My sister, Pam, and I went on an adventure a couple of weeks ago. A first for us, we went home (home meaning to our parents’ house) together. With each other. Without kids. Without husbands. Without pets. It was our mom’s birthday, and we figured what better present could we give her than a little time with her girls? Well, she might have thought of something better if we had given her the chance, but we didn’t. We bought plane tickets and THEN told her we were coming. That’s my motto, buy tickets and they will have to let you visit!
Here we are at the airport early on the morning of our departure.
We shared a banana and some lemon bread from Starbucks, and took turns watching each other’s stuff so we could go potty without taking precisely-packed carry-on bags into the potty stall. Have you ever had to do that? What fun that is. After breakfast and potty breaks, we finally boarded our flight to Midland. Cold in Dallas, but warm in Midland. Pretty darn good trade-off.
Our parents picked us up at the Midland airport, and we lunched at my favorite local hangout … Taco Villa. I have written about Taco Villa before, and about my favorite thing to eat at this high class establishment – a Guadalajara. I am certain that someone will hit on this post while searching for pictures of their very own favorite Taco Villa specialty. No, you say. Oh yes! Former West Texans from all over the world (I am serious!) search the internet for pictures of Taco Villa food. How do I know this? Am I one of these people? Well no, not really, but I have joined the “Honk if you miss Taco Villa” Facebook group. Ok, that’s not the real name, but seriously, you can view pictures of Taco Villa food on Facebook. Kind of makes you realize some people just really don’t have so much to do. I mean, who would take pictures of a half-eaten Guadalajara? Me. Ok, not me. I would take the picture before I start eating it. I wish I had done so on this trip, but I didn’t. Next time I go to Midland I will do just that so you can see what I keep fussing about.
On to more important things … like boots!
We planned this for weeks – wearing our identical boots on the plane. As time drew near, we debated the sensibility of wearing our matching boots. They would take up so much room in the luggage if we chose not to wear them on the return flight, and we’d have to take them off at the airport, and that’s a pain in the butt. At least more so than loafers. In the end, our need to wear matching footwear won out, and we wore our boots. Actually we wore them all weekend, so didn’t have to pack them at all.
Check out our sun grins in this picture. We could barely open our eyes! Daddy took this picture of us after a taking a series of “headless daughters” shots, the sun glaring so much he couldn’t see our image on the teensy little screen. We had some serious sun that day!
Later in the evening … the moment of truth. Up to this point Pam and I had shared lemon bread and a banana, we flew together, we wore the same boots, and we had the same sun grin. Now we were going to sleep in the same bed. It’s been a hundred years since we slept in the same bed. Maybe not a hundred, but it has been a few. We thought about drawing a line down the middle of the bed, you know, you stay on your side, I stay on mine. It’s surprising, I know, but we’re actually a little old for that nonsense. What was that? Did I hear you say … not really???
Instead, we just removed all the little ticking things from the bedroom, for my parents have an affinity for little clocks in this room. Several tick-tocks spaced around, and they are pretty little things. Not so noisy, but just predictable sound. After the tick comes the tock, and then the tick again immediately followed by the tock, and on and on. Another thing my sister and I have in common, if the clocks remained in the room we would both lie awake all night, her listening for the tick, me for the tock, and the tick, and then the tock, and so the clocks had to go. This is routine, at least on my visits. I get a kick out of moving the clocks into other rooms, and Momma and Daddy get a kick out of finding all the clocks in other rooms the next morning. It’s a little family joke. For some reason, Momma’s and Daddy’s big clock in the other room, the beautiful one that chimes loudly DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG at, let’s see, that would be midnight … doesn’t wake me up or bother me in the least.
Notice how good we were getting at taking our own pictures! We took turns seeing whose arm was longest and who had the better aim. It was a toss-up. Flash didn’t go off on this one, but oh well.
