Twins in Texas!!

When the family reunion came to a close, Casey, Christopher, Michael, and Wesley headed home to Memphis.  The twins, Aidan and Taylor, stayed with us for their “week in Texas” that we started when the kids were just babies.  Living 9 hours away from your grandchildren can be tough, so we LOVE the week during the summer when we can spend quality time with them.   In the beginning, Casey would send two of the boys (at a time) with instructions on what needed to be improved (getting rid of pacifiers, sleeping in a big bed, potty training, using their manners, eating healthy, teaching them to read, etc.).  As the boys got older, it has evolved into Gary and me simply providing time for the boys to eat, sleep, and have fun.  It didn’t take us long to realize that you DON’T have to live next door to your grandchildren; you just have to be present when you’re with them.

Soooooo, after the reunion, we kept the twins (age 11).  I had experienced severe tooth and jaw pain during the reunion weekend, and on Monday had to make a mad dash to the dentist.  After 3 root canals, I was in bed for 3 days.  Not exactly an ideal way to begin, huh?   However, Gary became “grandfather-of-the-year” (if he wasn’t already).  He and the boys went to the movies, spent an entire day at an arcade gallery (and I mean ALL DAY), watched all the Star Wars movies, ate at all the fun places that only guys like to eat (Whataburger, Cici’s Pizza, Slim Chickens, Taco Bell, etc.), watched all the Karate Kid movies, played dominoes and cards, picked out and bought their funny t-shirts, and all the while, took care of me.  Honestly, I don’t think they missed me at all!  :).

    

   

After that week, these are the things that I now know . . .

  • Once a father of boys; always a father of boys.
  • You just have to make the most out of a situation and find the good in it.  (Actually, I’ve always known this.)
  • Casey and Christopher have done an excellent job teaching their boys to be kind, flexible, caring, and compassionate.
  • Gary is a “rock star” in their eyes (and mine).
  • When guys don’t know how to make you feel better, they cover you up with a blanket (and I had 3 of them covering me up).  P.S.  I remember my dad always doing that with my mother, and it makes me giggle just thinking about it. 🙂

I came to life on Thursday, so the week was not a total waste; however, when I took the boys to the Altitude Trampoline Park for a day of jumping, the first thing they said was, “Where’s Gary and why isn’t he going?”  Seriously?????

Summertime is a great time to recharge for kids and parents.  But, it’s also a time to recharge that “grandparent energy” and step out-of-the-box.  We find ourselves at waterparks (no, I don’t like wearing a bathing suit at this age, but I do!), at arcades, on scary rides and roller coasters, at jumping zones, watching movies, and eating at Whataburger (a favorite place since they don’t have it in Memphis).  Ava, Crew, Michael, and Wesley:  “We’re rested up, healthy, and ready for you!!”

Until then, carry on . . . ..

Reconnecting is Such Fun!

Cue song:  We Are Fa-mi-ly . . .

To say that our family is unique is an understatement.  We’ve been through what most families experience . . . births, graduations, weddings, happy and (very) sad times; however, one thing is a constant – we know how to laugh and have a good time.  For years, my mom and dad had a lake house at Lake Texoma, and once a year we would gather for a weekend of swimming, water skiing, eating, and reconnecting.  It probably meant the most to my dad; he loved good times!

After my mom and dad passed away, my brother, Jimmy, and my sister, Peggy, and I decided to continue the tradition.  And, so the Wilhite Whoopitup was born.  We have met every year in Pecan Gap, Texas, which is the town that I grew up in.  Sometimes, it was just family, but most times it was friends, extended family, people who drove by, saw the fun, and stopped to experience the tradition.

This year, we met at my nephew’s house in Argyle, Texas.  My sister and her husband are selling the family property and moving to Argyle to be near their son, Kyle.  Soap Box:  It doesn’t matter where you meet; it’s that you make the effort to be there.

    

    

The pictures speak for themselves; we didn’t let the rain keep us from having fun!!    

    

    

   

And, then . . . the annual Cornhole Contest began . . .

   

    

    

And, the winners are . . .

The adults attending are fewer (my mom was from a family of 10 children; my dad, one of 3), but thankfully, our children are producing babies faster than we could ever imagine.

