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Thursday, September 8, 2011

p[lanes], t[rains], & [football fields]

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  Ours was not so laid back but, as always, still had a great time!  That being said, brace yourself as this post may seem slightly random and long.  [In truth, that's how it all went down!]

The week leading into the 3 day weekend took an unexpected and sad turn when my dad's first cousin, Janice, passed away suddenly.  We headed to Alabama for the services and celebration of her life and, although the nature of the trip was sad, it was great to see a lot of family!

Most of [maybe all?!] the first cousins and their spouses.

Rhonda, Donna, Amy, Me, & Laura

The first cousins [Daddy's in the back middle], Aunt Bernice, & Uncle Malcom
Sherry & Mom
p[lanes].

We loaded up on Saturday and drudgingly piled into the 'Burb for our 12+ drive of miles and miles of interstate lanes home.  Drudgingly for three reasons: 1) the 12+ hour drive home, 2) the radio in the trusty 'Burb quit working thus making it impossible to listen to the Alabama vs. Kent State game, & 3) Dad not being able to listen to said football game on said broken radio.  Now don't get me wrong, I love football, especially the Tide, but listening to it on the radio is not usually my thing.  I get too distracted by other stuff that I can see.  This is not the case for Daddy, however.  So, 25 minutes into our drive, we stopped in Tiny Town to pick up an FM/AM radio.



Unfortunately the radio did not work [insert huge, load groan of disappointment here] so we had to rely on the modern technology of smart phones to watch current drives.  So, our conversation for the first 3 hours were tiny spurts of football code

The rest of the drive down the interstate lanes was otherwise uneventful aside from an unfortunate accident my foot had with the seat in front of me and the torrential rains that we drove through for 8 hours.  As far as my toe is concerned, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I do know that the following things were accessories to the Unfortunate Event: a phone charger, a medium Wendy's Coke 0, and a flip-flop.  The cause for said Unfortunate Event was one of the following outside forces: 1) a bump in the road, 2) a quick swerve to avoid something, or 3)  acceleration while merging onto the interstate.  The culprit: the front passenger seat's sliding track.  It did not feel good.  On the other hand, the ant bites that I acquired at the cemetery ceased to itch at this time.


t[rains].
In the marketing world, it is common practice to put your main, catchy point in Big TypeBold TypeExcited Type, or perhaps even a Different Color Type.  Sometimes it is a MIX-OF-ALL TYPES WITH A CRAZY TWIST OF ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!  [Followed by an excessive amounts of exclamation mark-edness].  Now I know what you're thinking: 'Why the sudden lesson in marketing?!'  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Look at the picture below; what do you notice?  The correct answer to this question is that is obviously the largest-sized picture in this post.  [Other acceptable answers include: rain, speedy wind-shield wiper action, and poor picture quality.]


'But Ellen, WHY is it the largest picture in this post?!'  Another excellent question and once again, I am so glad that you asked.  This picture is the largest image in the post because I want you to see the rain that we drove through for last 2/3 of the trip home, right up to the doorstep of the city that we live in.  We drove through all that rain and our dying, depressing, and recessing yard got none.  Zero.  [Well, maybe like a 0.0000001 of an inch from the tears my mom cried over this fact.]  I also blew up the picture for those of you who, like myself, have not seen rain since perhaps some light April showers.  I wanted to remind you what it looks like so that the next time [and there will be a next time-my pastor said so] you see rain you don't have a wreck, trying to dodge the unfamiliar moisture falling from the sky.

***Please note that loud, boom-like noises-called Thunder-and bright flashes of light-called Lightening-may also accompany the water drops falling from the sky-called Rain.  Do not be alarmed, this is a normal occurrence in most parts of the world and please, for the safety of you and other vehicles, please pull over on the side of the road if you have any know heart problems.

That was the last time I saw rain and after just checking the 10 day forecast, it looks like it will be the last for another 3 months.


[football fields].

After getting home at 12:30 on Saturday night, Mom and I decided that we had not had enough QT with the 'Burb and thought that a trip to College Station would help the situation.  A final, wind-down lap, if you will.  So, on Sunday afternoon, we loaded back up-this time with football tickets, checks made out to the kids [Brother & Sister], and our best game face that we could muster.  We purposefully left the ponchos at home, hoping that the act of not being prepared would in fact really catch us unprepared.  We were not so fortunate.  We were, however, showered with ash.  We were aware of the brush fire in CStat before we left, but were told that the game would still go on and well, we had our game faces on so we would go on, too.  


You can't see flames in this picture, but they were there.  It ended up being a 100 acre fire and was scary because it was in town and maybe 2 miles away from our townhouse.  No beuno.

We met Emily & Andrew before the game for a bite to eat at Fudrucker's.  We were surprised but thankful to be one of just a few groups in there.  Andrew & I ate like normal people, both ordering the Best Burger Deal: a 1/3 lb burger, fries, and cookie.  The cookie making it the best burger deal.  Mom & Emily [neither of whom are trying to watch their waste lines (because they don't need to)] mutually decided that it isn't the cookie that makes the meal deal, it's the Half-a-Pan-of-Brownie-Smothered-Under-3-Scoops-of-Ice-Cream-Caramel-Chocolate-Whipped-Cream-and-Cherries Sundae.  [They only got the cherries because they knew I would want them].  They are so thoughtful that way.

After swapping checks for band-aids and good company for wardrobe changes Mom, Andrew, & I headed to the football field for some Aggie football!!!
Thank you, Andrew, for allowing this too-cute picture.  I know it's tough under pressure, when your 'friends' stand by and make fun of you.  Much love, Ellen & Mom
One thing I love, love about each and every home TAMU game is the fly-over.  Most people do, actually, and the stadium is nearly always 85% full before the signing of The National Anthem because of this shared love.  This particular time, a lone B-25 Mitchell flew over for the crowd's enjoyment.  It's a shame they do not have a home game next weekend for 9/11.  I can only imagine what they would bring out for that game!


I was informed by Mr. Randy that the B-25 Mitchell had a very important role in a very significant event of some sort.  Unfortunately I can't remember what he told me.  Just know that it is, or was, very important and if you happen to see him, do me a favor and ask him what makes the B-25 Mitchell so important [and then call me!].



Another one of my favorite things to see before a game is the players who go to the end zone to kneel and pray.  I will never tire of seeing that!


"Now forming at the north end of Kyle Field, the nationally famous Fightin' Texas Aggie Band."  Well, in this picture that have already formed inn the north end and have moved into their 'T' position.  They are so fun to watch!


Whoop!!!
About 11 minutes into the 1st Quarter, I felt Mom's head resting on my shoulder; she was so sleepy!  Once an adult, twice a child.  We persevered, though, watching the action down on the football field and despite the 57 mph winds, floating ashes, and the absence of Coca-Cola products on the entire campus.  Feeling pretty sure of a secured W, we decided to leave with about 10 minutes left in the 4th Quarter.


Some might call us 2%ers.  But me, I call us 200%ers.  We did, after all, show up at the football field despite mild obstacles such as sleep deprivation, 'Burb fever, and forest fires.

After so many late nights, hours in the 'Burb, and flying soot, I did my best to un-labor on Labor Day.  I did make a Labor Day resolution, though.  It is to workout.  This resolution is different from any other workout resolutions that I have made in the past as I am not setting out to look like the next Jillian Michaels by next week or lifetime.  Keeping this in mind, I set out for the gym yesterday and did a strenuous, 60-minutes of yoga.  And this was my view when in the Downward Dog position:



I hope you had a fun and safe holiday weekend!

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