Thursday, March 30, 2023

It's all About Family!!

Late Wednesday morning, Louis Dean followed me over to Firestone in his truck to leave it for a front end alignment and to get the tires balanced while we spent the day in Fort Worth. 

We went straight to Deanie and Charlie's for a nice visit with them and Lonnie and Michele.
Michele had taken the day off so it was such a blessing for us all to be able to spend some time together.

Deanie and Louis Dean bonded tighter than Gorilla Glue on a road trip in 2012.
The quads had just been born and Deanie was taking Louis Dean back home to finish work on the camper while I stayed in Katy to be with Amber.
They laughed and talked all the way back and have been one another's best admirers ever since.

And they ALWAYS get their picture taken together.
It's a tradition!

I got a phone call from Firestone saying they could not do the alignment - our truck was TOO BIG!
Too bad they didn't tell us that when we spent 20 minutes filling out all the paper work and leaving the keys. We need to find a place that has an 'in ground machine' as they only have one where they raise the vehicle in the air - and our truck wouldn't fit on that!

No worries!!
We will find another place that has the right machine.

Our visiting continued and by this time, Mike was home from work early so we all went over there!

We wanted a photo of all of us but there was no one to take it so a selfie had to do!
Charlie held Mike's camera out - since he has the best one - and Deanie pushed the button.
We looked at it and Michele said, "Lonnie, you look like you're distressed!"
He jerk around and said, "I AM!!!! Look at all these crazy people I'm with!"

We laughed and talked and walked down Memory Lane together and had such a good time.

This is Nita's beloved neighbor Sheryl's back yard and we are standing by 'Nita's Garden' Sheryl has designed in her memory. Mike and I each put a wind bottle on the bottle bush.
Sheryl is a Master Gardener and graciously left the gate unlocked so we could stroll through her gardens.

Mike opened up his kitchen cupboards to show us how well stocked Nita had left them.
Only thing is - Mike doesn't cook.
Nita cooked nearly every night and baked weekly.
Mike has a sweet tooth so she kept him supplied with treats and every Saturday, Nita would bake cookies to take in to the drivers at her work to snack on while they loaded the trucks.
Once one of the guys asked her if she could make the cookies 'sturdier.'
That puzzled her until he explained how he would take a bite and then go back to loading while holding the remaining part of the cookie between his teeth. 
"No problem," she said, "I'll just bake them a minute or two longer!"

Back to the kitchen - Mike unloaded the shelves and we divided up the staples between all of us as well as the spice cabinet. Now nothing will go to waste and Mike has lots of space in his kitchen cabinets now.

Next time we are over there, I'll take pictures of how he's displayed some of his collections.
This was the first time I've been in the house since we lost Nita and it felt good to be there again.

Mike took a picture of we three siblings and our spouses before we all left to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse - one of Mike's favorite restaurants.

It was good to spend this day together.

Louis Dean and I got home before dark!

Mike gave me Nita's giant cake plate and this is how I displayed it.
It's another tangible reminder of our beautiful sister.

Guess what Louis Dean did after we got home?
He brought in all the boxes Mike had sent home with us and sorted and organized the pantry AND the spice cabinet! How he managed to get everything in there is amazing.
No one can pack more into a space than he can!
I went on to bed and left him up for a few more hours working on the pantry.

Thursday is Jam Session Day so I dropped LD off at the Senior Center and drove over to see Kimmy and June. I took them some of his goulash and a rum cake for Kimmy and fruitcake cookies for June.

I think she ate every single one of them before I left!

From there I went to ALDI for some perishable things such as milk, cheese, fruits and vegetables.
I timed it so I could pick Louis Dean up at 4:00 which is when I thought the music would be over.

Only one other guy was still there and he left shortly after I arrived.
Turns out they can play until 4:30!!!
He played FIVE more songs before I finally got to leave!

Yesterday I shopped Hobby Lobby for some art supplies and I hit the jack pot!
18 brushes and 2 dozen tubes of oil paints - for $130!!!

