I'm not who I was.
The time had come to leave Dallas. Before we headed to church field trip #2 at The Village Church in the evening, we made our way to the Stockyards to watch the longhorns be herded down the street. Quite honestly, I was rather unimpressed with this particular venture. But all was not lost as the kids had fun petting lots of puppies at a dog adoption expo that was going on, and Cheeks found his beloved souvenir: a toy semi truck with a Texas flag on it. (It is unreal how obsessed the boy had become about Texas even before we went on the trip. He can pick it out on a map, and he can identify the flag… nothing I taught him on purpose. He just picked it up. I can’t get my calendar out to jot down an appointment without him pining for his chance at it to go to the time-zone map in the back and celebrate the existence of Texas.) Also, I really wish that I would have the kids prepared in photo-shoot clothing, because of backdrops like this: The rest of the absolutely beautiful day was spent at a playground, and then church… followed by Slurpees from 7-11 and a few more hours in the car to Thorndale.
Thorndale is an endearing small town of about 1300 people. Its claim to fame is that it’s where they filmed the movie The Rookie. It is beautiful and quaint. I’m not wired for small-town living permanently, but I oh so enjoyed the refreshing of the visit, and a lot of that has to do with our kind and generous hosts who have seriously been gifted with the gift of hospitality. (I always admire and appreciate people with this giftedness, because it is NOT mine.) Our primary purpose for being there was that the Rev was preaching revival for several nights at a friend’s church. But we still got some vactiony things in there as well.
On our first night there, I killed a scorpion by way of the cowboy boots that I was wearing, which made me feel legit Texan.
The kids were in heaven. We would get up in the morning, and the kids would have already helped themselves to the outdoors: playing with toys,
J became particularly attached to Buckwheat. I would find her having deep conversations with the black cat. (There were 7 cats in all). I very briefly entertained the idea of getting a self-sufficient outdoor-only cat as built in therapy for J, but then I remembered how the two dogs next door probably wouldn’t like that, and would likely voice their opinion vehemently. And then our whole block would need therapy. So the whim has drifted and J will just have to settle for talking to people for now.
We went on all sorts of adventures, such as keeping Austin weird, swimming in a natural spring fed pool, playing games, antiquing, and eating lots of delicious free food (thanks again to the hospitable hosts). One day we were taken out to a 100-acre farm to go fishing. J caught 16 fish in about an hour’s time! The Rev caught several, Cheeks caught two, and I caught nothing but a grasshopper for J’s bait (which I had to be taught how to do), and I broke a pole. Evidently the magic touch was to use a cane pole baited with a grasshopper. Sometimes J would get 2 or 3 fish off of the same bait before it was all gone.
The kids cried when we left.
Video snippets part 4: Cheeks on the monkey bars, Village Church worship, feeding the animals.
Thus ends the play-by-play of our Texas adventures!