Sunday, October 24, 2010

On Thursday, the 21st, we drove to Belton (300 miles north of home).  That evening, we attended the dedication of the beautiful, new president's home on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. A buffet dinner was part of that dedication.  It is a beautiful home.

On Friday, I attended the Board of Trustees' meeting while Dorothy and Esther participated in the activities planned for the spouses (or in their case, the sisters) of the trustees.  During the day, we all attended the ribbon cutting and dedication of Garner Hall, a new apartment complex that houses 140 students on the campus.   UMHB's enrollment is growing so fast that during the board meeting we okayed another new housing project to be completed before the beginning of the 2011 fall semester begins. 

Click here to read more about The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

After the meeting ended, we drove back to San Antonio, had a quick meal at a Pizza Hut, and then checked into our hotel.  We watched the end of the game as the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees (yea!!!!).  The next morning, we had breakfast and then drove home.  By 1:30 p.m. we were ready to greet a group that had reservations to tour The Christmas House.

It was a whirlwind trip, but we enjoyed every minute of it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fantastic weekend!

When we were growing up, there was a couple who lived about two miles down the road from us near La Gloria School.  They were from the Netherlands, as were our Minten grandparents, and while they didn't know each other in the "old country," they became friends here in Texas.  They had three sons, and one of them was our dad's best friend when they were young.  He and one of his brothers moved to Houston where they married and raised their families.  The third brother moved back to the Netherlands.

The Houston families would come down for visits, and since their children were close to my age, we played together along with some of our cousins.  Both of our grandmothers had passed away before I was born, so their grandmother was like mine, too, and they willingly shared her.  In fact, she and her husband were so much a part of our extended family that they were included in all family functions.  They even took their turns hosting the family Christmas Eve parties where Santa Claus made his annual visit to bring a special early gift to each child in the family.  (We have LOTS of cousins!) 

I loved it when mother had to go somewhere, and I was allowed to stay with Tante!  She baked fresh bread every Monday, and there was always a special little round loaf just for me!  She made good Dutch cookies, too.

Well, their grandchildren and and all of us kids down here in South Texas grew up, miles separated us, and time spent working and just living our lives kept us apart except for short visits here and there.  It was only after all of us retired that we were able to get together again.  Now it is almost an annual event for them to come down here one weekend in the fall, and that 2010 weekend has just ended with lots of happy memories.

It all started Friday evening when the three of us joined the Houston families at King's Inn (40 minutes from our house on the Texas Gulf Coast at Loyola Beach on Baffin Bay) for a seafood dinner--their treat to us!  Lettuce and tomato salad with slices of avocado, sliced tomatoes, fish, shrimp, oysters, onion rings, fries, and the world's very best tartar sauce!  Actually, it's the world's best everything on the menu!  Oh, my, it was super delicious! 

One of their friends and his wife from Houston also came down for the weekend, because he grew up in Falfurrias and we know him quite well.  They were also at King's Inn for dinner.   

The next morning, we had a group coming at 9:00 for a tour of The Christmas House.  Then at 1:30 all of the Houston group and a few of our cousins met at our home, and we took them on a tour of TCH.  We spent a lot of time during the tour talking and remembering old times.  Afterwards, they all went shopping at Santa's Texas Workshop.

BTW, our cousins came from here (La Gloria, our community that is near Falfurrias), Castroville near San Antonio, and  San Antonio.

Then at 7:00 p.m., we all met again along with lots more of our local cousins and some from out of town, at El Jardin Restaurant in Falfurrias, where the three of us treated everyone to a buffet dinner.  Salad bar, enchiladas, Spanish rice, beans, chicken fried steak, corn, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  It was super delicious good!  Gloria Almendarez (owner) and her staff out did themselves on the food and the service.  There was lots more visiting going on there, too!

We finally all said goodnight, but we weren't finished!  This morning at 8:00, we all met at Strickland's Restaurant for breakfast compliments of one of the Houston couples.  More visiting, talking, remembering, etc.!  While there, we all got excited about next year's "reunion," and made plans for that.

Then at 11:00, two of the Houston group went to church with us, while the others got back on the road to return to their homes.  The three of us sang a special at church.

Now, you'd think that was enough already, wouldn't you?  But we weren't finished yet.  We came home after church and got ready to do a tour of our Christmas House.  A young married couple, both graduates and employees of "our" University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, were due to arrive at 1:30.  We had never met them before, but we're friends now!  Even though they just graduated in 2007 and 2008, we three who graduated in 1949, 1952, and 1970, and the two of them had a great time together.  We love our alma mater which is a very special place.  But I'll save that for another blog!  After  showing them our home, TCH, it was back to Strickland's where we treated them to dinner.

Right now, my sisters are already in bed, and I'm headed that way!  We knew that after this weekend we might need a little rest and time to catch up, so no tours tomorrow!  Esther didn't even set the alarm, so that means we get to sleep late--maybe until 7:30!!  Then, with no rest for the weary, we'll have a busy day taking care of business, etc.

So, "Merry CHRISTmas to all, and to all a good night!"