    

Hopefully, our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (Sweet Will is the newest member – 2 months old) will continue this tradition and continue to enjoy seeing each other every year.

Mom and Pop would be sooo proud!

Escaping for a Few Days in the Piney Woods of East Texas

After checking our summer calendars, Gary and I decided we should steal a little time for ourselves and take a trip in the RV.  We decided on Tyler State Park, in Tyler, Texas, for several reasons.  First, I used to camp there years ago and was anxious to return.  Second, it was close to Athens, Texas, where a good friend has a dental practice (and I had scheduled a follow-up appointment).  And, third, I had an appointment in Rockwall, as well, which was on the way.  It seemed like a good time to knock a few things off our list, right?  Not so!

There were mistakes along the way . . .

  • We left at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday for an appointment at 9:00 a.m. (only to get in rush-hour traffic and construction).  Duh!  Is there EVER NOT traffic and construction in Fort Worth????
  • We were driving a 31-ft. motorhome, pulling a jeep, and fighting a crosswind of 60 mph.  Is there EVER NOT wind these days????
  • And, the ultimate mistake . . . was commenting (after we arrived at my appointment), “Well, if traveling is going to put you in such a bad mood, then I don’t know why we travel.”  To which Gary responded (after several minutes of silence), “I think I have a reason to be a little irritable – anyone would be.”  Thank, goodness, for the silence.  And, yes, I apologized!!

It was uphill from this point on . . .

  • We extended our stay by a day.
  • The weather was absolutely PERFECT!

  • Tyler is about 10 miles away and is a beautiful city.
  • I made my dental appointment and ate lunch with two, dear friends, Jane and Tere.
  • Gary got his seafood fix.  (He said the seafood was amazing, and I had catfish.  Winner/winner!)

We had planned to return to the campsite and grill brats for dinner; however, I had forgotten the hotdog buns.  P.S.  I should have listed that under “mistakes along the way”.  After searching Google maps for a grocery story nearby, I directed Gary to the A&W Grocery Store.  I’ll ask you . . . do you notice anything unusual in the window?

    

Well, Gary did immediately and said, “I’m NOT buying hotdog buns in a grocery store that sells panties in the window.  They’re just something wrong about that!”  And, yes . . . those are panties; we checked.

If you love camping, you will love Tyler State Park.  If you love hiking, swimming, and boating, you will return many times for the scenery and the activities.  I know we will!!

    

    

Until then . . . carry on!

 

 

Mountains and Special Friends!

Spoiler Alert:  This post is about girlfriends, a snowy trip, and more fun than the law allows.  Guys, you may want to skip this update (unless, of course, you’re interested in a few facts about what makes us reeeeeeally happy).  🙂

Most of us feel very lucky in life if we can count our closest friends on one hand.  And, we feel blessed if we need two hands.  That is such the case with my girlfriends (from my previous life) in Athens, Texas.  Each year, eleven of us girls try and get together for a girls’ weekend; however, in January, seven of us took it a step farther.  We traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado, for a glorious, snowy, fun-filled, laughable, adventurous 7 days in the mountains.  I know what you’re thinking:  “Since Gary retired, you sure do travel a lot (without him).”  Or at least, that’s what he said, but here’s the thing . . . happiness comes from lots of places, and we’re lucky when our men get that.  (insert:  hearts of ALL colors, kisses, and hugs)

Right about now, “the mountains are calling” . . .

    

The house was amazing!!  We cooked, ate, played games, shopped, acted silly, and relaxed!

    

    

    

Perhaps, though, the most fun was the day of snowmobiling (and soaking in the hot tub afterwards).

    

Thank you Charlotte, Leslie, Brenda, Jane, Tere, and Nancy for making this trip such fun!  One of us should write our book of memories . . . it would definitely be a Best Seller.  We missed you, Prissy, Phyllis, Jackie, and Judy, but there’s always another trip in the making.

Shhhh . . . our husbands don’t know that, yet.

Until then, carry on . . .

Join Us, Won’t You?

You may have noticed that the title of our blogging site has changed.  There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is that we’ve “kinda” put traveling in the RV on hold.  It wasn’t intentional; just sorta happened.  I will say, though, that the main reason has been the weather.  After we blew sideways on several quick trips (nothing like a crosswind in a 31 ft. motorhome), we decided that it might just be a good time to get some things done around the house and at the property in Bowie, Texas.  The future posts will be about our “life and times” during the last several months.  Enjoy!

