texas road trips: a family visit in early, last day in plano, and return to virginia

Sunday, March 27:  This morning, we all pack up, straighten up our Airbnb house and leave Oklahoma City, first dropping off Charlene and Louise at the airport.  Martha and I drive three hours back to Plano, where we settle in for the night, enjoying our wine in the spa as we have almost every night while in Plano.

Monday, March 28: Today, I drive 3 hours southwest from Plano to Early, Texas, not far from the bigger town of Brownwood, where I visit my Aunt Judy.  Aunt Judy is my mother’s younger sister. My mom died on April 22, 2002, and would now be approaching 84 if she were still alive.

Since Aunt Judy lives out west, I don’t get to see her often.  The last time I saw her, in fact, was for my mother’s funeral on April 26, 2002. Judy’s husband is Uncle Bill and her daughter, my cousin, is Marlene.  I probably met Marlene when we were young children, but I’m not even sure about that.  We have a great time getting to know each other and sharing stories about our lives.

My other cousin is Bryan, who lives with Aunt Judy and helps her and Uncle Bill around the house.  Bryan lived in Austin for a time, and travels back there quite frequently to see his friends.  Austin is one place I would have loved to visit but I didn’t really have time on this trip.

We enjoy a big family dinner together on Monday night.

Marlene, Uncle Bill and Aunt Judy
Marlene, Uncle Bill and Aunt Judy

 

Marlene, Brian, Uncle Bill and me
Marlene, Bryan, Uncle Bill and me
Marlene and Brian
Marlene and Bryan
Me with Brian
Me with Bryan

Tuesday, March 29:  Marlene and Judy and I sit around talking most of the day.  Marlene takes us to her beautiful house on a lake and I get to meet her husband too.  Aunt Judy takes Marlene and I to lunch at an Italian restaurant and then we have a quiet dinner at home.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll drive back to Plano.

Aunt Judy and Marlene
Aunt Judy and Marlene
Aunt Judy and me
Aunt Judy and me
me with Marlene
me with Marlene

After our nice visit, I drive back to Plano, first stopping to visit one of my old high school teachers, who, after teaching at York High School, became an Episcopal priest. Andy and his wife live in Azle, TX, also outside of Dallas/Fort Worth.

Later, I return to Martha’s house in Plano.  We soak in the spa again and enjoy our last night together sharing wine and great conversation.

Martha and I in her spa with wine
Martha and I in her spa with wine
Martha's spa
Martha’s spa

Martha and her husband Paul have been the perfect hosts.  I’ve known Martha my whole life, but I haven’t had a chance to talk in depth with Paul, so it was a real pleasure conversing with both of them.  Martha and Paul are great conversationalists, and can talk thoughtfully about subjects ranging from politics to terrorism to the situation in the Middle East to science (of course I can’t contribute much on the latter subject).

Martha and Paul
Martha and Paul
Me with Martha
Me with Martha

Martha makes a delicious and healthy meal of lentil burgers with a yogurt sauce.

dinnertime >> lentil burgers
dinnertime >> lentil burgers
lentil burgers
lentil burgers
Martha's family room
Martha’s family room

We enjoy the beautiful sunset after dinner.  Then I have to pack up for my flight back to Virginia tomorrow morning.

sunset in Plano
sunset in Plano
colorful clouds
colorful clouds
sunset in plano
sunset in plano

Wednesday, March 31:  I have to drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport and return my rental car; my flight out is slightly after noon.  Luckily, it’s a direct flight.  It has been a fabulous visit to Texas and Oklahoma to share a special event with my high school friends, and to visit my Aunt Judy and her family.  What wonderful memories we created all around. 🙂

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