Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A flying trip to S'port!

Although I absolutely HATE to leave my peeps behind, I was pretty excited that mom, dad, and Jan offered me a ticket to join them in Shreveport! And it was such a hurried decision, that I didn't even have time to get too worked up about it, but since I couldn't sleep I did get up early Saturday morning to make some pecan sandies for PawPaw and and cranberry-orange scones for Mamaw. Then after a while my peeps slowly began to awake and come downstairs, and at the first sound of Tressie's voice, Eric and I knew...Uh-Oh! She didn't sound good! So after Eric squashed my suitcase (it always takes a man to get my much-needed things to squish down so that the suitcase zipper will close!), we ran out the door to run by the pediatrician's office before the airport...always a lovely start to a trip for a mom who hates leaving her babies behind!

After waiting for what seemed forever in the pediatrician's office (I thought it'd be empty on a early Saturday morn, but nope!), we saw Dr. M to learn that she had bronchitis. So after Eric reassured me that she'd be fine, he drove us quickly to the airport; and we had plenty of time to sit and visit while we waited until boarding, then the tears began to flow! Tressie fell apart; Macy tried to hold her composure, and Eric kept looking at me with the expression "Get goin', for they're going to be fine! You know you're gonna have fun!" So as I tried to maintain my composure, I leaked a few tears and got got my powdered-sugar'd pecan sandies through the airport security (I was worried about that!) and flew to Memphis where Aunt Jan was waiting for me!

My plane was a little bit late, so I was so thankful she was there to quickly get us to the correct gate; we boarded our next flight and giggled all the way to Shreport where we landed, rented her car and drove ourselves to Pawpaw's house, and then we would drive on to the hotel to meet mom and dad. It was so good to see Pawpaw, and it was even more wonderful to hear how happy he was to know that we had pulled all of this together to be there for him, a simple man with a simple art show. Of course, we told him how special he is and how special it was to us that we be there to support him at this "simple" reception for his art exhibit! While we were getting ready to take him with us to the hotel where we were meeting mom and dad, Jan learned that they had been in a little wreck near our hotel. So we stayed with them (as long as we was bitterly cold and windy!) while they finished up their paperwork with the police and the lady who had backed into them, then checked into our hotel, and then went to supper at Imperical Cathay (one of our favorite restaurants in S'port!). After a wonderful supper (if in S'port, one must go there!), we dropped off Pawpaw at his house and went on to our hotel.

It's surprising that any of us got any sleep, for we were all over-tired and having a great time laughing and just being together, and the fact that Jan was reading the jokes in Reader's Digest wasn't helping any! The next morning we awoke, got ready and had b'fast together there at the hotel, and then I rode with mom and dad to attend Grace Pres. (where some old friends used to attend...I wrote the "old" there just for you Rachel!) and then on to Pawpaw's art exhibit at the Barnwell Garden Center and Art Gallery.

Pawpaw's leaf paintings are some of my favorites; however, this one is extremely great, for he has also painted the matting.

Pawpaw looked great, and it was wonderful to see so many people trying to steal a moment or two with him. Everyone was impressed with the exhibit which features some of his artworks from 1926 to 2007! It's titled Dr. Hank Stoer: An 80-year Retrospective. And here is a newpaper article written on him...we're so very proud!

As a child, just one of my favorite memories was the whole family going down to the Barnwell Center, so the adults could walk around and reflect on the artwork that was on display, all of which I knew MY Pawpaw had done. And when the kids would get restless (which was almost immediately!), Alal would take us either outside to play on the lawn along the river or into the domed botanical conservatory, where we could run and play (until our parents joined Alal and us!) and look at all of the unusual plants and flowers! But another fun memory that I still enjoy is watching all of the fur coats come out in the winter, and let me tell you there were some pretty fancy coats and even some interesting artsy clothing at this reception...worth writing home about! Now who doesn't enjoy watching people?!?

One wonderful aspect of our trip was getting to visit with some of Pawpaw's close friends but especially our ability to visit with one of Alal's closest friends, Helen! It was as if we had spent the afternoon with Alal herself. It was so wonderful that she was able to be there, and she hasn't changed a bit...still hasn't since my earliest memory of her! And I've almost convinced her to come up here to visit with us...I really hope she does! The last time she came was when Macy was a little baby, and they stopped here to spend a night on one of their many travels through our area! Those gals liked to travel!

As the reception ended, we said our goodbyes to everyone, and Mom and Dad drove me back to the airport where I rented a car and followed them to Ruston to visit Mamaw, mom's mom. She also looks so good! She has really blossomed there in her nursing home, and I really think they need to pay her to live there, for she helps keep everyone in their places....and she really is the healthiest of all living there! Since it was late when we got there, we were just able to visit with her for a while before we headed back to our hotel, and I just had a great time talking and laughing with mom while we just laid in bed and tried to fall asleep. It really was the first time that I had gotten to visit with mom on this wild, fast trip!

The next morning we quickly got ready, had breakfast and went to visit with Mamaw some more. We took her for a walk to visit with some of her friends there at the nursing home, and then later that morning, I had to say goodbye to both of them to begin driving back to S'port...but first stopping at the Pewter Co., of course! Since Pawpaw had previous "engagements" I drove on to meet Jan at Helen's house, and we all went to have lunch at the Real Pickle...another S'port must-do! While eating lunch together, we decided that we'd just drive over to Jimmie's house to visit with her for a while, and it was so great to see her as well! Another one that hasn't changed at all in my memory! Not any at all, as Annie would say!
Then Jan and I had to say our goodbyes so that we could get back to the airport. After doing a last-minute quick search for a Mardi Gras king baby, we rushed to return our rental cars and check into finding one of Pawpaw's paintings that's located at the airport (which Jan did find...woohoo!), and we boarded our plane to Memphis, giggling all the way, of course!

Before parting ways, we had a quick bbq dinner (hello...Memphis!) before boarding our individual planes. And I just have to say "Thanks be to God!" for our landing safely, for I thought I was seated beside the next news-maker! The fella didn't speak English; he looked very suspicious; he had a terrible case of tourettes or drug withdrawal or something, for he kept jerking this way and that (I didn't know if I should scream for help for me or him!), and to top it all off, he was really sick with a sinus-something! Aghh! I've never been concerned flying in any way or fashion, but after that flight I was so thankful to put my feet on the ground and get away! be back home with my little fam! But wait...the first sound of their voices....they were all sick as well! My poor babies were all coming down with this yucky virus/bronchitis/whatever! And my poor husband who had been taking care of them all the while working from home during his busiest time of year at work! What a great guy! And not to mention that they hadn't told me while I was away that they were all dropping like flies! (One can't tell over a cell phone connection, I guess, for I talked to them non-stop...remember, I have all girls!) But home sweet home...we've all just stayed home and cuddled in front of the fire in fireplace, and I'm so thankful that we do homeschool, for we can do some schoolwork here and there, snuggled together in the warmth and comfort of our own home! get back to our "normal" routine!

One of my all-time favorites of Pawpaw's artwork...Mother Stoer, standing at the back gate of the Stoer family home!


Anonymous said...

Hey, I just read this! Wow, it WAS a whirlwind trip, wasn't it? Thanks for mentioning me! I love your blog! You're so good at it!

B.A.M. said...

I love your "Paw Paw's" Art. That one of the leaves is awesome!!
Oh, how I wish I could paint like that =o)God Bless,Angie (GA) (AOyr0 & AO main group)