I had lunch today with the first blogger I ever read. We lived in Dallas and I somehow found her blog (except I think we called them online diaries or online journals back then) and loved reading about her life in Austin. Wasn’t long until we moved to Austin and, lo and behold, we became friends. I hadn’t seen her in years, though, and it was fun to catch up. She hosts a site calledHolidailies, which is encouragement to write daily — or at least more frequently– during the holidays and to read some blogs that you haven’t read before. I expect to participate, so look forward to LOTS and LOTS of blogs come next week. Ha. Right. Who am I kidding?
I had a wonderful 4-day vacation over Thanksgiving (with the exception of an hour or so at the radio station on Saturday) and even I thought I would get an update in here, but instead I ate and slept and ate some more.
But we did have a beautiful Thanksgiving with lots of the family here. All of my family and Mark’s mother all came from Dallas and Waco to be here for dinner Wednesday night and all day Thursday and even into Friday. It was relaxing and pleasant and no snippiness or hurt feelings, as far as I can tell.
We built our afternoon around the Aggie parade that goes down Congress on Thankgiving afternoon at the very odd time of 1 p.m. I was never able to find anyone on Facebook that had been to the Aggie parade (which sounds like a joke in search of a punchline). What it is is just the A&M Corps marching in formation from the river up to the Capitol. It was a very impressive array of young men and women. I read online that there are just over 1700 members of the Corps — though, interestingly, in order to go to A&M you are supposed to HAVE to be in the Corps, but most get dispensation to not be in it. So now the Corps makes up only about 3% of the student body.
We wanted to see the parade because it is interesting and only an every-other-year event, but this year was extra special because the drum major is Austin Welty, a friend of my nephew’s from Coppell High School. Austin was in the band with Connor and Brandt and was a good friend. Now he is the head drum major and VERY impressive in front of that fabulous band. Mark took some great pictures of it all and when he is awake (or he reads this) I hope he will send me some to use.
In one of those odd twists of fate, I also know Austin Welty’s dad from my days in Amarillo. He owned an ad agency that we worked with through the radio station.
We all made it to the parade just in time and enjoyed it as it passed us quickly. It was quite warm that afternoon and was pretty muggy. The parade ended and I turned around just as all these beautiful yellow leaves were swirling down on me from a big tree on the Capitol grounds. I got everyone’s attention and said, “Wow, look at these leaves all coming down on us.” THEN, a COLD north wind hit us. It was the most defined cold front I think I’ve ever felt. It felt great after the muggy heat and made our walk back to the car easier. Then the temperature continued to drop and was a 20 degree difference within an hour or two. That made for a nice night with the fire going while we watched the Aggies beat the Longhorns.
My meal was lovely, if I do say so myself (and I’m sure my comment-ers that will check in below will agree). I tried to make it streamlined and didn’t make any sweet potatoes or green bean casserole or anything resembling a green vegetable or even a relish plate. As much as I wanted to have deviled eggs, I didn’t go that far either. Just turkey and dressing and a hash brown casserole and hot (yes, homemade) rolls and a strawberry jello thing the boys requested. And cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce. We ate and ate and then saved the pecan, apple, and pumpkin pies for later in the day.
Another highlight of my holiday weekend was seeing the movie Young at Heart. (or is it “Young @ Heart” maybe?). Get it, rent it, buy it, see it. It was a wonderful documentary about a chorus of senior citizens that are preparing for a series of shows. I watched it with Mark’s mother while he was out Friday night and then I made him watch it with me on Sunday. It is a beautiful, sweet, sad movie.
We had several of our moments where we all got so tickled we thought we were going to die laughing. My sister had my computer in the living room, catching up on things. My nephew showed me his new computer. I was just seeing how the screen looked when I ended up on Facebook and it was, of course, signed in on his account. So I quickly put in one of those bogus status updates that you often see, proclaiming (as Connor): “I have had the best Thanksgiving. . . . My aunt Janice is an outstanding cook, not to mention her beauty and intelligence. I’m a lucky nephew!”Â He caught on and grabbed the computer from me before I was able to post, though he indulged me and posted it. Sweet boy. Meanwhile, while he and I were laughing and wrestlingÂ over the laptop, my sister surreptitiously used my Facebook account to post (as me): “What an awesome day!! My wonderfully talented sister, Mackie, was here….what else is there to say???? I aspire to be as fabulous as her someday. I am so very blessed to have her as my sister AND my idol.” We had a good laugh and laughed even more when my friends and relatives that don’t know her at all posted things like “What a great sister, can’t wait to meet her.”
Another time we got tickled laughing (and I’m sure perplexed my mother-in-law) was when Mark was taking a shower and was out of commission when my mother and Mackie were ready to drive home on Friday afternoon. They hollered their goodbyes and he hollered his through the closed door and then my mother said, “Well, I’ll just go in there and tell him goodbye,” and she charges down the hall and even goes so far to grab the door handle and begin opening it before laughing and stopping. After our laughter (and Mark’s sheer terror) subsided, Mackie repeated the whole thing and got us started again.
Our weekend was certainly made easier, too, by my good friend Denise who let my family stay there while she was out of town for her Thanksgiving. She has a luxurious, big, clean-as-a-hotel house and my mother and sister ended up being the only ones to stay there, but I think they might have stayed a week if they could have. I know my sister was ready to sleep until mid-afternoon until I ordered mother to wake her up so they could come over for brunch on Friday. In her defense, she had been up that morning at 6:30 to ferry a son across town so he could drive back to Dallas with his friend. She came back to the big comfortable quiet bed and was ready to sleep there until the weekend was over.
I’ve been back at work 2 days and I’m about ready to check into Denise’s hotel myself and sleep a couple of days. The holiday was restful and wonderful, but back-to-work can sure sap it all out fast.