Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Trip to Brownsville to See Grandsons

We left Sunday (May 21) shortly after noon and headed for Texas. Kim's group of five had just left Joplin for Florida, for New Mission Systems International's Pre-Field Orientation for their summer internships. We spent Sunday night with David and Jennie Smith in Allen, TX, then left about 6:00 AM to drive to Brownsville. We beat the Dallas morning rush hour traffic, but the trip to Brownsville is looooonnnnnngggggg no matter how you do it.

We arrived in Brownsville about 3:30 PM, and surprised Emily, who was expecting us later. Greg had flown that morning to Chicago for the Moody Pastor's Conference with John Phillips, Senior Minister of the church. The boys were really excited to see us. A woman from the church brought in supper, which was delicious. There were leftovers, so I had that meal several more times. Delicious!

Rose helped Emily unpack what had been moved, and organize and decorate. My main function, it seems, was as a Grandpa babysitter. A resaca (canal) runs right behind their place, and has a sidewalk that runs along it. I took the boys for a ride in their wagon the very first morning. We spoke to a neighbor who has an interesting garden set up. He is a Desert Storm veteran, and is retired. Something is not quite right in his head, but he seemed very friendly. Greg had met him a few times.

I approached the whole grandparenting thing with the idea that my diaper-changing days were a thing of the past. I put in my time during the parenting stage. Up until this trip, when the grandkids needed a change, I had always deferred the joy to my wife. On this trip, however, there were many times that Emily and Rose were gone, and I was by myself. Nathan takes care of himself, but Eli has not been potty trained. The first time I found a diaper with a bonus in it, I called Emily's cell phone to say, "Thanks a lot!" All in all, though, it was a very enjoyable time, though stressful for the family, as a time of moving always is. Greg arrived back from Chicago on Thursday night. We went home with the boys, and Greg and Emily went to a motel on South Padre Island. The next morning, we took the boys out there and swam at the pool before checkout time.

Rose with Boys Waiting for Their Dad at the Harlingen Airport

Friday night, I stayed with the boys at the new house, and Greg, Emily and Rose were at the old house getting ready for a Saturday garage sale. I got the boys their bath (they have a knack at getting dirty). Art Linkletter first said it; later Bill Cosby reprised it, but kids do say the darndest things. During the bath time, I heard Nathan say to me, "Silly, Grandpa. Grandpas don't wash boys!" When the others returned home, the boys were in bed, but we were short a bed, so I slept on the couch Friday night, and Rose spent part of the night on cushions on the floor, or in one of the boy's beds.

Emily and Rose conducted the garage sale Saturday morning. Greg helped them early on, then needed to meet someone at the church building at 9:00 AM. I stayed with the boys. When Greg got back home, we went to Mexico to pick up a sign someone had made for him. I bought some medication that my insurance company refuses to pay for at a pharmacy. We crossed back, met the girls for lunch at a good Chinese buffet. Rose and I went to check into a Best Western, where we would spend our last night there in Brownsville. The boys came over and swam at the pool there before the Saturday night service. I think everybody was tired, and slept very well.

I preached part of the sermon for the Spanish service with Greg. He did the introduction and the first main point. I did the next two main points, and then turned it back to him for the closing. It worked pretty well. The congregation they serve has lots of potential. I think we were able to help them quite a bit. There are still a few things at the old house, but they will get them all moved by Thursday. We had a good time, and got to spoil those kids just a little bit.

Family (minus me) at Subway for Sunday Lunch

Emily's sister is having a baby sometime within the next month. Her parents bought them airline tickets to come to Joplin at that time. They will fly out Sunday afternoon, after church services. Greg will get to come, but will return home on Wednesday, and count it as an extended day off, rather than as vacation. The family will be taking a week-long vacation in August, when we go to Arizona. So, we'll get to see the boys a couple more times this summer. Emily is expecting a baby in December. We will return to Brownsville after final exams (the baby may come earlier than that). We will attend Kristy Peebles' wedding in Dallas, then continue on. We exchanged our timeshare in Branson for a 2 BR condo in Brownsville. Then we'll be back home for Christmas.

Children are a blessing from the LORD. Grandchildren too!

Blessings to you and yours!



Anonymous said...

From Dave Smith: Thus far I have bypassed diaper duty with the grandkids. Hopefully my success will continue.

Gregory Fish said...

The neighbor you mentioned came by the church today interested in VBS. He remembered you by name!