One Year Ago Today

This is the anniversary of the day we finally closed on the house in Dallas and began the adventure to the rest of our lives.

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We started out the next morning driving to Texarkana where we had a short visit with my sister and her family.


Then we took the train to Chicago and met my future daughter-in-law and step-grandchild (that’s my #1 son in the picture, too).


Then back to Texarkana, and some time spent checking out the cemetery, Old Washington, and Hope, AR – all important for my genealogy interests. The obligatory “State Line” photo in front of the Texarkana, USA, Post Office.


And of course a trip to Bryce’s Cafeteria (where I met LeMichael James’ aunt).


Next it was a visit to Burns, TN, to see my cousin and spend a couple of days with her.


Then we drove down the Natchez Trace…


…on our way to see #2 son and his family in South Louisiana.


Then began our trek across the country. I declared I didn’t want to mess with Interstate Highway travel, so we kept to the regular US highways as much as possible.  This is a stretch of the old Route 66 that’s still there in Western Oklahoma (or maybe the Texas panhandle).


While we were in Amarillo, we got a chance to visit Palo Duro Canyon, and really enjoyed our time there, particularly since it was a little rainy and not too hot.


Unfortunately, we still had to ride on the Interstate in some places, like here in New Mexico.


We took a couple of days and drove up to Santa Fe and Taos.


Then due south through New Mexico and turned west again on I-10. We got to see White Sands.


And then into Arizona where we took a detour to see an old trading post and Indian war Fort.


A couple of days in Tucson, and then north through Phoenix and into Flagstaff where we finally got to see some trees again.


Then the Grand Canyon


Bryce Canyon National Park


and Zion National Park


North through Utah, and into Idaho where we saw Craters of the Moon National Park.


And on to Spokane where my father was born. We found one of the houses he lived in as a child.


Then across the great state of Washington, including the Columbia River Gorge.


and in to Tacoma, and Franke Tobey Jones.

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Thus endeth our trek from Dallas to Tacoma.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to review a few of the highlights of our year here.

It’s a New Year

We’re back, after a week in south Louisiana for a visit with Bill’s family. We had a great time, but I figured out, we’re getting really old and set in our ways. Thank goodness we stayed in motel, actually the Residence Inn in Covington. It gave us a place to go and decompress and unwind without throwing Katie out of her bed. Big Al and I go 5 or 6 days out of 7 without ever talking to anyone else. We usually don’t have any noise in the house except the tapping of computer keys. Occasionally one or the other of us will turn on Pandora, or there will be music with one of our on-line games, or maybe I’ll listen to a podcast or something on You-Tube. Other than that we live a very quiet life.

Two dogs, two kids, the TV always on, phones going off, the doorbell ringing with the little girls from next door calling on Katie, and that was just in the first 1/2 hour we were there. We love ’em, but we also need a little peace and quiet in our old age. So we were glad to have the motel to run to in the afternoon to take a little nap and hear ourselves think.

The calm before the storm on Christmas morning…

Opening presents…

My loot (an iPad and Ducks gear)…

Erika and Ian opening presents…

Bill and Kate opening goodies…

Kate’s loot…

On Christmas at noon, we went to Erika’s brother’s house. His wife is from a BIG Cajun family, and there were people coming in, bringing food, eating, drinking, and going on their way all day long. Everybody just ate when they got hungry, and every time somebody new would come in there would be more food and the kids would get to open more presents, and everybody kissed and hugged, and chattered, and then the next batch would come, and some of the old ones would leave. I’m still not sure who was a relative and who was just a friend, but I don’t think it really made any difference. I felt like I was in the middle of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” only with gumbo instead of baklava.

Big Al escaped the mayhem by sitting in the middle of it and drifting off to sleep…

I think this was one of Erika’s brother’s brother-in-laws. They are BIG Saints fans.

And this was one of my favorite presents. (I’m as big a Ducks fan and the Geautreaux’s are Saints fans.)

I’ve started a diet, and a new blog to keep track of my progress on the diet (but it’s private). If you REALLY want to read it and be bored with what I ate and how I didn’t exercise as much as I should you can ask for permission to see it, but I didn’t think you would be interested in that stuff ad nauseam.

I will have some words to say about today’s sermon, probably tomorrow. I think I have a problem with it.

I hope to spend this year on this blog processing the stuff I’m reading, and thinking about – mostly about church stuff, but also about politics, and the general state of the world. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.