Gainors, grub & more decking

Terri, Grant and Adam flew in from Poway on Thursday afternoon. Elise picked them up from the airport and brought them back to the house and then to the pool for a swim. I got home from work and we all went out for dinner at the Saltlick.

We came back to the house and congregated in the bedroom that nobody goes in and talked for a couple hours. The boys and I wrestled, played guitar and a few heated games of Lightening Reaction. My nephews are such great kids and I feel bad that we live so far away and I haven’t been able to have more time with them.

Elise had to work on Friday. I took the day off so I could spend time with my sister and nephews. Terri went for a jog while the boys and I drove up to Lone Star Kolaches to rustle up some breakfast.

We came back to the house and everybody ate. Terri took a shower while the guys went outside and played with Uncle Josh’s R/C monster truck and tossed the frisbee around.

We all hopped in the truck and went to Mt. Bonnell. After trekking up the steps, gazing down at the river and then back down the hill, we drove around the Mt. Bonnell area, Tarrytown and the Enfield area to shop real estate. Next on Grant’s itinerary was to visit the state capital. It was already lunch time so we drove over to El Arroyo to have lunch with Aunt Elise.

After lunch it was off to the capital. The boys were excited to get inside and explore while Terri and I hung back and contemplated why the capital lawns, all 5 billion acres of deep green St. Augustine, were there no visible sprinkler heads. We looked and looked and couldn’t find any sprinkler heads. It has to be one of those government conspiracies.

Grant and Adam had a spending allowance for Austin – specifically for Texas capital souvenirs. Grant chose a Texas license plate, a pencil, pen and some Tic Tacs. Adam chose a sticker and a capital of Texas paper weight. Adam came up to the counter while I was talking to the cashier. Adam put his items-for-purchase on the counter along with a five dollar bill. The cashier rang up his purchase. $5.08. Uncle Josh looked in his pockets for eight cents. I didn’t have it. Instead, I took his $5 and gave the cashier a twenty dollar bill…

Adam asked for his $5 back. I quickly realized that this was going to be a lesson in economics.

“Can I have my $5?”



“Because you didn’t have enough money – so I took your money and paid for your souvenirs for you.”

“Can I have my $5?”

“No. You paid for your souvenirs.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Where did my $5 go?”

“It’s in the bag – the stuff you just bought.”

[Adam then sticks his head into his shopping bag to find his five dollar bill.]

It took two cashiers and Uncle Josh to convince Adam that his five dollars were spent and Uncle Josh helped him pay the extra that was owed.

After our tour of the capital it was time to head home as Dad was coming to pick up Terri and the boys and take them to Cat Spring for the week.

Dad showed up at four o’clock and soon I had an empty nest. Elise came home shortly after and we spent the evening on the deck talking.

Elise and I woke up early on Saturday and drove out to Horseshoe Bay to cater Jack Brown‘s (Mr. Brown is also Elise’s boss’ father-in-law) family reunion at their lakehouse. Elise kept everything organized with her Catering Director superpowers while yours truly slaved over a 450-degree smoker and a deep fryer all day. I cooked hamburgers, hot dogs and funnel cakes for everyone for lunch. Flautas, crab rolls, beef and chicken fajitas and fried ice cream were served for dinner. Two on-site meals for 65 people… It was rough.

We had a little time between preps so Clay took us out on his boat. We (well, mostly Clay since he’s captain of his own boat) taught Elise to ski from the barefoot bar. She did really well and it was so exciting seeing the look on her face while skiing for the first time.

After a little work on the bilge pump, we were out again. This time it was my go. I hadn’t been water skiing in a long, long time. I quickly realized that water skiing is just like riding a bike – you never forget. I popped right out of the water and felt right at home. Clay tried to keep me in the cove as the lake was very choppy. I got out into the main part of the lake before Clay realized he needed to turn around. I went outside the wake and hit the choppy water and as hard as I tried to stay up, I bit it. Fairly hard too.

Clay and Elise came back around to pick me up. I skied for five minutes or so and decided to exit via a boat turn wake jump nose dive. We docked, cleared the boat and it was time for me to start cooking fajitas for everyone.

It was at that point that I realized that something was missing. Something didn’t feel right. I looked down at my left hand and saw that my wedding ring wasn’t on my finger. I never take it off. My heart sunk.

I told Elise. I’m 99.999999% sure I lost it when I wiped out on the lake. Everyone at the family reunion heard about it and felt bad for me. Elise was quick (and sweet) to say that it’s better to lose a ring than to lose Josh.

So I’m pretty upset that I lost my wedding ring.

Thirteen hours later, we were done with the catering. Horseshoe Bay is ten minutes from Marble Falls (where I work) so I took Elise to finally see my office. I gave her the dime tour and then we were back in the truck on our way home. We didn’t get home until almost 2 a.m. and we were beat. Working hard all day and water skiing will really take it out of you.

I didn’t sleep well because 1) I was over-exhausted 2) I was still pissed that I lost my ring and 3) Sunday meant working on the deck.

I rolled out of bed around 9 a.m. and started working on the deck. I woke Elise up an hour later and we went to the ol’ HoPot for more lumber.

We worked on the deck for the best part of the afternoon. I built the steps that lead down to the yard and Elise helped me tack down the the supports for the rafters. According to my original design, the deck is 97.65% done.

And so is my sunburn.

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