Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Time to Gather

In the morning - late morning - I'm headed to the panhandle.

It is time for the annual Bain Family Reunion.

The reunions started about 30 years ago as birthday parties for Robert's grandfather, George Omah Bain, and were attended by just his sons and their families.

Then the reunions grew bigger. G.O.'s brothers and cousins began to come and then Aunt Norma went on a quest to find every Bain in the country that might be kin to G.O. At times there were to 150 or more people there all claiming to be kin to us in some way.

There were years that I skipped the reunion. I could always find little things to have to be doing on that Saturday. And the Great State of Texas helped out a few years by making that very week-end tax free for school supplies and back to school clothing. Well, I had to go shopping didn't I!

Now there are only two brother still living, Robert's dad, Gene, and his Uncle Joe. The numbers have dropped greatly with the deaths of these patriarchs. Extended families don't make the effort to come anymore.

The Bain Reunion is now more a gathering of Gene's and Joe's families with a few of the other first cousins and some of their children there.

I expect to see familar faces and wonder which cousin's child is newly married, or divorced, or expecting. Gossip about the how much weight so and so has gained or lost and wonder why someone else is not there. I have wonderful pictures of the fantastic cruise we took our crew to show and I have a picture album of Bain Reunion past to share.

I will take pictures and enjoy another year of being with family that I only see once each year. It seems more important to be there now. I'm not sure the reunions will continue much longer and in a way that makes me sad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday --- Family

All the people I call mine --- soon to be one more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Don't Want to Miss the Boat

Today has been a positive day at the Bain house.

There is a story that I've read on the Internet about a man who was in a flood. Oh, he knew the flood was coming, but he didn't evacuate. He said, "God will take care of me." He didn't leave when the waters were up over the roads and a rescue truck came by. He said,"God will take care of me." He didn't leave when the water was in up to the second floor of his house and a boat came by. He said, "God would take care of me." He didn't leave when the water was up to his roof and a helicopter came by. He said, "God will take care of me." The man drowned and when he got to heaven he asked God, "Why didn't you take care of me?" God answered, "I sent a warning, a truck, a boat and a helicopter --- what did you do?"

As Robert is looking for a job we have been asking God to lead us where he would have us go, to open doors for him, to show us the way. Our prays have also centered around wanting to stay here in BC.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that the job with the bank here that we just knew would hire him isn't going to. They sited economic difficulties, etc. as reason for not hiring, but they wished him well in his pursuit and said whoever hired him would be lucky to get him.

That hurt. I must say Robert took the new better than I did. Then we were looking online at job opportunities listed with Farm Credit Bank of Texas. (Big outfit over all the land banks and old pca's) Anyway, back to my story -- and right there online the first job listed was for a loan officer/office manager in Muleshoe, Texas with Capital Farm Credit --- the group that had just let Robert go and who had actually told him that the position as Muleshoe was not going to be filled. Now I really was upset. Three different times the Muleshoe position has been open and three times that door has been shut --- got it God we aren't going to Muleshoe.

I don't want to miss the warning, the truck, the boat or the helicopter, God, I want to do hear you --- I want to do what you want me to.

On Friday Robert was approached by one of the men in our church who runs a real estate office. It happens to be the one we used to buy the house we live in. Erwin offered Robert a job. He said he needs a man in his office --- someone who knows land and could represent clients who where wanting to sell land or buy land --would Robert be interested.

As Robert and I discussed this, we weren't sure. Real estate -- really God, real estate. No we hadn't thought about it. But he is pursuing it now. This could be the warning, the truck, the boat or heck even the helicopter. Is this the answer to the prayer to get to stay in BC?

I guess a little time will tell.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Did You Notice

Did you notice my blog is back to normal? Thanks to a true knight who was willing to come to my rescue.

Three or four emails back and forth and he had the problem pinpointed and repaired.

I think know he is an amazing slayer of dragons large and small.

Thank you Lou for taking time from your busy schedule to figure out my mistake and then correcting it. Your genius in matters of computer programs and language made quick solution to my dilemma.

When you looked at the html codes, you were able to read and understand what was being said. I on the otherhand looked as said codes and had a since of what it must be like for first and second graders as they learn to read. They have been taught all the symbols, can recite what each is and the sounds they make, but putting them together to form words and those words together to make sentences and sentences together to answer a question as simple as who is this story about. Well, let's just say I have a whole new respect for the struggling reader now.

