Monday, August 26, 2013

Goodbye, Sweet Summer

I hate to see this summer come to an end. It is one of those summers that will go down as one of the best so far*. We finished off the second half of the summer with plenty of activities. There was a good balance of down time with a good amount activity. And now I'm staring at the face of the first day of school! How could that be?

We graced the gates of Hawaiian Falls several more times before putting that season pass to bed. Who can ever get enough of the lazy river?

One fine day found us on a road trip to Marshall Pottery, in Marshall, TX. I ended up missing my exit for Marshall and we saw a sign for the Glass Bathroom in Sulphur Springs, TX. Have you seen it? We happened to see it featured on a show on HGTV. So sure enough we found our way to the Glass Bathroom.

This thing is fascinating! Of course, we all had to do our business so we thought, "Why not?". Sure enough, you can see out of it, but no one can see in. And it's air conditioned!

There are two of these on the square in downtown Sulphur Springs. If you are ever passing through the town and have to go, I highly recommend this place to stop. It's cleaner than most places you'll ever stop.

I'm taking this pic from inside the bathroom. They really can't see me!
The view out of the top of the bathroom.

The square is really cute. It's almost a town that time forgot with shops on the square. After we had ventured into a few, it was time to set our map toward our original destination. It was a great day. We ended up eating dinner in a Mexican restaurant in Big Sandy. The building that is now the restaurant used to house the grocery store that my great-grandfather owned. A trip to East Texas always means a trip to the cemetery where my father and other relatives are buried**. I grieve for what he misses, for what my life has become today. But relieved that he is in a better place.

This summer also found me reading. Yes, you read that right. READING BOOKS! I finished two books***. The first book I finished was A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson. I enjoyed this book. There were a few occasions where it uses language that makes me cringe. Basically the story is about how secrets never stay secret. Isn't that the truth?

The next book on the docket was The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Jackson Lee. Oh my gosh, I loved this book! It's a look at one entitled young woman who finds herself robbed of her riches right under her nose by her no good husband. She learned how to pick herself up and take care of business.

I'm on my third book, but not finished yet. And I'm one of those that can only handle one book at a time.

Volleyball camp was attended by both girls this summer. It was a week filled with working on skills and seeing some old friends and making new ones. 

Another road trip found us going to Mrs. Baird's in Fort Worth. It was two moms and five kids between us. Once you walk inside, you realize what heaven must smell like! It was fun to see how this place runs like a well oiled machine. At the end of the tour we got to sample a FRESH-OUT-OF-THE-OVEN hamburger bun with butter. BUTTER, I tell you! Want to reserve your tour? Go here:

After the tour at Mrs. Baird's we weren't quite ready to go home. Wouldn't you know that right up the highway is Miller Brewing? What a coincidence! Two moms. Five kids. We're going to ask if the brewery gives tours as well. You never know unless you ask.

You should have seen the security when we walked in the door. You would have thought you were walking into Fort Knox. It's just beer, people! The adults disappointment was audible when we were told that they didn't give tours. The nice security guard offered to let us fill out a comment card asking for them. Apparently, A LOT of people have stopped by and asked this very question.

When all else fails, you head up the highway and run into another beer place. This one being the Coors distribution plant. They didn't give tours either, but they had a marketplace! And they were willing to take our money for some cute t-shirts. I'm not crazy about the beer, but the Blue Moon t-shirts were cute****. Who couldn't use an oversized shirt to sleep in anyway?

 It was a revolving door as far as kids coming and going.

We even checked out a local indoor trampoline park. The girls LOVED it! I would have loved to try it out, but I remained composed. And tried, unsuccessfully, to nap while the girls jumped. Fun. Fun. Fun. 

We ushered in a 12th birthday for my oldest. How time flies! The teen years are coming at us like a Mac truck.

Meet the teacher came for my youngest. I think this was the first year that my husband was raving (in a good way) about the first impression of J's 3rd grade teacher.  Oh Hallelujah!

There was one last soiree for our Sunday School class*****. It was held at the director's house. Their house is just beautiful! Lots of people. Lots of food! Lots of humidity. The kids were happy in the pool.

To Summer 2013, you were wonderful to me. Here's to many fond memories. You were the summer that taught my kids how to stay up late and sleep just as late. As the bathing suits dry out and chlorine has been washed out, we start to head into days filled with band practice and homework. Alarm clocks and lunch boxes******. WOOHOO!

*In my mind, anyway.
**A small cemetery, poetically on a hill with lots of trees and loved ones buried there for over a 100 years.
***That's more books than I've read in all the years I've been out of high school.
****I'm not a beer person. Wine coolers seem to be a little more delightful on the tongue.
*****Yes, I still say Sunday School. Don't think that's going to change anytime soon.
******There have been times when the hallelujah chorus has been springing up in my head. I have heard the angels singing.

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