Livin’ Large in Texas

We have been with my BFF/college roommate and her family here in San Antonio for nearly a week now in what we were hopeful was going to be nicer weather, but alas, this cold spell does not seem to want to leave the country!  We got a good taste of nice weather on the afternoon we arrived – it was mid ’60s and the Texas skies were blue – but it’s been cold and mostly wet ever since.  [We know, we know; our Midwestern friends and family members don’t want to hear us complain – it was just reported that temperatures in Chicago were the coldest they’ve been for the month of February in over 140 years!] 

Hot tubbin' in Texas
In my element in the kitchen - lasagna anyone?

This cold-for-Texas weather hasn’t stopped our many activities. I’ve been able to do some big-time cooking in a fabulously spacious kitchen. Those of you who know me well know I’m very happy to have this culinary time with a Viking range, lots of counter space on which to spread out, two big refrigerators for all of the food storage, and a dishwasher. I’m in my element and cooking with a big grin on my face.

We sync our schedules around three very busy young ladies who are now in the 6th, 8th, and 12th grades. We were amazed when we watched Jennie jump her horse – she’s a very accomplished equestrian! We went to Rachael’s gymnastics meet – she’s really good at her sport, too; two event medals and 4th in the All-Around in this competition, and a room full of medals in her bedroom which show her tumbling accomplishments. Kristin is a strong gymnast, too, but she didn’t compete on this day. The girls are all good students, too, so we have assisted with homework and listened to saxophone practice.

We’ve played around and gabbed a lot and imbibed a bunch as old friends do, and in general have just enjoyed being together.  We’ve run errands and played taxi service for the girls’ many events – a very different life from two retirees alone on the road, but we’ve loved every minute of it.  On Sunday we all attended their mega-church where the world-famous Max Lucado preached; a very nice spiritual experience.  And worth noting because we had planned this two months ago, Jackie and I snuck off late one afternoon and saw Fifty Shades of Grey together.  Fred had wanted to join us, but we firmly informed him that this was a ladies only event!  :)

Jackie & Laura

For the benefit of those who know us well, and know Jackie, Daryl, Jennie, Rachael and Kristin – and many of you do as Jackie’s been a part of my life since 1982 (gosh are we getting old!) – here are a few photos of our time together so far:

Family dinner with the Nolens
My favorite time has been when we are all around the dinner table sharing love and laughter during our meals:
Rachael on the beam
Rachael performing her balance beam routine
Kristin & Rachael
with Kiki afterwards
Jennie jumping 1
Jennie jumping her horse
Jennie jumping 2
jumping five-foot jumps!

Such a treat this has been to jump into the lives of a busy family for a bit. When the girls are at school and Jackie and Daryl are working, Fred and I have done some local touring, including to two more national park units, but alas, I’ll save that for another post.

P.S. Come on weather… warm up!

3 thoughts on “Livin’ Large in Texas”

  1. Wow what a great time in Texas! Love to see you guys with Jackie and the family! Miss you love you all. 

    1. Hey Cori – We sure had fun with Jackie and family!!

      Of course I miss you all back in Wisconsin but am happily following our Badgers on Sirius radio – I listen to all the games I can.

      See you once we return….


  2. You and Jackie have a long, wonderful friendship. It pleases me so much that you can get together and catch up on your lives. It reminds me of my special bond with my old college friend, Margaret. I must comment on the picture of Rachael with her friend after the meet. Looking at her reminds me of Daryl many years ago when he "performed" to Rocky Top! I will always picture him as that young man, so full of exuberance dancing, dancing, dancing. Give them all my love.

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