Okay, sorry to have left many of you perplexed (Pam!) with my last post, so here’s the quick scoop.
I had to go out of town — to New Braunfels, to be specific — on a more or less unplanned trip, for a more or less family emergency.
My mom was staying with my cousin and her family while she had some tests done and stints put in her legs.
And on Thursday, another cousin (this time on my father’s side) who also lives in the area, manipulated me into flying down for the weekend with only one day’s notice, even though my doctor has advised me against travel because my ribs and shoulder blades still haven’t completely recovered from my surgery, and even though this is a bad time for me to miss work. I had told him all this the week before, in a detailed email that it took me almost two hours to type, when he invited us both to fly down before the tests, but apparently it didn’t make a dent.
It was just like being at work.
Seriously, though: I found out later that he had called everybody in the family with an exaggeratedly dire report of my mom’s test results, having everyone worried sick, all unnecessarily.
I’ll spare you any further details, but the incident will not be forgotten.
Other than that, the trip itself wasn’t so bad. This was my first out of town trip since 1997 that wasn’t to Lubbock or my hometown thereabouts, so this is the closest thing to a vacation that I’ve had in a long time, and it was a nice change of scenery. I had only been in the San Antonio airport once before, and that was in 1985. It looked entirely different, and might in fact have been a different building entirely. It has a really nice look, with arched translucent ceilings and dark gray accents that had a surprisingly warm effect.
On the flight there, a large family came in late and couldn’t all sit together, so two of the children were seated next to me — and I’m thrilled to report that they were perfectly behaved, plus I had more elbow room (Southwest Airlines planes are notoriously cramped) than if my rowmates had been adults.
I even snapped off a couple of pictures (see one on my previous post), something I hadn’t dared to do since we got our digital camera, for fear that some Homeland “Security” goons would seize the opportunity to wrestle me to the floor of the plane and lock me up without a trial. This time, however, other people had their cameras out, so I took advantage of this lapse in our Police State to take some quick pics.
I didn’t get to listen to local radio stations, since my cousins are older (their idea of driving music is Alan Jackson versions of Christmas songs — but hey, it could have been a LOT worse) and my MP3 player only picked up three stations, none of them to my liking.
This worked out well, though, because some nice tunes I’ve never heard before came up in the shuffle mode of my player (that happens when you’ve got 4400 songs loaded), and one of them, “Hoodie” by Lady Sovereign was so good that I’ve been listening to the entire album ever since. (I’ve been hearing her single on a cellphone/music player commercial, and I recently caught the tail end of her performance on one of the late night talk shows).
I also got to see my cousin’s daughters that I haven’t seen in six years, and got to catch up with their four kids, two of whom didn’t exist back then. Surprisingly, the children took well to me, especially Lilly, the three-year-old attention-hog, which makes since since I always had my camera with me.
Speaking of which, I sent up my cousin’s husband Richard with a Flickr Pro account, and showed him some of the possibilities of that site, including sets and groups. I also got a few hundred photos (some of which I have already posted on Flickr), which was quite an accomplishment since I realized that I had left all but one of my Memory Sticks at home.
Fortunately I was able to use Richard’s computer (another rare aspect of this trip, since my mom doesn’t have a computer) to clear off the stick (3 times!) and load most of the pics onto my flash drive.
Keep checking Flickr for more photos in the next few days.
Which brings me to two of my favorite photo subjects, Annie and Albert — my cousins’ dogs, a shorthaired English pointer and a Boston terrier, respectively. I esepcially loved Albert, who is epileptic, but otherwise is the happiest, friendliest dog you’d ever want to meet. You can see more of their pictures on Flickr.
On another subject: It was cold in Dallas the day I left, so I packed a sweater, sweat pants, and a flannel hoodie — none of which I needed on my trip, and which took up two-thirds of my small suitcase. I also grabbed my heavy leather jacket on my way out the door, instead of the light one I had planned to take, so I had to lug that stupid thing all the way down there. Fortunately, my cousin suggested that I let her mail it back to me, so I wouldn’t have to carry it all the way back on such a warm day.
Okay, that’s all I have time for right now, but there are a few more things I need to mention … and if you can’t wait, just check my Flickr page, and I may have posted photos by then …