My "little" sister, five years younger than I am, is in town this weekend with her two children. Her husband is off in Kuwait now. While she attended to needful things, I took her 11 year old daughter and 14 year old son on an outing.
We stopped by my brother's to drop off a cable I borrowed for my pre-amp to my sister in law. She kindly gave our niece a cute stuffed bear. I gave my brother a yellow cadillac toy I found at a flea market--perhaps it will be a giveaway prize for his Cadillac website. He sold me a neat used digicam (actually, 2) for a near-song, so I am back in pictorial business.
We went to Shipley Doughnuts, a local institution, where we partook of old-fashioned baked cinnamon rolls for my niece and I, while my nephew had warm kolaches.
We drove to nearby Fairview to go hiking in the riparian woodland at the Heard Natural Science Center. It felt good to feel the heat and hear the birdsong and cicada cry.
We saw a bright green garter snake, a red-tailed hawk, various skinks, various frogs and toads, stylish turtles, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflys, sunfish, mosquito fish, and a world of woodland and prairie flowers. The wetland area was, well, very wet. We walked on elevated boardwalk through odd, fascinating green swamp.
We enjoyed the little nature museum with its modern air-conditioning and seashell exhibition.
We adjourned to Pho Que Hurong in Plano for pho ga' and spring rolls, and then we took a rest at home.
In the afternoon, we drove to a place with batting cages. When one has endured the frustration of a week's activity, there is something pure and right and liberating and compassionate about striking flying balls with an aluminum bat, to hear the thud. I found that I could connect each time, but rarely found the truly "sweet" spot on the bat. I find in life, though, that it's not how sweet the swing, but whether one
continues to hit the ball that matters.
My nephew having flagged out, I took my niece to the natatorium, where we raced around the lazy river, slid the high-speed slide with unmasked abandon, dived from the diving board (in my niece's case, using a bombardier style I would have also approved of at age 11). She was busy in the childrens' section, pulling levers that made watet spout, while I was soothing in the large hot-tub-temperature pool,when the closing bell sounded.
I was struck today how many people wear at least one tattoo, toddlers excepted.
My wife, my sister, the kids and I went to the local "nice" buffet for sushi, grilled things, edamame and similar things. Then we went to the Allen Outlet Mall so that my sister could equip her children with this or that.
All in all, we had a full and worthwhile day. I am tired, but tired in a good way.
Bea likes having people throw her ball.