Birmingham and Back Home

We went to lunch at the historic Bright Star Restaurant, hung out and visited, ran errands, watched part of the World Series, talked politics, and tried to solve all the world’s problems.  🙂  On our last morning, Adrienne and Bill’s daughter Ashton met us for breakfast before we left town. I had not seen her since she was maybe 12 years old. She is smart, clever, funny, friendly, and beautiful…I was so happy to get to catch up with her!

After saying our goodbyes, we drove on to Shreveport to spend the night in another hotel/casino. This one smelled much better and the room was lots nicer!  We had a good dinner and were treated to a free drink each. 🙂  We did better gambling, too; well, Rich did.  I lost my $20 fairly quickly but he managed to win some the first night and then went back again the next morning and won a little more so he covered the cost of the room for us.  🙂  It was a much shorter drive back to Dallas from Shreveport.  All was well at home and the kitties didn’t seem to miss us too much.  🙂

On the Road Again–Homeward Bound

We could not take as leisurely a trip home as we did on the way up because we had to move into our house as soon as we got back.  (In case you haven’t been following along, we moved to Dallas from Alaska back in October; we already had a house we’d bought in 2014 but it had renters in it so we lived in an apartment till their lease was up June 30).  Don’t ask me what I was thinking to schedule a vacation right before we had to move.

Deciding to bite the bullet and make the first day a long one, we pushed on to Colorado where we met up with Bonnie and David and kids for the night.  The kids were excited to have adjoining rooms at the hotel, which we could walk back and forth through.  How much fun is that?!

After dinner and wandering around, it was too late to swim in the hotel pool so we let the kids have a morning dip after breakfast.  Then off to Amarillo to spend the night with Bonnie and Dave.

On the way, we decided to stop at the Capulin Volcano National Monument in N.M.  When my girls were growing up, we stopped at the volcano a couple of times when we were traveling to Colorado.  Susan was small and was very worried that the volcano would erupt while we were in it. I can remember her sitting in the back of the car, almost in tears, telling us that her hands were very sweaty.  🙂  I told Aidan and Ally this story about their mom and Ally said, “My hands are kinda sweaty, too!”  She was also somewhat concerned about the volcano and what might happen while we were there.  We tried to explain that it erupted long, long ago and there was virtually no chance of it happening again.  Then when we got to the visitor center, we were warned to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes and mountain lions!

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All That We Leave Behind

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My grandmother as a young woman, my grandfather’s 1923 graduation announcement, a teacup from my grandparents’ house, and an 1892 copy of The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott.

Rich and I bought our son-in-law Miles’ parents’ home in Dallas a couple of years ago. His parents were building a new home and a jokingly-made suggestion ended up a reality when we decided to take the plunge.  Since we were still in Alaska at the time, we rented the house out with the intention to move into it once we eventually came to Texas.  Our original plan was to retire to Dallas this summer, but we went slightly crazy and moved last October instead!  Meanwhile, our tenants still have a lease till June 30 so we’ve been renting a nice little apartment just a couple of minutes away from daughter Sarah and her family.

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Hurray for Summer!

School’s winding down and we are gearing up for big fun!  Granddaughter Ally is finishing 2nd grade, where she received reading and math awards and also got honors for “Best Sportsmanship,” “Most Improved” and was the “Super Catcher” for her softball team.  Her mama said Ally has found her sport and LOVES softball.

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Ally and her softball teammates

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Commune-ity Garden

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Someone else’s big cauliflower 🙂 

I’ve always had a romanticized notion about living in a commune.  I’m sure it would be much harder than I imagine and I would probably be saying “what was I thinking?” sooner than expected, but there’s a part of me that has long held the idea that sharing the workload, expenses, and rewards would be pretty great. And why do we all need our own lawnmowers and rakes and pressure cookers and ladders and other stuff we only use once in awhile?

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From Unalaska to Dallas

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Dallas Skyline

After more than 11 years for me and 22 for Rich, we packed up and left the beautiful island of Unalaska, Alaska for retirement life in the big city of Dallas, Texas.  I spent many years in Texas before moving to Alaska and swore I would never live here again–I’m a little too left-leaning to be a good Texan.  🙂 But eight grandkids (and their parents) scattered across the Lone Star State and the opportunity to buy a house in Dallas eventually sealed the deal.  People, I am SO happy to be closer to the kids, but we will see how well I do in the latest state to approve the “open carry” of guns.

Come along with me as I explore my new home city, get involved in the community, hang out with the kids, travel with my hubby, and occasionally opine about various issues I care about.

If you want to read more about our adventures in Alaska, our travels, and our family and friends, check out my previous blog here.