I'm going to keep reading and working on some of the how this all works --- but be patient with me..... old dogs and new tricks are still hard to put together.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Help, I've Messed Up and Can't Fix It

There are some people who think I know a lot about a computer by which they mean the Internet. These few people are sorely mistaken. Oh, I know how to chase rabbits around and can usually find the information I want. I know how to shop online and I do a lot business online. I can make a book of stamps last so long that I don't even know that the cost of a postage stamp is anymore.

But there is so much I don't know about using a computer. And with this blog it has become frustratingly obvious. I'm sure all of my few readers have noticed that the information that used to be on the right of the blog text is now below it. I don't know how that happened. I can tell you when, but I have no clue as to what I mistakenly did to make it happen and I have no clue as to how to make it go back the way it was.

I need a guru to repair the damage mistake I've made. (See that nice strike. I went to a site and studied html codes and learned that. So I am willing to learn. Just can't find where it says if you did this then you now need to do that.)

If you think you can help let me know ---- I would definitely appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Look What I Caught

Four month old Heidi with a bird she caught on the patio.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Beach in Cozumel, Mexico

The last port we visited was Cozumel. No one had booked excursions for Mexico -- it was a day we were all just planning to hang at a beach. So about 10:30 we all gathered in the hall outside our rooms and headed out with towels, sunscreen and bottles of water.

We got two van taxis or taxies (both are correct according Webster) to take us to a free beach Robert and I knew about called Mr. Sanchos's.

After the short $80 taxi ride, we struggled across the hot sand looking for a place with tables and umbrellas that the 19 of us could get. Finally we snagged one small table with an umbrella. Amy told the waiter that came over that there were 19 of us and we would be ordering losts of beer and food and could he please find us more tables and umbrellas. He did and we did. I must add that he took very good care of us. The beer was good and cold and the food hot and spicy. Perfect for the beach.

Matt and his boys had brought their snorkleing gear so they got to snorkle around and the rest of us who were interested in playing in the ocean got to play in the waves, which were perfect gentle waves. The kids discovered they could buy tubes to ride in and had fun linking together and riding back to shore.

At some point two older Mariachi type musicians showed up and entertained us by having Carrie play some turtle shells they strapped on her and then dressing Paul in a wig and animal nose of some sort --- He was a good sport and played the maracas along with them for one song. Perfect photo op.

Abby got her Uncle Gene to take her way out to the deep water because he was the strongest swimmer in the group and also the easiest touch. I thing before he got back to shore with her he was about ready to take her water wings off and use them himself. He discovered that swimming against the current pushing a little girl wasn't as easy as he thought it would be --- well, as easy as any of us thought it would be for him.

We went back to the ship tired and sandy and for some sunburned, but cool showers and short naps revived everyone for an evening of ship life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Thrill of Victory / The Agony of Defeat

Amy and I had heard about a synchronized swimming event that was going to be held in the pool on the ship and had laughed about it as we swam around with the kids. When the girls were little we would pretend to be synchronized swimmers and work up little routines --- but our faces never went underwater.

I was off reading a book away from the hustle and bustle -- catching some quiet time when Robert came rushing over shouting, "Come quick Gene and Amy are in the synchronized swimming."

Well, rush over I did trying to figure out if they were on the same team and laughing at that picture --- Gene is 6'3" and Amy 5'2" -- but finally realized the competition was between a men's team of four and a women's team of four.

Each team had 5 minutes to work up a routine (out of the water) and had certain tricks they were told to perform (I think).

The ladies went first. We laughed at these women who obviously were not swimmer putting on their little show. I was proud of my youngest for being out there even if I was laughing my butt off the whole time. Then the men performed.

Of course they put on quite a show. They could all swim, and they obviously had had a lot of experience watching this event even if none of them would E V E R admit it. They actually were very entertaining.

Amy won the dreaded participation ribbon. Agony of defeat. Gene won the coveted 24 caret plastic piece of sh-- as the activity director called it. It is a plastic replica of a cruise ship. The thrill of victory.

But the ladies, great sports that they are walked by the men as they stood on the edge of the pool celebrating, arms raised in victory and with heads held high in defeat and sweetly pushed them in the pool. (Sorry girls, didn't know that was coming and had quit videoing.)

What fun it was to watch the oldest and the youngest compete. And the ladies get such fun revenge. The following videos are them in action. Amy, I forgot about videoing until you guys were well into your routine. Gene, I got it all you are now on YouTube.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tea for Two --- Make That Three

Each day on the ship at about 3:30 tea time was observed. I had noticed it on the daily itinerary and wondered about it. When visiting with two women at lunch on Thursday they happened to mention that they had been to the tea previous day and what fun it was to pick a tea and be served desserts and hors d'oeurves.

