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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

OK, It is worth it

Sometimes when planning a family reunion, I ask myself, "Is it really worth it?". Then I get a letter like this and I have my answer.

We all live far apart, but I believe family is important and I want my grandchildren to know their aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember how comforting is was to me as a child to know that I had an extended who family loved me and would always be there for me.
I know his Mama made him write it and he probably did it as a school assignment, but it means the world to me.
It makes me so happy to see the older cousins being a friend and a good role model to the younger ones. Even our two year old, who doesn't talk much, gets a big smile on his face when he looks a scrapbooks with me and sees a picture of his cousins.
And it makes me happy to see that our daughters still enjoy the hiking, visits to parks and the outdoors that we did together when they were little girls and are continuing those family traditions in their families.
One of the reasons going to parks, photography and travel is so important and enjoyable to me is I feel like I am saying: "Thank you, God for the beautiful world you made for us. I appreciate it!"
I am very much aware, that we were not perfect parents, but God was merciful and our daughters have all become beautiful women, wives and mothers and are doing a much better job than we did.

And we are grateful.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Terlingua Ghost Town

We did not see the wild fires on the trip, but much evidence from them. The electricity was off in Terlingua for a while the night we got there. This picture of Mc Donald's observatory near Ft. Davis was sent to Basil from a firefighter's cell phone. Ft. Davis was burned and we saw where the fire came right up to the town in Alpine.

Teralinqua and Terlingua Ghost Town are tourist towns now. There are many more restaurants and hotels than our last visit. This one was there in 1993 when we last visited and I remembered eating here.

Terlinqua Ghost Town was our sunrise shoot on our last day there. Mercury was mined here during the 1880's- WW2. It was once a town of 2000 with 4 mining companies. It is becoming a artist's town as well as a home for many adventure companies. You can find river guides, 4 wheelers, jeep tours as well as a guide for extended hikes. One company provides a 5 star chef on their 3 day river adventure. We went on a raft trip in 1993 when we were here.

The cemetery is still in use.

This is a 3 room hotel. It is not cheap.

We found a very nice breakfast here.

The food at the lodge in Big Bend was very good, also and the view not to be missed.

At the Boquillos canyon, we climbed the hill to look over into Mexico and spotted this guy going home.

They leave their handcrafts at different sites with a coffee can for you to leave your payment. It is illegal to buy them, but I hope it is not illegal to leave them a donation.

We picked Sotol Vista for one of our sunset shoots, but someone came along and talked us into leaving for another spot. We wished we had stayed. It was very smokey when we were here from the wild fires, but I think the sunset would have been nice.

We hiked into Santa Elena canyon. It was beautiful, but very hot. I got a sunburn. The river is so low, that some of the canoes were getting stuck in sandbars and they would all have to get out and pull them for a few yards. We thought this would be a fun family adventure some day.

I found a book about search and rescues in Big Bend. It was really interesting. Some of them were about people who did really stupid things, but some were just bad things happened that could not have been predicted and some were murders.

One of the rangers recommended it to me..her husband is a volunteer for search and rescue. She had met the author and is a retired school teacher.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Big Bend National Park

We took a little trip to Big Bend last week for an anniversary trip. It's our 43rd! Our first date was a hike and we're still enthusiatically hiking all over the country.

It was very dry but the desert is still beautiful.

The ocotillo was the predominant plant that was doing well in the drought.

We tried to be somewhere special for sunrise and sunset every day.

The WindowThe deer were very skinny and sad looking.

But the Javelina looked fine. We found this one at the gas station drinking water from the driveway.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Birthday Photo Shoot

Wendy let me tag along for B and C's birthday photo shoot. We chased B through Artist's Alley and hopefully got a few good shots accidentally. C at four was the perfect model. We took him near the new library and I thought you might like to see it. It opened this week. Here is an artist's rendition of the front of the building on Beauregard. It is the Hemphill Wells building just down the street from the old library. I love seeing downtown San Angelo restored and made useful and beautiful again. We recently made a list published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation of one of "America's dozen distinctive destinations". They called us "a frontier city with a rich past, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings"!
The entrance is on Irving Street and it is named after the couple who chaired the fund raising over the last 7 years. They raised about $17 million and no tax money was used.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Driveway Sliding

C invented a new sport. We were about to go for a walk with C in the wagon and B in the stroller and Z and I pulling and pushing. When we got to the top of the driveway, Z let C roll down the driveway. That wagon got up to about 25 miles an hour in that short trip. C came to a stop in a big pile of leaves across the alley. He did not seem to enjoy the trip, but his brother thought it looked like fun. ******************************************************************************* We never went on our walk. Here's what we did for the next hour. You can see the spectators had to get chairs. C likes to count. ******************************************************************************* He also told me that every year, you have a birthday and you get a new number. He is 4. In a year he will be 5 and so and on until 100. Then you "go to God", he said as he pointed up.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OCD and Me

I wasn't happy with my Easter tablescape so I have been working on it again. I like this one better, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. I have been obsessing about this tableau for a week now. How could I go so wrong with pink, purple, flowers, bunnies, and little girls?