I guess I have an unusually strong sentimentality towards my hometown. I know folks often do and often retire where they grew up but I haven't met many lately who feel as I do, perhaps a little obsessed, which I can only assume means that I had a great childhood and parts of adulthood in this wonderful place. Above are Julia (remember my Silver Bella sister who met me in Omaha last month?) who was great to pick me up from the airport in Houston with only a few hours notice, Cindy, friend since we were 4, and me. And above, Cindy and I as juniors in high school. Crazy.In between "college" and beauty school I worked at Frank's Bar and Grill as the day waitress. Alan, with me above and below, was the day bartender, and Michael was the day cook. We were the Three Musketeers-thick as thieves-best friends.
Kismet, the whole trip was unbelievably, perfectly amazing. Alan says he's never at home and never answers his home phone when he is. Well he did on Tuesday, coinkidinck, I don't think. We met at his "office", Fox and Hound, a neat little bar where he can get all his work done on his laptop and cell as a regional sales rep for a wine company. His wife of 28 years, Bobbie, couldn't meet us as she was busy with their two young daughters but it was so special to have the time together to catch up.
Fate still at work, Lucas and I needed to get he and Kristen's gas account changed into their names so we needed to go to the gas company which is called Atmos Energy. At the same time that we were looking for Atmos, I was looking for an old...ummm...friend, Otto. While Lucas is finding out where Atmos is on his phone, I'm finding out that Otto works at Atmos by knocking on many doors in a neighborhood where his last address was shown on the Internet. Technically that's not stalking, is it? Not when it's been 35 years of pining.AND, also working there is Glen, friend since first grade, our sisters were good friends too. So many fabulous surprises. There were others there, like Jack, below, I have to follow up on names, I'm embarrassed that I didn't remember them the way I did Otto and Glen like the back of my hand. Here's a better picture of Glen, on the right, with Jack and Otto at their office party.Julia and I drove around the first day seeing our old grade schools, childhood homes, and many other sentimental landmarks. Here I am, above, crying my eyes out on "my" front porch calling my mom saying, "Mamma, I'm home!", scaring the crap out of her thinking I might have been calling from Heaven since it was coming out as, "Maaaammmmaaaa, sniff, sniff, sob, sob, I'm, sniff, sob, sniff, sob, home, sob, sob.". At least I was with Julia who knew me. The poor girl sitting next to me on the plane who had to witness my breakdown when the pilot announced that we were 110 miles from Houston and it finally hit me that I was going to be in Texas after way tooooooo long will need some serious counselling.
I pulled myself together just long enough to have to do my "Vanna" thing in front of my favorite climbing tree. The owners came home while we were there and I got to go inside for the first time in 25 years.
After Lucas and I left Atmos we found our way out to what used to be our family farm. Hadn't been there in over 30 years. While we had our home in town, my dad had gotten a farm with acreage and turned it into an exotic animal farm. We had llamas, kudu, ostriches, emu-actually somewhere around 140 different breeds of exotic animals. My class used to take field trips in the buses each year. Above is the original cabin where we spent any time away from the horses and other animals shooting pool. Infinite, blessed memories from here.
Above was the original tank that was on the land, Daddy later added a second, but this is the one where all my wonderful loving memories were made of me and my Daddy fishing in our little john boat, below, for hours on end. There was a movie called Passion Fish made a few years ago and I went to see it alone. It was a great movie but what did it for me was at the end she's sitting in her john boat and there's only the sound of the waves hitting the side of the boat and I burst out in sobs, the sound memory being so exact to that of Daddy and I fishing. Fortunately, at the time, I could just go to their house and hug, kiss him, and tell him all about it. He was there with me when Lucas took these pictures looking down from overhead. I love you Daddy, thank you for being mine.
And, of course, below, the beautiful blessings of why I had to rush down and do the "mamma" thing, Lucas and Kristen.
Need I say it every time? There is more to come...