Saturday, July 15, 2017

no smiling selfie in the world can cover that up

And here is the obligatory sharing of the vacation photos.  And I know that totally conjures up memories of times when your grandma made you sit and watch slides of her trip to see her cousin that she hadn't seen in half of forever.  And right now you're thinking that this could be the post to definitely skip.  But hold on there, pardner..... you know there's gonna be some stories to go with the photos.  

Know how you see all those photos where everyone's smiling and there's a really good chance that there are baked goods or someplace exotic in the background? 

Sometimes those make me bananas.  Not all, of course.  But some... And I hate bananas and hope I'm never stranded on an island, just me and a banana tree.  But aren't all the pictures wonderful anyway?  They sure as heck are.  Really really really.  So keep sharing and posting.  Please.  

But it makes me sad/mad .... mad/sad to think of all that I have to go through every dang time I want to get a good family photo and why can't the Walters just cooperate and act like we're having the time of our lives on every trip?  Or every day of eternity?  But the truth always shows somewhere in the photo  - the real story lies in how you got there and how long it took and all the events that preceded and followed.  

So here's a 4 day trip to the Texas Hill Country with Kristi and David.  In summary, just in case you still want to exit now... I drove into the vacation with one hellacious headache, and left being mad at my husband.  But we did some things in between so, ....

Sunday morning I dropped the boys off at church for their week long youth camp in Arkansas.

I didn't take this photo, but I was there at 5:30 in the morning along with the friend that did.  Man that was early and Kid 1 was mad at Kid 3 for eating his breakfast sandwich.  So not off to the best Christian minded attitude that day, but I'm sure it improved after our quick stop in the 7-11.  Thank heaven for 7-11, right?  

And y'all, a hundred kids and about 10 leaders and I couldn't be happier about all that was waiting for my boys in the coming days.  My prayer for them was that they leave their other worlds behind and see that there are promises out there that they can't even imagine yet.  And there are no adults that I trust more with the hearts of my children than the ones who committed their week to play and teach and guard the hopes of the young people in their care.  Thanks be to God for all that this week brought and all that it will bring even into the future.  

Then I went home and got back in bed until Fireman Dave made me get up and get going on our own adventure.  Our first stop, not including bathroom visits, was Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas.  Which we cannot in any way afford, so we simply ate some expensive lunch there and took selfies of ourselves looking like we were real resort guests.  I think I took at least two over doses of decongestant headache medicine about then trying to head off the migraine at the pass.  My head can predict a rain storm hours, sometimes even days in advance. 

Then we made it through the rain - (just like the Barry Manilow song says because you know I love him SOOO much in a strong and dedicated Fanilow way) - to Fredericksburg, Texas.  Small town charm capital of the state, I would dare to say.  

Here was our house for the week.  Ummmmm... CUTE.  Can I stay here please and someone else go home and check on my dog? 

But here is the flight of stairs I had to climb every time I had to go to the bathroom in the night.  And with each step I tried to hang on and remind myself that I need these legs for my job.  

And here is my fashion shoot for the trip... reminding hot women everywhere that just because it really is egg boiling weather outside, there are plenty of options for looking like we're at least trying to appear like we're not about to die.  Fireman Dave, take the picture fast.  I'm starting to sweat. 

And we shopped.  Of course.   I even spent an entire day of shopping while Dave went to the Pacific War Museum.  I was totally museum'ed out from the day before when we went to the Lyndon B Johnson Ranch and took a tour of the Texas White House.  Once I saw the view from the porch of that place I decided I could definitely be First Lady if I could live there a lot of the time.   

Here we are on the LBJ Ranch park property on a working re-creation of a Texas farm.  Hello cute cow that had a very life like cow-versation with me.  I will always remember our visit.  We also toured the farm house and of course this porch swing, y'all..... on the neighbor's farm of Lyndon B. Johnson when he was a kid.  We also visited the Junction School, LBJ's one room school house where he returned as President of the United States to sign into effect the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; .... providing funding for schools, but even more, emphasizing equal access to education for all - setting standards high for all, no matter where you learn.  As a former public school teacher, let me just say Yes to all of that going on.  (My dad grew up attending a one room school house in Texas, too so I always like to see those still around.)

This is at the Picker's circle in Luckenbach.  Love it.  But this time I sat next to a drunk man named Wilbur who goes there every day.  I didn't have to ask how long he stays every day because his pink rimmed beer eyes told me all I needed to know.  But I liked Wilbur and in so many ways, pink beer eyes included, he made me think of my dad.  

And on day 3, we climbed a mountain.  Allow me to quote Wikipedia:  Enchanted Rock rises approximately 425 feet (130 m) above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet (556 m) above sea level. It is the largest such pink granite monadnock in the United States. I have no idea what a monadnock is but its not easy to climb.

Some people would call it a rock, but when its 900 degrees outside, call it what you will, this girl was sweating.  I also now have a really tan left arm from our time there.  Like a truck driver, but in a bandeau style mini dress.  

Fireman Dave and I have climbed Enchanted Rock before with the boys and the first time I actually did it in a dress to prove to them that girls - even their old mom - can do anything boys can do.  This time, though, I climbed it in some bright purple running tights so in case of emergency, good Samaritans could just tell the park ranger to look for the splash of purple stuck on the side of a cliff.  

And the view from the top.  Does this altitude make my hair look orange?  

Seriously, you can see for miles and miles and even more miles from up there. 

And along the way, each time we've done it, we've passed people who have gotten stuck or stopped before they reached the top.  And I'm not bragging about how easily I can just leap mountains.  Because I took some stops in the shade myself.  And this is the truth... along with some conversations with Fireman Dave on occasion to let him know that I was still in the game,  I had a couple of short convos with God.  Mostly I asked him from that point, where all was quiet and I could see so much more than what I could from the bottom, I asked him what he wants me to know.  And you know what he said?  

Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  

I didn't hear a voice or see a sign or notice anything giant that was a signal to be interpreted as a message.  Didn't Bible people love to climb mountains to hear God?  I heard nothing but the wind and my own heavy breathing. 

And all I could think about was how I feel like I've been on an endless climb of my own of late.  The climb of getting older and all that brings in its tacky ass ol' suitcase.  The climb of seeing my boys make decisions that I may or may not agree with.  And the climb of this relationship with my husband that has been uphill and downhill for almost 18 years.  Because remember what I said about pictures?  They only tell part of the story.  Look deep in the eyes and expressions of each and see what news there is being told all around.  I guarantee you there's something.  

We sat at the top for a while.  I needed to make it down before the sunset because aint no one gonna see even these purple pants in the dark in the event of emergency.  I could've stayed a lot longer up there.  I wonder if being up there is what God feels and sees from his window on the world?  I'd like to think so since he can see all the pieces fitting together from there.  

Then on Thursday we headed home and I had to take this picture of the old jail in Llano, Texas, where even the deer have to do time for unlawful behavior.  We also paid to become Friends of the Llano Public Library so we could go in and use their clean bathroom instead of the public ones out by the jail.   Best money ever spent. 

And of course we drove through Waco and visited Magnolia and the silos and all that touristy stuff.....

And y'all, we ended the trip in silence.  That's all any of us know or need to know.  We did lots of talking on our trip about things going on and how things move from one point to another -  and sometimes conversations just get hard.  And no smiling selfie in the world can cover that up.

I think I just need to remember to climb.  When I'm stuck, climb higher so I can see better from up there. I might need a couple of rest stops along the way though. 

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