“Lit Sticking”

The time has come for the many, many Funky East Dallas Dems to get out and distribute our voter literature. We ordered giant sticky notes that we leave on doors of confirmed or potential Democratic voters, thus the shorthand phrase “lit sticking.” Saturday and Sunday, volunteers came to our leader Kristy’s house, which we have dubbed “FEDDquarters,” to pick up their literature, get directions and help with the phone app we use, and pick up some swag. My friend Kathy and I were in charge of merchandise so we had fun hanging out and chatting with people before hitting the streets to work our own precinct. Once we are finished with our East Dallas precincts, we will be helping similar groups in Garland and Richardson. I think we are distributing something like 130,000 pieces of voter information. Let’s do this!

Vote Him Out

We’re into the home stretch for the election and it’s getting a bit fever pitched here in my part of town, home of the Funky East Dallas Democrats. These people are SUPER organized and I love them for it. The days of me wanting a leadership role are long gone (even though sometimes I think I know better and have an urge to take over…but not for long). I am happy as a worker bee and others can have the glory and the headaches! Lately I have had a little assembly line of my own and have highlighted thousands of voter info flyers with the names of each precinct’s candidates. The flyers come in stacks of 50 and I will have you know that I can highlight one stack in 4 minutes and 38 seconds. Rich helped me finish some the other night and we had a little race after he said he didn’t believe I could do them that quickly. Well, lo and behold, he was even faster than I was. I can’t hold it against him, even though we are both pretty competitive about some things. I’m just glad he helped me get them done.

I’ve enjoyed more mail from family and friends (seriously, the mail makes my day and I am always a little disappointed when nothing “fun” arrives). Went to the store and the pumpkins are out so I guess that means autumn is here. And I started knitting a baby hat for a friend. It’s going well so far, but I am a little worried about finishing the top. Fingers crossed!