Goodbye for now, Durhams!

Sarah and Miles were not going to get home till later Sunday night and Sarah texted me a weather report that heavy rain, high winds, hail and possible tornadoes were expected in Dallas around the time we would have been driving back. We decided Rich would drive home after dinner to beat the storm and be there with the cats, plus he had a doctor’s appointment on Monday. Then Sarah would drive me halfway to meet him the next morning.

So he left and I finished straightening up the house, folded laundry, got the kids to bathe and get ready for bed and for school the next day. Jack was asleep when the parents arrived but the other two were still up and were really happy to see them! Sarah and Miles had a wonderful relaxing stay in Mexico and made it home around 9:30. We chatted a bit and then I talked with Rich who said the storm was not that bad, though our pool umbrella had somehow flown out of the hole in the table and was on the ground.

The next morning I walked Jack to school while Miles took Beck and Sarah took Elle. Then Sarah and I met Rich at our favorite halfway point, Duke’s, which has home made fried pies and brownies to tempt us any time we stop in.

Another fun visit and more memories made with the grandkids! Jack and I worked very hard on his spelling words all week and when he came home Friday he was convinced he’d made 100 on his test. Unfortunately he didn’t get the test back while I was there so I am waiting to hear! I am slightly competitive about those sorts of things! 🙂

Putt-Putt Golf

This is becoming one of our traditions in Tyler. We were going to go in the AM before it got hot but I thought to look up the hours since it was Sunday and sure enough, they did not open till 1 PM. By the time we got there, it was already in the 80s. The kids wanted to play both courses so we got a family pass and began on course #2 since there were other people starting course #1. Almost immediately the kids began bickering about who would go first and who moved their ball and who wanted a “do-over,” and so on. There was a family behind us and the mom kept laughing in a sympathetic way and rolling her eyes at me. I finally told the kids that we could just go on home if we weren’t going to be happy and have fun. LOL

Meanwhile Beck got a hole in one and that cheered him up, only to have Jack get a hole in one right behind him. I think that irritated Elle because she didn’t get one. We carried on and got to hole #9, which I thought was the last one, and I was admittedly happy about it. Come to find out, no, each course was 18 holes–I thought it was 9 and 9. So we took a break and got some cherry-limeades while sitting on a picnic table under an umbrella. (Later Beck said they were the best cherry limeades he’d ever had…just in case you ever go to Tyler and want one). After a rest and a drink, everyone was in better spirits and we carried on, though getting hotter and sweatier by the minute. Jack was on fire and got three more holes in one, much to everyone’s shock and amazement. 🙂

In the end, Grandpa won, as usual, with Elle right behind him, the boys tied in the middle and Gigi, also as usual, pulling up the rear in the scoring department. 🙂

Chill Saturday

Everyone was pretty tired today! Elle got home around noon and Beck’s friend left soon after. We lounged around, then Rich, Elle and I put together a cat condo for Kitty. It came in the mail a couple of days ago and I intended to leave it for Miles. LOL But Elle wanted to do it and it ended up being easier than it looked, despite a couple of wrong turns. Kitty seemed interested and we’re hoping she’ll like it better than the furniture for her scratching needs. 🙂 Later we went out for pizza, followed by a rousing game of Apples to Apples, then an early bedtime.

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!

More Tyler Fun

Last night Elle and Rich made orange chicken and fried rice. Elle enjoys cooking with Grandpa and is one of our more adventurous eaters! Dinner was delicious and Beck’s friend Elliott joined us.

Another 6:30 AM morning today and everyone got off to school on time, whew. Rich had made sticky buns from scratch last night but he wasn’t too thrilled with the way they turned out. However, the rest of us thought they were pretty darned good, except Elle who has braces and said they were too sticky. 🙂

Rich drove Beck, Elle got picked up, and I walked Jack to his school. Today he didn’t want me to come in and said goodbye on the sidewalk, then I headed back up the very steep hill to their house! Getting a small amount of exercise at least! Did some housework and laundry and then Rich and I continued our “vacation attitude” by eating lunch at The Grove, a place Sarah had taken me once before that has outdoor dining. I had an excellent tomato basil soup and fancy grilled cheese sandwich and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine. Rich remarked that we were a bit under-dressed as we watched all the fabulously put together “ladies that lunch” file in. Oh well, these people will never see us again, right?!

The schedule was full today as Beck stayed after school for rehearsal for a play he’s in, and Elle stayed after for volleyball since she is the team manager while recuperating from foot surgery. Meanwhile I picked Jack up at school and we came back to do homework, practice spelling words, read, eat something, and get ready for baseball. Rich and I took him to his game while the other two kids had rides home from their activities. Jack did great, got two hits and his team won the game. By the time we got home, it was 7:15 so we ordered some burgers, gave him a quick bath, finished homework, practiced again for the spelling test tomorrow and read more books that have to be turned in on Friday. OMG, I had forgotten how stressful it can be when your kids have too many things to do at once! And I am competitive enough that I want him to get 100 on his spelling test and not have a bad grade on my watch. LOL

One more early morning tomorrow and then we can chill out till Mom and Dad get home on Sunday night.

Volleyball

Yesterday we drove over to Tyler to watch Elle play volleyball with her 7th grade school team. We intended to get to Sarah’s around 4 PM to have time to visit a little and then follow them to the game. We left our house a little early so we could stop at the Lowe’s in Mesquite to get more stain for our fence (the store here only had one container of the color we wanted…of course). Made that stop with no problem and got back on the road. Rolling along just fine for awhile and then suddenly hit a big traffic jam where cars were backed up for miles. We got off at the next exit and followed a side road for what seemed like forever. Eventually we passed the traffic and the GPS told us to get back on I-20. It looked clear so we did. Well, that was a huge mistake!! We had not gone a whole lot further till we were at a complete standstill. We sat there for the longest time with the GPS updating that we’d get to Sarah’s at 4:20, 4:30, 5 PM, and it even said 8 PM at one point. LOL I was texting with her and eventually we decided we’d just meet them at the school if we could even get there in time for a 5:30 game. Finally traffic started moving again and we were able to get off at the next exit, clear the jam again, and get back on. We couldn’t figure out exactly what was going on, didn’t see a wreck, but the hazardous clean up crew was there so we assumed there was some kind of spill. Made it to the school and had no idea where the Jr. High gym was but got some directions from another grandpa walking through the parking lot. 🙂

We sat on the end of the bleachers where the girls stored their backpacks so there weren’t any other people with us. Mask wearing was spotty even though it was supposedly “required.” I think people wore them into the gym and then took them off. Thankfully none near us, except three of the players sat on the bottom row below us without theirs. The girls wore their masks when they weren’t playing but not when they were. I’m not sure how you are supposed to keep everyone safe playing sports, honestly. 🙂 Elle’s team won the match and she did a good job. She had some trouble getting her serves over and was in tears when we walked out. I felt for her–she is super competitive even though her mom reminded her this is “just for fun.” I think she is really hard on herself. Of course we did not care how she did and we were just happy to see her and the rest of the family. We took a few pix outside and then left to make the trip back home. Thankfully the traffic was light and we had no issues. 🙂 We stopped at Buc-ee’s for a bathroom break and “dinner,” which these days means something eaten in the car. I had a Kolache and Rich had a BBQ sandwich, then back on the highway toward home.