In Praise of Patience

Late Thursday evening Studly Doright and I returned home to Doright Manor here in the panhandle of Florida. We’d left Port Byron, Illinois, on Wednesday morning after celebrating our middle granddaughter’s birthday with a family breakfast at a restaurant of her choice in Moline. I wish I’d thought to take a photo that morning, but this is our lovely 14-year-old McKayla.

Studly and I departed from Moline and started towards home, only he didn’t take the exit our gps indicated. When I questioned him he just said, “Patience.”

After nearly three hours of patience we ended up in Champaign, Illinois, to have brunch downtown at Sam’s Cafe. We both love Sam’s, where the pancakes are the best and the French toast is out of this world. The old diner on Walnut Street is nothing much to look at, but oh, how we’ve missed it. I’d come down with a cold on Tuesday night, but that French toast tasted like it might cure all my ailments.

We left Sam’s and finally took a southbound road out of Champaign. I figured that since we’d dawdled for the first three hours of the day that Studly would be in a mood to make up some ground. I was wrong. Somewhere south of Marion, IL, he took an exit that had us traveling a winding road through Vienna down to Metropolis where we stopped for a burger at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse before checking in at Harrah’s casino and hotel. I was baffled. It was just barely 5 p.m. We never stop before 7 p.m. when traveling like this. When I asked Studly if he’d been abducted by aliens and reprogrammed to wander aimlessly he just said, “Patience.”

We didn’t go into the casino. Instead we watched tv and snuggled into the first truly comfortable bed we’d had all week. I took cold medicine and slept like a rock for much of the night. As soon as we were back in the car on Thursday morning Studly turned in the opposite direction our gps indicated. I didn’t bother asking what he was doing. “Patience” seemed to be the only answer I’d get anyway.

I should have anticipated that his intended destination was food related. When we lived in Illinois, Studly’s job took him to the Metropolis area often, and there he discovered Rube’s Cafe. Rube’s serves biscuits and gravy made exactly like Studly’s mother makes them, and he’s been dreaming about them since we moved from Illinois six years ago. I had a bacon and cheese omelet while Studly feasted on biscuits and gravy. I believe there was a tear in his eye as we drove away.

The remainder of the trip was fairly straightforward; although, I did plot us a route that avoided major metropolitan areas. We used the gps sparingly, and I navigated us on peaceful backroads through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

I seriously enjoy reading maps, and the activity kept me alert all day. Our route added an hour to the original route’s estimated arrival time, but we avoided the stress of the holiday traffic crush, and perhaps some major delays around Nashville in Tennessee, and Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama.

I’ll take this over the interstate any day:

There’s a lot to be said in favor of patience.

Peace, people.

Christmas Climb

Studly Doright and I celebrated Christmas with our daughter and her family in Port Byron, Illinois. We laughed, exchanged gifts, watched the grandkids’ delight as they explored their new acquisitions, and ate way too much. Our daughter’s in-laws came today, and we really enjoyed our visit with them over lunch. I am so happy knowing that our grandchildren are loved so much by so many people.

I could’ve shared a great many photos from today, but my favorites, by far, were these taken by our son-in-law:

That’s Studly and our youngest grandchild exploring in the woods behind our daughter’s home. The two took off on a walk, crossed a creek via a fallen tree, and climbed the steep banks rising from the creek bed. When they returned to the house their cheeks were rosy and one of them was severely out of breath. I’ll let you guess which one that was. (Hint: It wasn’t the one wearing the unicorn bike helmet.)

We’ll start our trip home tomorrow. I’ll be sad to leave, but we’ll take with us wonderful memories of time spent with the ones we love. I hope your Christmas Day was filled with love and laughter.

Peace, people!

Christmas Eve in Port Byron

Is there anything more wonderful than a Christmas Eve spent with grandchildren?

Studly Doright and I basked in the glow of our Illinois grandkids’ excitement. What a wonderful night spent exchanging gifts and remembering Christmases past! Lots of laughs, smiles, and exclamations of joy filled the night. I’m such a lucky girl.

Peace, people.

First Grader

Today I was a first grader. Not for the entire day, just for lunch and recess. Here’s what I learned:

1. Lunch guests are instant celebrities. Everyone wanted to sit with me and tell me everything about their families, their pets, and their best friends. I spent an hour being the popular kid. It’s about time.

2. School lunches are better if you talk more than you eat.

3. You get in trouble if you talk more than you eat.

4. You know you’re in trouble when the supervisor has to blow her whistle, not once, not twice, but three times before all the kids stop talking.

5. My granddaughter has a boy friend that she really likes, but she doesn’t like like him, she just likes him. Intonation is everything.