Ahhh, the perfect "Tea Party" for Abigail and me to attend. So that afternoon we went to tea.

The tables were perfectly set with tea cups, dessert plates and napkins rolled to look like candles. We chose our place, twice, and settled in for the music and tea. We were joined by Amy to make this a perfect tea party for three generations.

Our server came by with a choice of teas --- I chose lemon and Amy and Abby chose an orange tea. Then a second server came by with a little kettle of hot water for each of us. All was going lovely up to this point.

I had my tea steeping and was assisting Abby with hers. The aroma that came up from the cup was wonderful and I lifted it as I continued to pour water into her cup so she could get a whiff. As I did I touched her bare shoulder with the kettle --- a shriek escaped from her and then a loud cry.

We had every one's attention. I got the cup and kettle down without spilling any and then began to rock Abby. Three waiters came to see what had happened. "I'm so sorry, I touched her with the tea kettle. She's okay, just startled, could we have a little ice please," came rushing out of my mouth.

There was barely a red mark -- thank goodness -- I felt horrible but ice was brought and in just a few moments she was back to preparing her tea, and admonishing me about being very careful when little kids are around. The sweet lady with the dessert cart showed up about then and we selected our treats. Thin sliced salmon on a baguette for me, a flavored cream filled biscuit for Miss A, and a blueberry torte for Amy. We sipped our tea and enjoyed ourselves while we listened to the beautiful music from the piano.

Several times during the tea different servers would come by and ask how things were and if we needed any thing. The gentleman who had gotten the ice for us directed his question to Abigail asking how she had enjoyed the tea. Her reply has become my favor line of the cruise. "

"Oh it was fun, except for the screaming."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wow, What a Trip

We are home from eight days of fun and adventure. It was so awesome to be with all of the kids and their families. I've been trying to organize my thoughts now for three days and have failed miserably. Everything is still running around in my head with no organization. So I've decided to just type a few things as I think about them. Tell the stories that mean the most to me, how I remember them. No order, no rhyme or reason.

First let me say that I was very anxious about this trip. The dynamics of our combined family means we have two oldest, two middle and two youngest. The girls are protective of each other and the boys are a tight band of brothers -- you know the kind -- we can beat each other up, but you'd better leave us alone or you deal with all of us. How would they blend for that long was the question that kept tormenting me. I couldn't help but recall all the times when they were younger when I felt like WWIII had arrived --- they didn't seem to like each other much back then, and we were putting them on a ship together for seven days and nights. Deep breath.

All my worry and anxiety was for naught. These are adult children who know how to handle themselves and others. Everyone was accepting of the others --- it worked. I have proof that it worked two ways: 1. No one threw anyone else overboard and 2. I heard that the kids are planning on doing it again in about 5 years.

Just getting everyone on the ship took a little planning. Five family members chose to come to Bay City on July 3, eight people chose to fly into Houston on July 4, and four were doing their own thing by coming in on July 2 to visit other family. So we had to figure out the most economical way to get everyone and their luggage from Houston to Galveston in a Suburban, a 4-door pick-up and a Chevy Cobalt.

We managed and the following are photos of part of us taken by Amy and me as we waited in line outside the terminal to board the ship.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I've Never Done That Driving

I was out and about this morning and of course that entailed crossing one of several sets of railroad tracks that cut across our town. Most of the crossing have flashing lights and barrier arms to keep everyone safe. This morning there was no train so I sailed right across the tracks. No flashing light, bells clanging or arms decending as I crossed, but a childhood memory came flooding back. A memory of flashing lights, bells clanging and arms that had decended.

My grandparents lived in Amarillo and attended Grand Avenue Baptist Church. To get from their house to church meant driving over a set of thriple tracks. These tracks were protected with the same kind of flashing lights and barrier arms as the double track I cross many times a week here.

On this particular Sunday I was riding home from church with Granny. I remember she was in a hurry to get home because the services had run long and the roast in the oven was probably burning. When we got near the RR crossing the lights began to flash and the bells were clanging. The red and white barrier arms were coming down fast.

But to my horror, Granny didn't slow down. She sped up. Yes, my Granny sped up. She said, "Don't you ever do this when you drive," and she whipped over into the left-hand lane going around the barrier then back into the right-hand lane.

I'm sure my eyes were the size of saucers when I heard the train whistle, and my short life passed before me. It seems like it was inches from us, while as an adult I like to think it wasn't.

The only other thing I remember about this whole incident is her saying, "It would be better not to mention this."

Oops, I just did.