One of the most beloved sights in Austin, the UT tower. We're hoping to see it lit up, as it is whenever the football team has a victory, next week after the UT Alabama National Championship. Of course, I want UT to win but if Alabama does, I'll be okay with that, too. David took and modified this photo for his friend and fellow Longhorn, Laura, (whose initials are LEH) after she was involved in a serious car accident a few years ago.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Liz, Courtney, and Micah welcoming the New Year in 2009. Micah is in Austin, just for tonight, to dance the New Year in with her friends from UT and her Melee Ultimate Frisbee team. We were lucky enough to see the one-of-a-kind Courtney several times during the Christmas holidays - since Micah lives in Boston now, it's a special treat to see her Texas friends. Well, it's always a treat to see Courtney whether Micah is living in Texas or Boston because, as I said, she's one of a kind. We met Courtney when we went to France and Italy together, with a school group, in 2005. We love her! Nothing like Europe for bonding.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Look carefully for evidence of our recent blizzard. For two days, the news carried stories about the impending snow - about trucks poised to dump snow melting chemicals, instructions on how to wrap pipes to keep them from freezing, cold weather pet care... Whipped me right in to a frenzy. I had visions of watching 5:00 a.m. news, seeing school cancelled and spending the rest of the day on the couch, reading in front of the fire. I get really excited about inclement weather. It hadn't started when I left for school but I fully believed it would blanket the city by noon. As it turned out, a wide swath of (light) snow passed above and below us, and we barely got a few flakes. I had to seriously grapple with disappointment but managed to pull through. David recorded the storm of the century for me.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This is one of my favorite pictures of myself. (I look slightly less traumatized than in most of my childhood pictures. The casual viewer might think my gaping mouth makes me look stupid, but I think the fact that I'm holding a book kind of balances it out.) Mom used to take us to the beach, late in the afternoon. We'd pick up Kentucky Fried Chicken, on the way, and lay blankets out on the sand and spend a few hours swimming and, apparently, reading. I loved those days. The main things I remember about those trips to the beach, besides that chicken, was when a lady on the beach thought Jerry was Mary's father because he was playing with her in the waves and I remember thinking how she really didn't know anything about us. And, I remember when Donnie, on a visit from college, referred to some Coast Guard guys driving their jeep along the beach, next to the ocean, as "fascist pigs." I thought, hmmm, that's interesting - he's certainly picking up some new ideas in college. I hesitate to tell that story. Don't get the wrong idea. Donnie is a sweet little lamb.
A friend of David's recently visited Vietnam and sent him some pictures. This one is of an interior hall with cells on either side, in the Hanoi Hilton, where my Dad spent the better part of eight years. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I can't think of a single adequate word to say about this desolate image.
Can you believe this picture? Two days before Christmas, Terry was driving on the freeway when a 4x4x24 block of wood came spinning straight toward him. He saw it coming and leaned way to the right without losing control of the car. I have a new respect for his driving skills which, frankly, heretofore I'd considered pretty iffy. Every time I ride with him, I marvel at the fact that he makes it home every day without me there to tell him to slow down, and watch for this and that, but he's proved (proven?) he can handle a vehicle. The piece of wood (which we think was a chock that had been mistakenly left on - a subsequently flew off - the 18 wheeler in front of him.) came through the windshield, hit the dashboard and flew back out the window. Terry wasn't hurt at all, but glass flew all over the car - even into his mouth, ears, and underwear. He went back the next day and picked up the glass imbedded wood from the side of the freeway. We all had a big reminder that there's a lot for which to be grateful and are so happy he walked away from it.
Oh, how I love Maddie! I loved her long before she posted a sweet message on my blog, and now I love her even more. I've posted this picture before - I took it at a rodeo when she and Micah were in about 7th grade. Those were good days... The girls met in 4th grade at the barn where they both took riding lessons. Maddie's mom and I became good friends, too, and spent many an hour watching the girls ride and pretty much acquiesing to every request they made. They made a lot of requests. A whole lot. I'm not sure I know any two girls more strong-willed, spirited, and determined. Qualities that have already served them well. It's been a pleasure to watch Maddie grow up and an honor to be her friend.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This masterpiece was in a Christmas booklet that was in my baby book. I drew it. It says "Madeleine Denton and Mike." It looks like Michael is chasing me, trying to give me a present. You may not be able to see it clearly on the blog but, in the original, it's pretty clear that the gift is the Holy Family.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This is the first page of the guest book that was in the boat house. There are entries by Caroline, such as this one, and by Mona, and Fontaine. Most entries, though, were written by Micah, which is why Mom sent it to me. She also sent me the little tiny folded up notes that Micah used to hide, under loose parquet tiles in the kitchen, when we left after a visit. Mom rescued them, wet, but legible, after Katrina.
Mimi spent Christmas of 1965 with us, doing all she could to help Mom, on that first Christmas with Dad "in prison," as he often refers to it - if he refers to it at all. Mom didn't show it to us, at the time, but all she wanted to do was get the holidays over with. Micah, see the Breyers I got for Christmas?
Mary, me and Michael. Proudly holding aloft the mouse Jimmy gave us for Christmas. As if Mom didn't have enough to worry about!
Back to front, left to right - Bill, Mary, Jessica, me, Branwen, Don, Dad and Mom. This was a great Christmas at Mom and Dad's. For one thing, look how skinny I was. What more could one want for Christmas? Unfortunately, Santa doesn't leave skinniness in my stocking anymore. My favorite memory of that year is Jessica singing Christmas Carol solos and the Cabbage Patch Kid she has clutched in her arms.