Road Trip – No Thanks

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Our closest neighbors telephoned last night to ask if they could stop by and pick up their mail. They took a road trip to Ohio this week and were returning ahead of schedule. Consequently, while they were away from home, the General picked up their mail. She often assumes that assigned task. I didn’t ask who was feeding their python(s) while they were away, but they had the good sense to know that I was not their man. The very thought makes my skin crawl. I guess in that regard, I have something in common with the snakes. I’ve never thought of that before. I’m at a loss. I will have to give that concept more thought.

 

This has been a month for travel for them. Week before last they were in Seattle. They actually had the good sense (my value) to fly to Seattle. The purpose of the trip was to visit one of his cousins who had been placed on hospice care. Of course, he said with a smile, I also went to visit her the first time she was placed on hospice and that was months ago.

 

They subsequently were back home for the weekend and left mid-week last week for the trip to Ohio. He was one of the speakers at some kind of medical convention. I’m sure he shared the details, but I didn’t retain them in my memory. I guess you could say, “If it relates to doctors and medicine, I try to avoid them.”

 

Our neighbor retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force eight years ago. His was an illustrative military career. He initially flew airplanes. What young man doesn’t want to do that? However, during the vast majority of his thirty-year military career, he served as a flight surgeon. By the way, did you know that COL stands for crying out loud?  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

 

Following his retirement from the Air Force, he subsequently went to work for a specialized medical group and he’s been busier in his second career track than he was before he retired. However, he’s now opted to start working a lot less. Consequently, he had the luxury to have the time to drive to Ohio. Having the time is the luxury. Driving to Ohio, not so much (again – my value judgment).

 

One of his hobbies is taking pictures of courthouses in Texas. He is a history buff and for whatever reason, he is drawn to courthouses. He doesn’t just capture the picture of the courthouse. He wants to know something about the courthouses’ history and the architect who designed the plan.

 

I’ve never asked what inspired his interest in courthouses. Architecturally, I get it. However, does the concept of justice have a bearing that draws him in and holds him captive? Seriously, this guy is on a mission. He’ll drive six hours to take a picture of a courthouse and turn around and drive back home. Jiminy Cricket – I don’t get it. By the way, whoever is feeding the python(s) is probably feeding them crickets or mice. Dishing out the dole doesn’t sound like a favor either.

 

By the way, there are lot of back road Texas places they could travel between here and Ohio. Coming back they picked up a few in East Texas and they headed to Waco. Wouldn’t you know it? There is something about the Fixer Upper that draws everyone’s interest. Actually, Magnolia Farms was not their destination.

They were headed to the McLennan County Courthouse in Waco. The 1901 McLennan County courthouse was designed by J. Riely Gordon, a well-known architect who designed many courthouses in the Renaissance Revival style. The McLennan County Courthouse features an interior dome that can be viewed from the center of the basement or from any of the higher-level floors. It is a fourth floor dome that features blue stained glass on the ceiling. Impressively, the walls are ornately decorated in gold leaf raised bow design. Oh, I guess I failed to mention one of the motivations for Randy and Wanda to visit the courthouse in Waco. The entrance to the courthouse is through the basement. There are several wall murals that adorn the walls in the basement. They were painted my Wanda’s aunt.

 

I guess you could say the McLennan County Court House is picture perfect. The only thing noticeably missing is that the statue of Lady Liberty, that is perched on the exterior above the dome is missing her right arm.  That is the arm that holds up the scales of justice. That has to be a bad omen. Who’s to say? Reportedly, they are trying to come up with a fix.

 

Randy reported that they also listened to three different audio books on their road trip. The General chimed in to say that we used to regularly listen to audio books when we were commuting between Midland and Henly. She then went on to say, more than once when we got to our destination, we’d drive around another thirty minutes because we weren’t at a good stopping place in the book.

 

I laughingly remembered that we listened to Garrison Keillor’s Wobegon Boy when we drove to Colorado. His description of the dark Lutherans in his hometown in Minnesota reminded us of some of the Baptist we knew from our childhood. We laughed so hard that we cried. If you need an entertaining read, I’d recommend it. Actually, save it for a road trip and listen to the book. It will definitely keep you awake when you are driving.

 

All My Best!

Don

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