brian's nephew, ben (son of the delinquent brother), was wrapping up a week long visit. the other grandparents recently moved to phoenix, so visiting has been drastically reduced. before he had to leave for the austin airport, oliver tentatively followed him around the house. when the social pressure became to great, he would take up residence around my legs.
brian ended up having to work quite a bit saturday, so i took oliver out to play in the back a couple of times.
he broke for lunch and drove us the long way to one of his favorite dining establishments: taco bueno. it had another one of those ridiculous double drive thrus and both lines were at a complete stand still. 25 minutes later, we were back on the road.
not long after our return, the fever of the herpangina made it's debut appearance and the first of a week of motrin doses was consumed.
that evening, the five of us pretended like we were going to dine out at an indian restaurant. oliver lost his shit when we tried to wrangle him into ben's old car seat in pappy ken's car. at some point, it occurred to me he might have been trying to tell us that the seat wasn't rear-facing. i bet that's got to be pretty weird to ride around in cars backwards for two years and then all of a sudden... someone throws the ride into reverse. he also might have thought we were locking him up back there to ditch him. separation anxiety.
he simmered down and we drove nine miles to the ghost town of maxdale. i recently purchased the book ghost towns of texas. maxdale wasn't in it, but we were feeling inspired and had looked up its illustrious and incredibly made up history in the ghost department.
next to the church. i reckon this is where they had revivals and parked horses. cowboy church! daggs!
walking to the bridge. KKK! so cool! i like the use of quotes. easier!
many of the purported ghost stories mention an uneasy feeling while on the bridge. i called this uneasiness my fear of heights and being on rickety bridges and being terrified my wiggly toddler was going to wrench his hand free of grandma while standing a foot and a half away from a guard rail that started above his head on a bridge looming several stories above the riverbed below. but that's just me.
smelling the flower.
the cemetery. KKK! so cool!
balance beam! this path was well demarcated so that you could be relatively certain you were not stepping around on bodies. i tell you what, once you leave that path, WATCH OUT. because you will realize you are in the middle of a tangle of graves and good luck to you figuring out which way to go to get out of there without stepping on anyone. you'll have to run on your toes!
it was sad to see how many headstones had been overturned. if only i had the superhuman strength to right them all. and to spank the little punks. it's nice to see flowers on graves which are many, many decades old. and the gorgeous trees. which are many, many decades old.
my head in the two-way camera mirror! it still needs a haircut!
daddy. i got a serious case of the willies leaning over this fresh grave to take the photo. just waiting for the hand of carrie to pop out.
lots of babies and youngsters. and primitively carved tombstones.
your time shall come, too!
it's like a little cattle maze! he missed his turn to freedom!
so, oliver was wiped and we threw away the plans to eat out which we had thrown out as soon as we had made them and went back home. brian's mom made spinach enchiladas and guacamole. and then we watched raccoons eat watermelon. there was a lot of territorial hissing going on over that thing.
after reviewing those photos, i was reminded of a magnet my mom has had for ages of a raccoon eating watermelon. it was right!
the next morning, oliver threw a hissyfit over i don't know what and we lured him back to the table with promises of a fork and a photoshoot.
supermodel mr. kitty!
herpangina! i don't know how we didn't catch it. i don't know how he did catch it.
i spent time that weekend contemplating two beings who have really found a way to live life to the fullest.
one is pappy ken's brother, gary. he retired from teaching last year, moved to chicago, got a tiny apartment, and spends his days riding trains, going to the theater and opera, and visiting coffee shops and cafes. he's having a great time.
the other is mr kitty. by peeing repeatedly in front of the shower, he fought his way out of a confined living space where he was beaten by ozzy on a daily basis. he's put on a pound, spends all but one hour a day outside in the wilds of the texas hill country, and has regained his self-confidence to the point of terrorizing other cats. all four pounds of him.
i think we could all learn a little something from gary and mr kitty.