Sunday, October 03, 2010

An Austin weekend

This is how the adult Alter/Hudgeons/Burton children spent Saturday afternoon, glumly watching the deafeat of UT at the hands of OU. And below is how the grandchildren spent the afternoon--caged. It's not as bad as it looks. The trampoline has a net around it for safety, and most of the kids spent all weekend bouncing. We had seven children, one pool, one trampoline, and only one accident: Edie twisted her ankle just before we left for lunch on Sunday and had to be carried, though by the time we finished eating she was putting some tentative weight on it and not nearly as tearful as she'd been when it happened. A much more minor problem: two footballs are now in the yard of the neighbors behind the back fence--Maddie has a powerful arm.
The final picture shows how the Alters celebrate birthdays, with all those children trying to put forty candles on Aunt Megan's cake and then help her blow them out. Of course they were the trick candles that flare up as soon as you blow them out. Megan finally had to say to the children, "Quit blowing. It's just makes them light up again." She resorted to dumping them in a glass of water. I was pleased with my present for Megan--besides a gift certificate for Kindle, I gathered forty of a variety of things--marshmallows, corks, Hershey kisses, gummy bears, scrunchies, jalopeno almonds, etc., each with a note for suggested use.
It was all great fun, and we had a lovely weekend. The weather was beautiful, and mostly we sat around in the back, watching the kids in the pool or on the tramp (strict rules about adults being around for these activities, though Maddie pretty much qualifies these days). We went to a six-year-old's soccer game to see Sawyer play defense and goalie--he did himself proud and was pleased with all the praise. We went for a long walk at dusk--longer than Megan promised me it would be and though I can ride a good distance on my stationary bike in a fair amount of time, this wore me out. Today we had lunch at Salt Lick, the legendary barbecue place I'd heard much about. I'd heard, with some trepidation, that they put barbecue sauce in their potato salad, and I resolved to abstain--but it was good. We ate under the trees, and the kids could run and play, though they spent some time raptly listening to the guitar player.
The nice thing about my family is that they really all love each other a lot, and all the children get along and have a weekend-long play date (bedtime is sometimes hard). But no adults singles out his or her child for attention--they are equally loving and caring--and meting out discipline--with all the children. But I feel so blessed.
Megan and Brandon live in a sixty-year-old house, and this is the first time I've seen the remodeled kitchen, which completely transformed the whole downstairs--it is now open from front to back, with a huge granite slab island that will eventually have cabinets on one side and seating on the other. At the far end, near what is used as the living/family room, there is a bar with higher stools. It's all great for visiting with whoever's cooking, gathering around to eat, whatever. So much more space and openness--and light. In fact, Megan says at night their house looks like a big-screen TV and she must get drapes. But it's really wonderful, with redone hardwoods (dark), dark wood cabinets, multi-color granite counters, and backsplash of variegated glass bricks--I'm not doing it justice. Megan has impeccable taste, and it's all well done.
So, home, tired, with lots to do. But savoring a wonderful weekend. I see someone has already put some weekend pictures on my Ceiva--the revolving picture frame on my desk.

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