Elise’s brother, Eric flew in from Des Moines (after a stop in Minneapolis, Chicago and Dallas) last Monday to spend Thanksgiving with us. Elise made beef stroganoff for dinner and Eric and I spent the better part of the evening putting MP3s on his new phone.
Elise went into the office on Tuesday morning and then took Eric for lunch at Guero’s and then to the Stevie Ray Vaughn memorial statue. After I got home from work we all went out for barbecue at The Salt Lick. We then headed over to Westgate Lanes for a rowdy night of bowling but decided against that as there was an hour wait. So we went home and talked until Elise fell asleep. That was a sign that everyone needed to go to sleep.
Elise went to work on Wednesday and I stayed home with Eric. We ran out to meet Brad so I could give him some CDs and I could get my laptop bag. While out I had the truck’s oil changed and Eric and I did some Christmas shopping.
We drove back to the house and I cooked a late lunch. Elise came home shortly after and then we all packed, loaded up and headed to my parents’ house in Cat Spring. We got there just in time for spiral sliced ham and homegrown black eyed peas.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving day to go deer hunting. No luck. I sat there for three hours and watched two little bucks and two little does all morning. Luckily I had my iPod to keep me entertained.
My dad shot this buck two days after my unsucessful hunt.
Later that morning Eric and I were commissioned to remove cedar limbs from above my mom’s new greenhouse. That was a dangerous task. I was standing on a ladder that was layed at an angle between the roof of the green house and a neighboring tree while holding a rope in one hand and a chainsaw in the other. Eric was manning ropes that I tied to limbs in the tree so they wouldn’t crash down on me or through the skylights when I cut them.
Mom’s new greenhouse
Mom, Elise and Eric went for a tour of the pasture while I took a nap on the couch and dad watched football. Later that afternoon dad cooked 2″ ribeye steaks. Dad and I vetoed the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and dressing this year because we don’t really like turkey and dressing. Steaks it was and they were great. That evening consisted of watching two hours of The Apprentice.
We woke up early on Friday, ate breakfast, said bye to mom and dad and then drove off due north to Okeene, Oklahoma. Along the way we listened to the UT vs. A&M game. Once we crossed the border it was time to discuss names for the baby. After an hour the three of us couldn’t come up with any names that stuck.
It was then that Elise and Eric talked about work. And talked about work. And talked about work. I started watching a movie on the iBook and was getting distracted by the siblings talking about work. I exclaimed, “we’re on vacation, stop talking about work.” Eric concurred. And then they continued their conversation about work.
We got to Grandma Boeckman’s house shortly after dinner time. Luckily they saved the three weary travelers some fried catfish and hushpuppies. We stayed up and talked with all of the uncles, aunts and cousins. Steve, Joanne, Elise and I stood in the kitchen and became a great baby naming ensemble. We came up with great first and middle names for both a boy and a girl.
Elise, Eric and I went to the motel and turned in for the night. On Saturday we drove back over to Grandma’s for the annual Boeckman Thanksgiving. Lunchtime quickly reared its head and we all feasted. As always the food was great and it was good to talk to Elise’s family.
After lunch many of us migrated to the living room to watch the OU vs. OSU game. It’s weird being in Oklahoma among Oklahomans, watching two rival Oklahoma college football teams battle it out and try to figure out who’s rooting for who.
The weather was oddly agreeable this year. Uncle Mike used his Crocodile Hunter skills and caught an armadillo in Grandma’s back yard. Mike and Neil took a .22 and said armadillo behind the barn and I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination. I practiced my swing with Steve’s pitching wedge in the back yard and showed Elise’s little second cousin, Catch how to hit golf balls.
Night fell and most migrated to the kitchen for leftovers. After dinner Neil and I sat on the back porch and I think I pretty much have him sold on buying an iBook. Some of the guys went down to the basement where we talked about investments, eBay and Mythbusters.
Bed time grew near and again Elise, Eric and I drove back to the motel and called it a night. We woke up early on Sunday and drove back out to Grandma B’s house for breakfast and bid farewells.
Elise, Joanne and Eric took our truck and Steve and I took the van. We caravaned to Perry, OK to meet up with Grandma Thurston so she could ride back to Des Moines with Steve, Joanne and Eric. Grandma T spent Thanksgiving Joanne’s brother, Mark and his family. Grandma T didn’t know that Elise and I were going to show up so it was a great surprise for her. We met at Braum’s (the north Texas/Oklahoma version of Dairy Queen) for breakfast. We sat and talked for a couple hours and then it was time to head home. We took a few pictures and parted ways. Steve, Joanne, Eric and Grandma headed north up I-35, Elise and I headed south.
Elise drove the first leg and did a damn fine job seeing how crosswinds through Oklahoma were gusting at 40 mph. It was unreal! We were already running later than normal as we detoured for breakfast with Grandma so we decided to delay our trip more by stopping for a tour of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Wow! I’m really glad we stopped. What an amazing memorial. It was a good feeling to stop a pay respect to those who lost their lives in the 1995 bombing. I remember when it happened but it was really amazing to read all of the literature and plaques posted throughout the memorial and get all of the details about what happened. We were both in awe as we looked at the architecture of the memorial and how the entire site was designed to honor those who lost their lives.
Solemnly we made our way back to the truck and headed south towards home. After passing the accident on the Texas/Oklahoma border, I decided I would relieve Elise and take over driving for the rest of the trip. I tapped Elise on the shoulder to wake her up and offered to drive. Yours truly drove the last half of the trip. The 35W and 35E merger just north of Hillsboro is the bain of my existence. Every year we get stuck there as other weary travelers are making their way home south for the start of the week.
We left Grandma B’s at 9 a.m. and didn’t get home until 10 p.m. We had a great time though and it’s always a blessing to spend time with our families. We’re thankful for that.
Here are photos from this past weekend.