Laying the palette is not my favorite thing to do - but it's done now and I even got some paint on the canvas! This is a 12 inch square canvas with sides nearly 2 inches. I will be painting the scene and 'wrapping it around' the sides so it will not require a frame. 

I also started this canvas for Jesse to hang up in his coffee bar area.
He and I talked on the phone this morning and I enjoyed catching up with him.
It's a beautiful blessing to have FAMILY and I'm so thankful for mine.


Deb J. in Utah said...

Amen to the quote at the end. Life is not very enjoyable without family and friends. You and Louis Dean have plenty of both. I hope you have a nice weekend and can find a place to fix your truck! See you again soon!

Judy Byrne said...

So happy to see that you all got together. I miss that Nita can’t tell me what’s going on and how happy she is when you all see each other.

Unknown said...

It's so good to see Mike. I'm glad he's doing okay. I'm sure going to dinner with Nita's family was exactly what he needed. Glad you all had a good time. Laughter is everything isn't it? I'm having pantry envy with that big pantry of yours. It's exactly what I need.

Rita said...

Having close family is a lifetime gift! :) :)

Hootin Anni said...

I'm sure glad you explained the "wrap around" canvas!!! Thank you.

Too bad you couldn't get the truck aligned after dropping it off there.

Donna said...

Try looking up, Big Truck Repair, Ft Worth comes up with several options.
We had to use a big truck repair shop here in town for one of our heavy duty service trucks.
The cake plat of Nita's is lovely...I know it means a lot to you.
Enjoy your day!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You do have plenty of family and close friends. They are until wealth for sure ! So nice of Mike to share all the food since it he wasn't going to use it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend !

Susie said...

Linda, Family is everything. It amazes me how different each member can be and all being raised in the same house. Good or bad we love all. Some times it's a matter of choice and grace that helps with the love. We all need a heap of that. LOL. So good to see all the family in the photos. Blessings to all, xoxo, love you guys, Susie

MadSnapper said...

I love the photo of LD in the pantry, he looks so happy with that big beautiful smile. great family shot of the six of you.. glad you all could get together. I like the bottle tree, have seen them here. beautiful memory garden. too funny about the sturdy cookie. I never met a cookie that lived long enough to need to be sturdy. ha ha...

photowannabe said...

Yes indeed!!! You have the most wonderful family.
Your day with family was so much fun for you. I'm glad you could do it. Wow, now you have a pantry full of spices and goodies.
Love the cake plate too.
My blog post today is all about family too. Great minds...
Hope you get the truck fixed without too much trouble.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Such a wonderful time you had with family. What a blessing! I love to see families doing things together, even when things have been difficult...we stick together. God is good. I enjoyed your post so much. Can't wait to see your paintings. I know they will be wonderful as always. You have such a gift. I am glad you use it to bless so many others. Love the cake plate. What a thoughtful thing to do. I love how you have displayed it. You are amazing. Makes me wish we lived closer! Have a blessed and beautiful weekend.

Debby said...

It's so nice to read about your lovely life with family and friends. Yes, it is all about Family.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Louis Dean looks better in these photos than I have ever seen him!! What a wonderful time with your beautiful family! A bit sad, as well.

Vee said...

This post blessed me. Always good to see you all together. God bless Mike for his generosity. I hope he puts something in those cupboards to eat.

BeachGypsy said...

Love catching up with you and Louis Dean!! Love reading all your adventures . Neat visit to Sheryls pretty garden! Is the truck fixed now? Great deal on all your paint supplies! Have a great weekend . Hugs from the country!

Judy said...

That day was a gift to you all, I'm sure! So good to walk down memory lane together and enjoying each others company. Love the quote you shared. Hope you find a really big shop to service your really big truck!

Great-Granny Grandma said...

How frustrating about the truck, but then you got to spend such a lovely day with family.
You are truly a very blessed lady.