We went to church the next day and saw many of Momma’s and Daddy’s friends, some I’ve known since childhood. Then we went out to lunch. If you remember the reason for our visit, it was our mom’s birthday. She chose to have her birthday dinner at Big Daddy’s Catfish Restaurant. I didn’t take any pictures at the restaurant, not sure where my brain was that day. Guess it was in my purse with my camera. Anyway, we had a big catfish dinner (most of us had catfish), hushpuppies, all the fixin’s. It was a lot of fun.
Lest anyone forget my beloved hometown’s landscape, here’s a shot Pam took out of the window of the car on our way to Odessa:
Go ahead and make fun, but I love the flatlands.
Here is Mom opening her presents from us the next day, which was her actual birthday. By the way, Mom does have a name, Kathleen. Just thought I’d put that out there so you know she’s a person in her own right, not just Mom!
… and with my sister:
It wasn’t just a girls’ weekend. Daddy was there also. He has a name, too, Buford. Just like to say their names once in a while!
He is a patient man, I suppose, surrounded by women all weekend! What a lucky guy!!! See the clock (or part of it) in the above picture? That is the DONG, DONG, DONG clock!
After she opened her presents, we went shopping at the mall. I was determined to get a picture of just the four of us. Luckily for us, we ran into one of their friends from church, Les. Les, who had just had eye surgery and was wearing those all-light blocking sunglasses even inside the mall, the kind that cover every space from eyebrows to cheeks to ears. Something like a geeky Lone Ranger mask. This is the person I asked to take our picture. Oh sure, when you need your picture taken, go ahead and ask a blind man! It was either him or a stranger, and in my defense, I did ask him not to hurt his eyes. I certainly didn’t want that, but if it wouldn’t hurt his eyes, would he pretty pretty please take our picture? He did. Took off the sunglasses for just a minute and snapped a few pictures of us. Here’s one of them:
Before you know it, it was time to head back to Dallas. Momma and Daddy took us to the airport, where things got interesting.
Here I was worried that Pam was carrying more contraband than she should be, and that the TSA would take it away from her. What I didn’t know is that they had their eyes on both of us all along, but especially me because apparently I look like a terrorist. They went through every nook and cranny in our bags and purses, and then an agent said to me, “Step over here, ma’am,” and led me into a glass (bullet-proof, I suppose) little room sort of like a display case at a museum. Then she got close and personal with me. Dallas TSA did not worry about us, but the Midland TSA agents were vigilant! My first experience with a pat-down. Well, by a TSA agent anyway …
After I was released from my holding cell, we had a little time to kill, so we went to the little shop to buy some more contraband. After all, you have to buy things at the airport shops. It’s a requirement.
Then we discovered that our flight to Dallas was a turbo-prop. Here I had told Pam all along we were flying on small regional jets in both directions (I had booked the flights). She hadn’t been too keen on American Eagle but I had assured her we would be flying in a jet, just a smaller one. Act like nothing is wrong, I thought, everything will be fine. Here we are putting on a brave face after finding our seats on the plane in Lucky Row No. 7 (the row I deliberately chose when I booked based solely on 7’s reputation as a lucky number):
Then we noticed something else. We were practically the only people on the plane save the crew. Check this out:
I am not joking, there were 8 people (plus the crew) on this flight. We had adjusted our psyche to the fact that we were flying in a turbo prop, and we were comfortable in our seats in Lucky Row No. 7. The next thing we know, the flight attendant tells us that because the flight is so empty we have to change seats TO BALANCE OUT THE PLANE! For real. So, everyone (well, all 8 of us) had to sit behind row number 12, apparently so the plane could fly in a safe and smooth manner. As if the 215 pounds my sister and I share between us is going to make any difference. It was a little frightening to think that it could!
Like sheep to the slaughter, we followed our flight attendant to our new seat assignment –
in Lucky Row No. 13. Oh joy.
As you have figured out by now, we survived the flight in spite of our unlucky seat assignment on a turbo prop. In fact, the flight was so smooth … must have been all that weight distribution.
Most important, we got to visit our Mom on her birthday and spend a little time together, neither of which happens very often. We love you, Mom! Yeah, we love you, too, Dad!