In October, I celebrated my 70th birthday.  Gary wanted to make it special, so he sent Casey and me to New York to the US Open Tennis Championship (Labor Day).  As usual, he didn’t fail . . . it was the most special time EVER!  Do I have to tell you how long it’s been since Casey and I were ALONE – just the two of us – no husbands – no kids – no responsibilities!  It was amazing!

    

 

         

In November, Gary’s dad, Leon,  decided to have hip-replacement surgery.  He is 86 years old, in good health, but has suffered for many years with hip pain.  Today, he is a walking example of the miracles of medicine, good rehabilitation, great doctors, and tender, loving care of his son.

Thanksgiving and Christmas (what I can remember of it) was a plethora of family activities and gatherings.  We always enjoy the time with the grandkids (and their parents).  No one can say that we don’t make use of every possible minute while they’re in Fort Worth.

Casey, Christopher, Michael (14), Wesley (13), Aidan and Taylor (11)

    

    

Ryan, Jennifer, Ava (5), and Crew (2)

    

    

We welcomed the new year with Gary making a list of what we wanted to accomplish during 2017.  Does anyone else do that?  I know everyone makes New Year’s Resolutions, but Gary makes a list and sticks to it.  To quote him, “If it ain’t on the list, it ain’t happening!”  And, he means it!!  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading and following our blog regarding “THE LIST!”  Aren’t you even a little curious?

Oh, and we have done a little traveling . . . pics and posts to follow.

Until then, carry on . . .

Goodbye, Wonderful Weather . . . Hello, Texas!

We said goodbye today to our RV Resort, the cool weather, the new friends, the fabulous music and entertainment, the beautiful scenery, the elk, bear, rock squirrels, the babbling brooks, the mountains, and GREAT food.

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And, said to hello to Texas . . . advancing our watches one hour, the rain, the wind turbines, the hot weather, the wind, and our home (insert smiley face, here).

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We have so enjoyed this trip and are looking forward to our next one.  Hope you’ll join us.

Until then . . . carry on!!

Last Day in Paradise . . . I Mean Taos!

We wanted to eat breakfast at Shotgun Willie’s one last time, so that was our first stop this morning.  It is “the happening” place in Red River, especially for breakfast and lunch.  While eating, we started a conversation with a couple across the aisle.  After sharing experiences of the last several days, we realized that he was the drummer at Texas Reds, where we had eaten dinner the night before.  We also learned that he is Natalie Maines’ (singer for the Dixie Chicks) uncle.  We talked at length about the demise and the recent return of the Dixie Chicks.  That’s the interesting thing about Red River . . . you never know who you’ll be eating with or next to in this town.

Did you know . . .

  • that there are only 475 full-time residents in Red River?
  • that the average annual temperature is 39 degrees?
  • that the average low in January is 19 degrees?
  • that the average high in July is 75 degrees?
  • that the month that gets the most snowfall is March?

Well, now you do!!

After shopping in Taos, we drove through a little town called Arroyo Seco .  We spent a few hours there and visited with the people who own the stores.

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We decided to spend our last night in Red River at Texas Reds.  There was great music; wonderful food; and lots of locals in the bar area.  We invited a couple to join us (for lack of space) and discovered that they were the managers of Shotgun Willie’s (where we had eaten breakfast).  Things get really weird in New Mexico. (insert smiley face)

It’s our last night, and I’m already getting a little teary.  It’s 46 degrees, and I’m dreading the return to warmer weather.  Oh, well . . . life is good in Fort Worth, too!

Carry on!

Way-Far-Back-Off-UP-In-There!

Gary loves maps!  I don’t, because when he hands them to me to help navigate, it always ends with him taking it away from me and saying, “You are good at sooooo many things.  Why can’t you read a map?” Granted, he’s studied it, highlighted it, memorized the markers and highway signs, and planned the route.  I just get in the jeep and am along for the ride.  I think it’s a win/win!