6. I think I’m ready for 2nd grade now.

Peace, people.

Birthday Morning in Dallas

The first day of my 62nd year on earth started off in the best way possible–with me sleeping in until 6:30 a.m. Of course it helps that I’m in the central time zone here in Dallas, but I’ll claim a victory over sleeplessness any way I can get it.

My daughter-in-law made me feel special with a banner and card.

Then my son took us to breakfast at a funky place called the All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum district.

I had an amazing omelet!

Across the street from All Good:

On the ride back to our son’s home we got a glimpse of the Texas State Fair:

The men are playing golf this afternoon and I’m going to pick the grandkids up at school. There might be time for a birthday nap before then, though. That’d be great.

Peace, people!

October, My Kind of Month

There’s so much to love about October: Cooling temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and best of all, my birthday!

Yes, October is most likely the best month of all, and even though my date of birth comes early (Oct. 5), I celebrate all month long. I’m like a little kid in an old lady’s body. Fortunately, my dance card for the month is pretty full, so even though I’m too old to be the belle of the ball, I’ll at least have an invitation to the party.

Studly and I are going to Dallas for a few days. He’s going to play in a member/guest golf tournament with our son. I’ll hang out with my grandkids while the men play golf. Long distance grand parenting stinks sometimes because we don’t get to be there for every sporting event and music performance, but while in Dallas I’ll get to watch our eldest grandchild, Dominique, play in a varsity tennis tournament and Jackson, our youngest grandson, play baseball. Yay me!

The golf tournament concludes with a dinner for golfers and their dates on Saturday evening. As far as I know, I’m Studly’s date. I found a dress for the soirée, and I’m actually trading my flip flops for heels for one night and one night only. I’ll try to remember to take a picture; otherwise, no one who knows me will believe it happened. I practiced walking in the heels this afternoon. No one was injured in the process. The cats were wide-eyed and leery.

While Studly has to head home on Sunday, I’m planning on staying on for a few days. I’m going to a rally for Beto O’Rourke in Dallas on Sunday afternoon and attending a Bishop Briggs concert with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter on Thursday. I’ll fly home on the 12th. Whew!

Then one of my very best friends is set to visit on the 26th of October. She is traveling through Florida on a leisurely solo trip, and I am so looking forward to having her spend some time with us at Doright Manor.

Oh, my daughter’s birthday is the 27th of October. She was and remains by far the best gift I ever received during my birthday month. I’ll even share my birthday month with her. That’s love.

Peace, people!

Checking on the Faeries

A couple of years ago Studly Doright and I helped our visiting grandkids build a faerie house. We carefully placed the house on a small tree stump, and then waited to see if any wee folk would move in.

At first I checked the fairy house on a daily basis with no luck, then a wise friend suggested that perhaps we should give them a little time and some space, lest we scare any potential residents away. Finally our patience was rewarded.

If you look closely in the photo above you might see a tiny winged creature to the right of the ladder.

Over time we learned to give the faerie folk privacy. Honestly, until our grandkids came for a visit in early August I hadn’t given the little guys and gals much thought. They went about their business and Studly and I went about ours. Yesterday, though, as we were working in the yard I went over to take a peek.

I didn’t see a single faerie anywhere, but just look at how much the tree has grown up around the house! Someday, after Studly and I are dead and gone, the new owners of Doright Manor may discover this little abode tucked away in the woods. I just hope they’ll give the faeries their space. Maybe I should leave a note for them, just in case.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #211

I promise I’m not being lazy. Okay, maybe I am, but after hosting two teens and a tween for over a week, I believe I deserve a couple of days of laziness. Honestly, they were well-behaved and a ton of fun, but I’m having difficulty putting together a cohesive post because there’s just too much to process right now.

Yesterday I had to bid them goodbye, and I might’ve cried a little watching them file through the boarding gate at the Panama City airport. Seems like only yesterday two of them were running around my house in diapers. I know the summer visits won’t last forever, so I’m savoring them while I can.

We spent the morning exploring Panama City, and I thought I’d share one of our silly photos.

I call this one, Toes: Both Sandy and Broken.

Snapshot #210

Yesterday (Sunday) was nuts. Studly Doright and I took the Texas grandkids and their friend, Sophia, to Wild Adventures theme park in Valdosta, Georgia. I was too worn out from all the fun and heat last night to write a blog post, and this morning I have to get the crew up to catch their flight out of Panama City. A single snapshot is all I have time to post today.

I call this one, “The Trouble with Butterflies.” Darn thing wouldn’t stand still.

Peace, people.