I've had a lot going on in the past couple of weeks. As you may know, I've been training for a 5K. Sadly, I hurt my ankle while running on the treadmill 2 weeks ago. It was slightly swollen and sore on the inner side. I tried running on it last week, but it was torture to go even one mile. So, after two weeks, several ice packs, heating pads and Epsom salt soaks, I'm going to try again. I hope I haven't lost too much stamina. The race is in less than 3 weeks.
|I did the Susan G. Komen 1 mile memorial walk twice before with my Theta sisters.|
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I also started my glamorous, high-paying new job! Yes, I am in fact, a cafe seller/barista at my local neighborhood Barnes and Noble. Fun Stuff. It's not exactly what I was hoping for, but I knew being in a small city with a degree in acting wasn't going to make a lot of money. I keep reminding myself that I have to work to live not live to work. Therefore, in my spare time, I am learning guitar, training for the aforementioned 5K, and writing a couple of plays.
This is the closest thing to waiting tables that I will ever do again. But I have a steady hourly rate, I work a lot of days, and learning how to make fancy Starbucks drinks is a new and exciting venture. Robert actually worked in the on-campus Baylor Starbucks when we started dating, so it's kind of fun having the tables turned. He visited me on Saturday when Tropical Storm Isaac was passing through making for a very wet and gray first of September. We have pumpkin spice available in the cafe. I'm ready for it to be cold enough to use it. Last weekend we had quite an adventure.
After work on Wednesday, I took a 4 hour nap, we packed our bags, filled the car with gas, filled me up with espresso and hit the road at 8:30 pm heading to Tulsa. We drove through the night. I took the first 6 hours and Robert took the last 3. Unfortunately, in the booming metropolis of Rolla, Missouri, I was pulled over by a police officer around 1:00 am for driving 3 miles over the speed limit. As soon as the officer started talking to us, we knew we weren't getting a ticket. He started chatting about where we were headed, where we were from, why we were there, then told us stories about seizing large amounts of US currency, finding 32 lbs of marijuana from a guy's truck, patrolling St. Patrick's Day near the university, good engineering schools and more. We figured out that this poor guy had to sit out all night trying to catch someone doing something really illegal, and to pass the time, he pulls people over to chat. His name was Ben Tinsley. I will never forget him or Rolla, Missouri.
|Robert driving and with his grandfather, state line and birthday flowers!|
We had breakfast with Robert's grandparents outside of Tulsa, visited for a while, then started off, Texas bound. We made it to Dallas that afternoon, and we decided to stop through at Guitar Center and get a guitar for me. It's beautiful. Dreadnought body style with a solid top, rosewood back and sides, mother of pearl dots on the frets and around the sound hole, and it sounds great! I also got a gig bag and some pink picks, ya know, for when I'm on tour. ;) On our way down, my dear college roomie of 3 years sent me a Facebook message telling me how she missed not seeing me on her birthday for the first time since we'd met 5 years earlier. I couldn't let that tradition die. So, we hit up Walmart for flowers and a card, then surprised her at work. It was great. I didn't get to see her long, but it was worth the trip.
Then to Ennis where we had dinner and spent the night with Robert's family. Fried chicken and sweet tea. It was so good to be back. Robert was so excited to see them and we had a great time visiting. Thus concluded the first 24 hours.
Bright and early Friday morning, we headed to Tyler to take care of some loose ends such as changing my name on my car title, getting the car inspected and waiting at the DPS for THREE ENTIRE HOURS to renew my driver's license. Ladies and gentlemen, I have located the seventh circle of Hell. Apparently, Dante made a trip to the Smith County Department of Public Safety during his Divine Comedy. This trip to the land where dreams go to die was necessary because we found out that as the spouse of a full-time student, I was not required to have an Illinois license. Since I was sick of having my maiden name on one card and my married name on others, I decided I finally needed to take care of it. Not sure it was worth it though.
After that fiasco, I was able to spend some time with my mom, grandfather, sister and niece. But the main reason for our trip didn't occur until Saturday. The day of my grandfather's wedding. You read that right, folks. My mother's father found love in his 70's. He was married to my grandmother for 50 years before she started showing signs of Alzheimer's. After years of slowly fighting a losing battle to the disease, she passed away last July. They were married a total of 57 years.
|Family, the pretty cake, the vows and cutting the cake!|
For most of their adult lives, my grandparents were active in the church where I grew up. They seemed to know everyone. Even after my grandmother was put into a nursing home, my grandfather continued to be active, especially in the senior adults group. It was through this involvement that he began spending more time with a woman who had lost her husband a few years ago. They were both from East Texas, both involved in church and both alone. They started dating several months back, and they even helped Robert and me move to Illinois. On their way back to Texas they decided to get married: "At our age, we can't afford to waste time." -My Grandaddy
I'm very happy for them because I know that it is so difficult being alone when you've spent the majority of your life with someone who is now gone. My grandfather has always been very active and loves to travel, and though his new wife has not traveled as much, they are looking forward to taking trips and seeing the country together. In fact, they are touring the Northwest coast on their honeymoon right now. Companionship is very important at any age, but I think it especially crucial for seniors. They are together and they are happy, and so am I. And I think my late grandmother is, too.
|Serving cake, visiting, mom serving punch, the four cousins!|
They had a short and sweet wedding: a song from my talented cousin who also sang at my wedding, a simple ceremony performed by their close friend, Italian creme cake, punch made by my mother and coffee, all in the same church in which they have spent so many years. Their family and friends were there supporting them, then they headed off on their honeymoon.
With the wedding festivities over, I got to spend some time with dad and the rest of my family. He came up for the wedding, and it was extra special because it was his birthday. The girl who stole the show, however, was little Miss Paisley Anne. Her Grandpa, her GiGi, her Aunt Sarah and her Uncle Robert all wanted to just hold her, kiss her, and play with her as much as possible! She's such a doll and growing so fast! She can almost walk, and she can say "Mama," "GiGi," "Hi," "Bye bye" and other things if you repeat them to her enough times. Our favorite is her "Oooh!" sound she makes when she discovers something new and exciting.
|Look how precious! Paisley with GiGi, Mommy and Grandpa!!|
I also got to spend time with some friends from my old job at the daycare and some of my close childhood friends. As much as I would have loved to stay longer, we had to get up bright and early to head "home." We drove all day Sunday and made it back to our humble abode by half past midnight. It was a long trip, jam-packed with things to do, people to see and places to go. It was wonderful being home again and getting to see my awesome family.