For those that don't know, Uncle Truman is one of my mom's younger brothers.
I made travel plans around October 21st to go to Arizona for Thanksgiving. I had planned to be all ready when the day came and not be stressed out with last minute "todos", but alas again I was working on getting this together up until the last minute. I had a lot of anxiety, nervousness, anticipation and excitement with regards to my trip. I felt very sick the morning I was getting ready to leave and didn't know if I was getting sick or what was wrong with me, but I was a mess! Uncle Gib picked me up at 4:45am and we drove to DFW where I flew out on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 7:05am to Las Vegas. I rented a car at the Las Vegas airport and drove roughly 2hrs along US93 thru "nomans land"...I was not prepared for the memories that would come by driving out into the desert to absolutely nothing like it was in my childhood. I went straight to Uncle Truman & Aunt Jessica's house. Upon arrival we chatted a bit while Aunt Jessica finished preparing our feast...turkey and the works! We sat down and ate and stuffed ourselves good. We then cleaned up the kitchen (well I actually pulled the meat off the turkey while they cleaned up since they knew more where things went than I did) and we washed dishes and continued visiting and then shared photos to get caught up on each others lives. Truman & Jess had just moved in last weekend and so not all the albums were unpacked yet and I only brought a handful of my pictures that are not yet in albums and two of my scrapbooks, one of my house I bought in the "before stages" and my 30th Birthday trip to San Antonio with RuthAnn two years ago. It was neat to see them recognize people and learn about others they do now know. We snacked a bit later in the evening and had pie! I got teased for helping myself to a piece and not letting Aunt Jess serve me...but hey, in defense, the pumpkin and pecan pies were between me and Uncle Truman, what was I supposed to do, just look at it??? We then moved to the living room and we sang choruses for a good hour and half or so while Uncle Truman played the guitar. I taught them one song (Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me) that I will send the words to them so they can learn it maybe on their own. We had a great time getting acquainted and stayed up till 1am my time, which meant I had been up for 21hours straight!!! Needless to say, we all slept in the next morning.
Friday, November 28th, 2008We had a late breakfast, eggs & bacon & english muffins, about 10:30am. Granpa came by during it to pick up a tractor. He came in and we got to meet each other for the first time since I was 7/8yrs old. He stayed for a brief spell then him and Brady took off to do some work and Dustin took me over to Granma's. He stayed for a bit and then left us to talk. We shared scrapbook albums and Granma Net shared her experience with the return to the Christians at May Camp 2008 in Tulare. Granpa returned and cleaned up and we headed to meet all the others at Golden Coral for lunch at 2pm. Granma Net made me sit in the middle and we all chatted and they teased me about how much I ate, but I said you had to make use of your price at a buffet. They all laughed at me, and yes, I was the last one to finish! Granpa said he could really tell I had some Jean in me because I liked to talk! I rode back to the house with Granpa & Granma via a drop off at the post office. We chatted some more and looked at old photo's of the time when we stayed in Escondido with them in 1984. Granma Net is to make me copies of some of those pictures as I have very little of my childhood. Granma felt I was getting really tired, and indeed I was, so I layed down for a bit and took a nap, but have no idea how long it was as I did not look at the clock before I did. When I got up, I took pictures of them, showed Granpa the scrapbook of my house, played the piano for them, and we visited some more and Granpa shared some things with me that he wanted me to think about, and then Dustin came to get me. Upon arriving back at Truman's we visited more and I gave Brady a hard time for not sharing the popcorn...then we all went to bed a little earlier, 12:30am my time. ;)
Saturday, November 29th, 2008
We had french toast for breakfast with bacon...I got teased for making it look all pretty on the plate stacked like a loaf of bread instead of just flopped on the plate. Aunt Jess was really impressed...
After breakfast and cleanup we all (except the boys) went for a hike behind their house...they have a nice view! As we came down the hill, Dustin was doing pop o wheelies on the four wheeler...then got his dirt bike out and did some jumps for me and I took pictures.
Since I just got this camera right before my trip I wasn't used to it and it took a few tries to get some good ones. Then Dustin & I went in the dune buggy with Brady following or leading depending on what he wanted to do. I had a blast...sure brought back memories of doing this with Granpa years ago. Dustin drove really well and I only screamed once! I had the time of my life...we drove a good ways and then stopped and talked about who else had dune buggies or dirt bikes, where we wanted to head from there and Brady had some ideas, so we took off again and a bit down the road they chatted again about it and I realized I did not have my camera anymore in my pocket. Brady had already taken off so we turned around and drove real slow looking on the side of the road that I would have been on for my camera, which was red, hoping that we would spot it. Dustin was sure we would, but I was starting to loose heart and I was so sad...here the few pictures I had taken would be GONE, :( but we found it, and just as we did, Brady had joined us. We wasted 10 minutes for this episode that I could have prevented and now we had to decide to either head back or go a bit further, we headed back via a detour that ended up being a fabulous drive but when we reached the dead end and stopped to talk about how fun this last spell was with Brady following closely on his dirt bike, we realized we had a flat on the left front tire! So Dustin and I had to crawl the trip home, which was about half of our time out cruising! We were able to visit some more along the way though since it wasn't loud and we had a good last minute chat about serving the Lord because its the right thing to do regardless of your family name or what your parents/grandparents believe in and how I had enjoyed my time with them.
Back at the house, we sat down to eat tacos, enchiladas, rice, beans, chips and salsa. They said they didn't want me to leave hungry and they had to do it the way it was done in TEXAS! LOL!!! I then rushed to the shower, packed my things and said goodbye. It was all I could do not to cry, but I was very determined not to cry...at least until I got down the road and out of sight! I was just getting to know them and we have been apart for so many years and now I had to leave? But yes, life must go on and all good things do come to an end, if they didn't, I wouldn't be able to look forward to more good times...
I had a great flight home and was greeted by Uncle Gib. We shared the happenings in each others lives the last few days all the way home. Its hard to believe that just a few hours ago I was in Arizona and now I am back home, but it is good to be back to "my home" and I can't wait to download my pictures and send to Kathryn. She so wanted to go with me! I just hope she won't hate me too much that I got to ride in a dune buggy without her!
As I reflect on my time, I am thankful to be able to renew our connection as family, but more importantly that we are Christians on a journey together with the goal of serving our Lord and Saviour! I really enjoyed being able to share with all of them and get to know each one of them...though they had an advantage ~ one against 8! I hope they know that I love them very much and that I want them to go on serving the Lord, and as they can getting to know many of the Christian's and creating wonderful memories just like I have now since I have been apart of the Texas Assembly since September 1997. The journey continues...