Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Donna's Birthday

We all helped Ray's sister Donna celebrate her 60th birthday last week on the 19th.  Donna has always done a lot to recognized our special days and would not do anything for herself.  My sister in law Jackie did almost all the work putting the party together and Donna really enjoyed herself.

Brown Littlejohn Reunion

                                         Ray and Betty

                                         If you look carefully there are a lot of family resemblences
                                         All the cousins
We went to Stillwell on July 7th to the annual Brown Littlejohn Reunion.  It is a good chance to visit with a lot of Ray's relatives without having to go to a funeral.  There is a lot of visiting, eating and bingo.  This year Ray's cousin Sonny, who is actually Dr. Calvin Brown Jr. came from Virginia.  He and his wife are very nice people.  I hadn't seen him since he was about ten, so there was a mental shift for me. We took Andrew, Theresa and the grand kids with us.  We all enjoyed ourselves.  For better or worse Theresa is meeting the family.

Traveling to the Land of Wallyworld

We went to Bentonville on July 8th.  Theresa's mom works for Walmart in Jacksonville, so it seemed like we should at least visit where it all started.  Bentonville and the surrounding towns are a very interesting study in the influence the world's largest corporation can have.  The Walton family and the various entities are very generous with gifts to the towns.  The Crystal Bridge Museum is an amazing place to visit and it is just part of what the family has given to the area.  The fact that the world comes to northeast Arkansas makes for a much more sophisticated community than people from the coasts would expect.  Andrew and Theresa liked it a lot.  Ray and I may be liking it more too as we get more familiar with the area.

Never to old to rock and roll

A couple of weekends ago, Nick and Nicole suggested we go to a street party downtown.  The Automobilia Moonlight Car Show was a lot  bigger and a lot more fun than I expected it to  be.  Everyone in the family went down.  It was hot, but we all managed to sweat our way through it.  One of the bands playing was the Boogie Brothers.  Three of the members are a family we have known since Andrew was in first grade.  The two son's have recently returned from a tour with another band they had been playing with.  The separation of that band was the usual financial and maybe a little creative differences.  Andrew and Dan Weaver are talented, and are just happy to play music.  We sat through most of the evening listening to them and another musical group play on the stage.  We also looked at cars, bunches of them.  The Buick was Andi's choice of auto,  but her first pick was the tricked out bicycle.
Ray and I don't usually get into the big crowd scenes, but this was a good one.  I also decided since Ray has been talking about a regular type car for his daily use that he should get a Mini Cooper, but I don't think I have him convinced yet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 4 2012

      Another great 4th of July has been celebrated at the Brown house.  Traditions get started in small ways.  For several years we went out to my sister's house in Augusta.  Chris lives in the country and there were fewer restrictions on fireworks.  For a while, we went to Tenkiller Lake and camped.  Then the lure of staying home, swimming in the pool, I don't care for lake water, and simply walking across the street to watch the city fireworks won out. This settled in permanently when the kids became teens and our house was the location of July 4th parties.  This year was the first year for Theresa here. I really like it.
there were fewer people this year was a smaller celebration, but the food was good as always.  Andrew exercised his experience in munitions by making a few custom fireworks.  Those were very loud and colorful.  The grand kids and grand parents loafed away the afternoon in the pool.  In the morning, we went to the parade.  The adults get to visit with all sorts of politicians running for office.  The children have permission to run out in the street to gather the candy tossed out by the politicians.  I believe the candy memory is what is impressed into a child's mind and subconsciously drives the desire to attend parades as adults. My memory is a bit more starchy, the bakeries used to thow miniature loaves of bread.  My mom would try to collect all she could.  She was a frugal woman in many ways.
      This is the first year Wyatt was allowed to light any type of fire works.  He did very well with the smoke bombs.  I have a photo of just his feet as he leaped into the air after lighting one.  However, he didn't pay attention to his father's instructions to lay a fire cracker on the ground to light it.  He tried one by hand and got a scare when he released it more slowly than he should have.  No burns, no broken skin , just a little boy realizing that fireworks are serious as much as they are fun.  His mother obliged him by wrapping his fingers in enormous bandages, they lasted about an hour then came off as soon as the shock wore off.
      Every year I take photos of the fireworks show.  This year I did pretty good.  It took a while to get the setting right, but I am satisfied.  Now to improve next year.  Non of them beat the fire picture though, so that one stays as my header for a while yet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ray's 50th High School Reunion

We went out to Montezuma last weekend.  The town was having its centennial celebration and his class of 1962 celebrated their 50th year.  Eleven of the eighteen graduates and one former student came.  A couple of them were for the first time.  Gayle Fry and Judy Bruington did most of the work in setting it up and Gayle opened her home to us to escape the heat.
There were almost as many activities for the centennial as there are for the all school reunions.  The parade was fun.  Dan League was fascinated by the big farm equpment.  I admit it, I love looking at these monsters too. 
On Saturday night the group went to eat at Eva's, the local cafe.  The food is very good and the pies are amazing.  I suspect it is because the cooks are all Mennonite ladies.  Those women can cook better than the rest of the female population can imagine. 
Montezuma is a great little town.  I think it is probably a stronghold of the best of old style small town living with modern conveniences.  Ray and I have always said we could never go back there.  However, there are a number of people we know who have.  After this trip, it is easy to see the appeal.