Last summer, at my family vacation I told my cousin Doug, who lives in Austin, I was going to come see him this fall. And I told my aunt who lives around Ft Worth I would stop to see her on the way. And then I told my best friend who moved to Texas I would stop at her house and of course I told my sister in Tulsa the same thing.
I didn't forget about it. When I saw that auntie last month I told her "oh yeah, I'm definitely coming." I just never really picked any dates or made any plans. But I kept saying I was going to Texas in October or November.
It was getting towards the end of October and I realized if I was going to go I'd better get on about it. I messaged everyone on my route. Picking dates was hard because everyone wanted me to visit on the weekend. I mean of course they did. The thing is, they put these pesky work days between every single weekend and I could not figure out how to work it. Eventually I decided I'd just spend all the week days with my freshly retired auntie (AJ) in FT Worth. I settled dates and rented a car (more on that later) and packed my bags and here I am.
Right now I'm sitting in my friends back yard. It is 86 degrees and sunny. At my house, it is 50 and overcast. It is the perfect time to come.
Deb and I met in 8th grade, which for us was in 1979. Just a minute ago she pointed out that in 2019, less than 2 years from now, we will have been best friends for 40 years. And wow, let me just say that is trippy. I was trying to figure out when we went from being friends to best friends. Does anyone really know when something like that happens? I guess maybe, if there was some kind of event that bonded you maybe. But I think most of the time it's more gradual than that. It happens when we didn't notice. She asked if I remembered the first thing we did together socially and I do not.
We went to a school that started in 8th grade and met each other then.. We had Debate and Band together (we were flutists who sat next to each other). But for most of that year, we each had other best friends and other crowds that we hung around with. That summer though we started going to Worlds of Fun, the semi-local amusement part, together a lot and we for sure became best friends then.
A few years ago she moved to Wichita Falls for work. I miss her terribly. I'd rather she still live in KC, but since she doesn't I will say I like that she lives here in a warm place that I can drive to and visit when I need the sunshine. It's not always warm here - but it's always warmer than Kansas.
On the way down here I stopped in Tulsa to stay with my sister.
I wanted to see her and needed to see her babies, who are also my nieces. One is 5 and one is not quite two. The older one already loves me but the younger one is not quite sure yet since we don't see each other enough and I wanted to try to win her over. I think I did. At least for now.
I had a great time in Tulsa. I played with the kids, visited with my brother in law and talked to my sister about everything. We visited the Golden Driller, a must stop on any visit to Tulsa,
had Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in actual Oklahoma, and went shopping at her Target where they always have way cuter clothes than they have in my town.
We also visited our cousin and his family that live on the other side of Tulsa. We didn't stay long - there were 4 kids under 6 and it was a school night - but oh my goodness I enjoyed it so very much. I love those guys. It was the first time I had visited their house and I promised to do it again any time I was in Tulsa.
Yesterday I left there for here. I didn't need to be in this town till dinner time and a friend of mine at home had encouraged me to stop at the Modern Art Museum on Oklahoma City to see their collection of Chihuly art so I did!
And I'm so glad I did.
That museum is going to get a post of it's own, so for now I'll just show you this.
Monday morning I'm headed off to Ft Worth. I'll be staying with my aunt, and visitng with at least some of her kids. Which is awesome. One of her daughters is one of my best cousins and I really never get to see her.
And yeah, I did say best cousins. At my Tulsa cousin's house, he told his baby "Watch out for cousin Shelly, she plays favorites." He's not wrong. And he knows this because he is one of them.
(It's not really favorites though. Just like with non-family friends, some you click with more naturally than others. I love my cousins, every single one of them.)
I'll be there all week. And dig this! A girl I went to high school with lives in Abilene. I was trying to work out stopping in her town to spend the night with her, but it wasn't working. Sad. But not! Her son has a football game in Ft Worth that week! So we're going to hang out that night and I am so super excited about that!
Then I'm off to Austin.
I have never been to Austin before, but it certainly seems like the kid of town I'll love. I actually imagine it's like a bigger, cooler LFK where people have accents and say y'all. I think(hope) we're going to hear some live music on Friday but otherwise I could not possibly care less about what we do because I just love those guys (the cousin and his wife) and want to sit around and talk to them. And hopefully listen to Doug play guitar and sing. And laugh a lot.
I mean seriously guys? I love my family so much and feel so lucky I was born into it. It is full of interesting people I love to hear tell stories. There are so many people I'm related to that I truly enjoy spending time with and so many that just make me feel the love. I am old enough to know that doesn't always happen and consider that to be such a precious gift. Seriously.
After Austin I'm heading home. It's a long trip. I am planning to stop back for one night in Tulsa on the way home, but it's also possible I'll just do the 10 hour drive straight for home. I'm going to wait on that decision.
And that's the trip so far!
If you want to see more about this trip as it happens (and I mean why wouldn't you), I'm posting about it some of Facebook, but more on my Instagram stories because I am in love with Instagram stories. This morning I learned how to share those same stories on Snapchat (I mean kinda. Snapchat is really not that intuitive to use.) so if you want to follow me on either of those -- I'm shellycentral on both.)