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Thursday, July 21, 2011

summertime in the country...

gilmer trip part two2

During my trip to East Texas to visit family, Jody flew from McAllen to Dallas to meet with some clients.  After he finished his meetings, I drove there to pick him up and bring him back to our hometown of Gilmer, Texas (where we both grew up) to spend a few days with us in the country.  He has been swamped lately with his law practice and serving as the Bishop at our church, so having a few days to relax in the country was just what he needed.  I worry about him...he gives so much of his time and energy to other people--work, church and family-- and yet, he rarely has time for himself.  Time to recharge his batteries.  I really don't know how he does it all.  I keep reminding him that he has to make time to relax and do something for himself.  I know this is easier said than done, especially when one has the serious commitments and time constraints like he does, but I sure hope we can work to make this happen for him in the coming months.  It always helps de-stress Jody when he gets a chance to spend time in the country at his parent's place.

My in-laws have a beautiful place out in the country, nestled on a peaceful lake in the Piney Woods of East Texas, just outside our hometown.  It is so relaxing for the three of us to spend time at their home.  Noah especially enjoys his time there because his grandpa, Pop, has a tractor and a large backhoe.  Pop will usually give Noah a ride on both of them during our visit.

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Noah and Jody were all smiles as they hung out together tromping around their land.

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Noah especially loves getting to go into Pop's shop where he has all kinds of tools and stuff....a manly man's space, indeed.  

Inside this shop, they have a small living quarters with a bathroom and shower.  My father-in-law loves to tease me about "a particular incident" that occurred in this shop not too long after Jody and I were married--a pretty funny story now, but not so back then.  Jody and I were staying out in the shop when we were in town for a visit one weekend.  On our first morning of that visit, I went into the bathroom to take a shower.  After I finished my shower, I got dressed and then began my usually "primping routine"...putting on my face (a/k/a my make-up) and then started to blow-dry my hair.  I began to panic because I couldn't brush through my hair.  It was unusually hard and stiff!! Jody was in the bedroom and I remember I screamed out to him to get in there....he tried to brush through it and it was obviously not your normal tangled hair.  I think I started to cry and he started to laugh.  :-)  We went into his parent's house and showed his mom my pitiful, wet, sticky hair and my father-in-law just had this "uh-oh" look on his face.  I said, "What???" and he explained how he had worked on the shower head earlier that week and the industrial glue must have come through the shower head and soaked my hair.  Holy crap is what I remember saying to myself!!! To make matters worse, we also had some friends in town with us and they were all waiting in the house to go into to town to watch the Yamboree parade..the annual fall festival of sorts of my hometown.  They all patiently waited on me as my mother-in-law and I spent the next 30 minutes in the bathroom re-washing my hair like  crazy three separate times trying to get the glue out.  No luck...I finally just had to settle for  drying as best as I could and threw on a baseball cap so we could make it in time for parade.  It's been a long standing, humorous story for my father-in-law to tease me about ever since...in fact, we laughed about it again while we were visiting during this trip.  I gotta admit...it really is pretty funny now that I think back on it.


While we were staying during this trip at my in-laws, I enjoyed walking around and capturing the natural beauty of their place with my camera during summer-time. 

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It didn't take long for Noah to want to head outside and ride on the tractor.  My father-in-law has not been feeling well lately.  He is having a terrible time with his back (will be having back surgery in August) so he couldn't take Noah riding as much as he wanted to this trip.  Noah asked his Daddy to take him riding, instead, since Pop wasn't feeling so well.

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gilmer trip part two

Noah was super excited to get to ride the tractor with his Daddy.

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gilmer trip part two1

After they finished driving the tractor, within no time, Noah was ready to move on to the bigger heavy equipment, the backhoe. 
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Jody hasn't driven this one much, so my father-in-law climbed up to refresh his memory on how it worked.  I'm not gonna lie...I was a little nervous and feeling queasy in the stomach when they were on this beast.
Geeeze!!!

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At the onset, it was a little touch and go...Noah kept wanting to push the gas and Jody had to stop him a few times.  Argh!! I was about ready to tell him to abandon ship...and both of them get off, but they got the hang of it pretty quick.  Thank goodness...

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This look was for me...telling me to calm down--all was okay.  :-)
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And they were off...driving around the land like it was nothing.

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Duke, my in-laws dog (our former dog son actually who is now theirs) stayed close behind these two all the way...

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Noah helped Janet water her plants...he is such a good helper and loves any excuse to use the water hose.

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Duke lazily looked on from the porch...

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Now this dog gets the royal treatment during the dog-days of summer...it was so hot and he enjoys cooling off in front of the fan.

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While there, we went over for one last visit to see my grandmother.  She has always had a special place in her heart for my dear husband.  In fact, she is the one who helped set us up on our first date (actually second of you count the 1988 prom date)  in December of 2001.  Jody naturally understands and knows how special my grandmother is to me and so he was happy to make the visit with me.  He loves to hang out and talk with my grandmother.  They have all kinds of stories to share with each other usually.  Her eyes lit up when she saw him walk in the door with me and Noah.  We brought her a root-beer float from Sonic and that made her even happier...it's her favorite.  Sadly though...Jody could quickly see how much she has deteriorated since we last saw her at Christmas. She wasn't her usual talkative self, in fact, she really didn't have much to say during our visit.  It is obvious that she is more lethargic and weak than we've ever seen her and overall, just not feeling well.  At one point I looked over to Jody and he had tears in his eyes.  I had to look away because it broke my heart---his tears confirmed what I already know--her time here with us is growing shorter.
 
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my grandmother- Katie (Nanny)

It's always hard for us to say good-bye to our dear family when we leave East Texas.  It was especially hard for me to say good-bye to Nanny, my grandmother. As always, tears were shed when it came time to say our good-byes.  We love our parents and my grandmother who live there dearly and feel so blessed to have both of our families living in the same hometown--so near to each other.  It makes seeing family during the holidays and summers so much easier.  And selfishly, we savor our visits because they allow us to spend time in the country -  a peaceful refuge to go to when we need to recharge our batteries and feel the love and embracing warmth of family.

I look forward to our next visit...but until then, I have a few more posts to share with you from our summer visit in the coming days.

XOXO...

Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. beautiful pics jen! makes me miss home. i enjoy all your little outings ... your pictures feel like i am transported there too. thanx for sharing!

    xoxo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks my friend...good to hear from you! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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