Anyway . . . we began the day eating a great breakfast at Shotgun Willie’s and packing a picnic lunch.  The mission was to drive “off-road terrain” and eat lunch, which we did; however, I had no idea how “off the road” we were actually going to be (of course, Gary knew; he had studied the map, remember?)  The scenery was beautiful (cameras just can’t capture the beauty); the homes are very random; the terrain was very rough; the roads were narrow; and, the lake at the end of the climb was worth it all!

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We hiked to a flat area surrounding the lake to eat our lunch – well, Gary ate; I was so distracted by the rock squirrels that I couldn’t eat.  They are quick, little suckers, wanted our food, not afraid of humans, and seem to multiply in a few, short minutes.  I decided to eat my lunch later!

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We arrived back at the RV mid-afternoon, sat by the river and read, did 5 loads of laundry, and made our way to Texas Reds to eat and listen to the local musicians.  Again, not a bad life; I highly recommend it!  We’re going to Taos again tomorrow to do some shopping – then heading home (I think – wink/wink).

Carry on!

And, on the Seventh Day We Rested!

We spent a relaxing day . . . slept till noon (whaaaat??).  Yep, partying in the mountains will wear you completely out.  Gary decided to extend our time here for another day or two, so he headed for the office.  While there, he became aware of the RV sites that had become available.  He came back, packed us up, and we relocated in the most perfect spot by the river (babbling brook, and all – remember those in Colorado, Peggy?).  It is a perfect place to remind us of New Mexico – mountains in the front and a river behind us.  And, yes; we booked our reservations for next year.

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After settling in, we drove downtown for lunch.  Look at what we saw at our campsite when we returned.  Now, come on; how special is that?!?  P.S.  That’s Elk, not deer!

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Our new friends, Bryan and Janiece Vest from Eufaula, Ok., had a campsite located in the new area.  We didn’t realize it until we parked.  So, we spent the afternoon visiting with them in their RV toy hauler.   For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a RV trailer that has space in the back for a motorcycle.  They haul a big, beautiful Gold Wing motorcycle when they travel.  Don’t worry, Casey; we’re not contemplating that.

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 Spending a relaxing day, catching up with reading, watching a couple of movies (have I told you how much I love our satellite dish??), and planning for our day, driving the rough roads in the mountains made for a great day!  Oh, and don’t fret, Charlotte and Prissy; I have my camera and camera card for our trip tomorrow.  lol

Carry on!

We Closed Down Red River!

By 9:00 a.m., we were sitting in our lawn chairs listening to music played by several different bands.  By 12:00 p.m., we were sampling chili and salsa made by the competitors.  When we entered, we were given 6 tickets and a plastic spoon.  If you liked the chili or salsa, you dropped a ticket in a can for the “People’s Choice Award”.  The salsa made by One Spanish Angel (which was my favorite) won!

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When you spend this much time with people, you become good friends – exchanging email addresses, phone numbers, sharing similar stories, places you’ve camped, types of RVs, and common interests.  No one is a stranger “in these parts”, which Gary and I love (especially, Gary).  I say that to say this:  We ended the night celebrating at a local bar called The Mother Lode, listening to one of our favorite Texas bands, Cooder Graw.  (Can’t forget a name like that, huh?)

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We were among the first ones there, so that we could secure a table.   All of our friends that we had met at the venue (including some of our favorite cooks) sat with us at the concert.  We closed the place down and had a fabulous time!  There are lots of stories that I could share about this night, but, today, let me just share one.

When we left the RV to go the bar, I asked Gary if I needed my driver’s license.  He replied: “Naw, you’re old, and they won’t ask for it.”  As soon as we got to the door, a security guy said, “Mam, it’s a law in New Mexico that you have your driver’s license on you before you enter place like this.”  Gary tried his best to “smooze” the guy, saying all kinds of things like: “She’s a grandmother.  She has a grandson that is 14! ”  “She’s going to be 70 soon.”  “She’s been drinking all day without showing her license.”  And, the whole time, I’m looking at him like, seriously???  Sooooooo, Gary went in; I drove back to the RV and got my license, and the rest is history (what I can remember).  Just kidding, Casey!

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I’ll pace myself (and you) and save the other stories for another blog post.  Let me end by saying, “I wouldn’t be anywhere else than right here; right now!”

Carry on!