Friday, January 30, 2015

Let's rodeo!

It's rodeo night for my family. They arrived in bits and driblets between five and six this evening, snacked on the food I put out (including great sweet potato salad), drank a bit of wine, and were out the door a little after 6:30, leaving me a quiet house and snacks to put away. I may have said this before, but rodeo makes me nostalgic. When the kids were little, it was a rite of passage when a child was deemed old enough to go to the rodeo, though I don't remember what age. We always went with one other family, ate at the cafeteria (nothing fancy like Reata at the Rodeo in those days), watched the show, and came home exhausted. Early on, I realized I really didn't want to watch the bull riding--my heart was in my mouth the whole time, and I think it got so I waited in the hallway. Now I don't want to see man or beast hurt. When the grown children decided they wanted to come for a rodeo weekend, I politely declined. But now it's an annual affair that brings them all home, and I'm all for that.
One branch of the family--the Frisco Alters--will not arrive until tomorrow. Eleven-year-old Eden is an animal sympathizer to the point of being vegetarian and would not go to the rodeo; the rest of her family are not much interested either, so they'll arrive in time to tour the barns, etc. I still remember Eden's father, my Jamie, as a child going through the barn, holding his nose and lifting his feet high with each step  as though he could avoid the muck. Darn rain--Midway won't be much fun tomorrow. Once again, I'll stay home in a quiet house--too much walking and standing. (Gosh, I hate sounding like an old lady!)
In recent years, we've gone to Joe T.'s for dinner, but Jordan suggested a change which I welcome. We'll go to the Star Café owned by good friends Don and Betty Boles. Have a reservation for 17. I can already taste the chicken-friend steak with cream gravy.
Poor Christian has already been to the rodeo five times--tonight is six. He takes clients, plus he went with Jordan's office and took two little boys last Monday night. He's relieved that there's only one more week. I would be too.
Stock show--properly known, I think, as the Southwestern Livestock Exposition and Stock Show--really changes the character of Fort Worth for its three-week run--restaurants and roads are crowded, and there's a general air of excitement in the city. I saw a wonderful picture on Facebook last night of the darkened city with the lights of the Midway blazing in the middle of the picture--thanks to Brian Luenser. To me, that said it all about what the stock show does for Fort Worth.
I know it's a very good thing for the city and its economy, and there are days I miss walking the exposition hall and seeing the FFA animal exhibit--all those little ducks sliding down into the water and eggs hatching. I miss funnel cakes and the heavy smell of fried food and the earthy smell of the barns and the warmth emanating from the cattle. For me, a Chicago native, it's part of an acquired taste; for my Texas-born kids, it's part of their heritage.

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