Texas Part 1: July 1-15

When I last left off, I had all but assured my admittance into BYU, and had ramped up my travel plans to leave the next day, July 1st, for Texas.

So, on Wednesday July 1st, after an evening of ribs and hot tubbing, I headed at 6:23 am for another long drive. It passed uneventfully. Aunt Jenny sent me an early birthday present and instructed me to buy some snacks for the journey. Those helped and the miles flew by. All 1,184 of them. As part of my last-minute preparations the day before, I stopped by Discount Tire to fix a tire that was flat. I had been using my spare in the interim, and thought that it would be wise to have the extra on-hand just in case. They advertise free flat repair, and I foolishly dropped it off (due to a long wait time,) and went golfing with Mike until it was done. I returned, picked the car up, thanked them, and headed out. Little did I know. They didn’t hand me a receipt or comment on anything. Instead it was my dad who called later, wondering if everything was alright. Turns out while I was golfing, they called him (even though I left my phone number and asked them to call me,) and had him authorize and pay for 2 tires. I was fuming by the shady business technique, realizing it was the last day of the month, and probably done by some some employee trying to their monthly quota. They told my dad that I needed four new tires, and the only reason he didn’t purchase all of them was his remembrance that I had relatively new tires – he just didn’t remember how many. I found out after they were closed and couldn’t delay the trip, but needless to say, as soon as they opened in the morning, I called Discount Tire to rant. And rant I did. The manager refunded $75, and I vowed never to go back again. I suppose in the scheme of things its an extremely unimportant episode, yet it served to show me how many people are taken advantage of, and how the “righteous indignation,” (which I use liberally here,) which I felt, should be used to help those in need and to advocate for the voiceless. Its a lesson I hope to take with me throughout law school and in the workplace.

I made it safely home to Granbury near 2 a.m., and was thankful to have arrived without incident. At noon, I had my interview with Dean Stewart. I did dreadful, and my over exuberance vanished. A good friend at the law school, Nicol, helped cheer me back up, and I was left to wait for official news.

The first trip we took was to Tyler, on Friday July 3rd. As usual, there were lots of games and swimming. Different this time, were wins against Aunt Janel and Evan in ping-pong. I woke up on the 4th feeling great. Only a week earlier, I had fully expected to experience a 1/4 life crisis. Turning 25 felt monumental. Not only does it mark the halfway point of my 20’s, and the halfway point to 50, it also is the age someone can be elected to the House of Representatives. As always, I had to take a deep look at where I was. It’s crazy how much doing well on the LSAT helped. And of course, being with family helped immeasurably. The day was topped off with some delicious carrot cake and trivia questions.

We left Sunday morning and made it back to Granbury. Here are some pictures of fun activities:

Miller playing disc golf. The matches usually were a toss-up between him and Sawyer.

But I still had fun with them. I’m getting used to losing to my younger siblings in events that I once viewed as guaranteed wins.

Cooper launching his shot.

Porter rounded out the top-3.

Sawyer helped teach me leatherworking skills. Here, I finally finished cutting and stamping my design (Dad remarked how our house sounded like a telegraph office, with tap-tap-tapping for hours at a time,) and am staining it black.

Cooper received the Melchizedek Priesthood was ordained an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. July 12, 2020.

Breyer was inseparable from Waggie. Here they are, with me too, in one of her forts. Waggie was dragged into her bed and spent hours an end in confinement but was a good sport the whole time. It didn’t help that she kept an endless supply of treats on hand to help him stay still.

My goal of having an Amazing Race came to fruition. Luke and Aunt Janel visited from Tyler, and on Friday the 11th we had a 4 team race. Here, Luke and Cooper, aka Stone Spooner and Squirts MacIntosh are introducing themselves for the hype video. The other teams were Aunt Janel and Sawyer; Dad and Miller; and Porter and Breyer. For a couple of hours, the teams danced and sang, completed tough puzzles, ran to spots around the neighborhood, and worked together through-out. Dad and Miller dropped out, unable to do some of the tasks, and in the end it was a nail-biter finish, with Sawyer and Aunt Janel just edging out Porter and Breyer. For their efforts, the winning team won $50. We took lots of footage and I hope to edit it into a video.

This is right when the teams are about to sprint off and find their first clue.

Sawyer and Aunt Janel – the ultimate winners – completed one clue by learning and showing the 8 mandatory bodybuilding poses used in competitions.

Dad dancing and singing his solo “Dancing Queen.” Blackmarket copies of this video are being sold for $10,000’s….or will be. Watch 20 seconds and guarantee your day will be happier. Here you can see part of his famous dancing style.

Here’s team Proletariats, opting to do a puzzle instead of a tough trivia challenge.

And doing their hype video.

Finally, here is Luke struggling to finish off the raw beet to get their next clue.

The race was truly epic, and due to popular request, we had an encore the next day, so Mom could participate in it. Friday she had been at work. There were new teams, new challenges, and new winners. My favorite challenge for this one, was where the contestants had to learn and dance a traditional Indian dance, the Bhangra.

To close part one of my trip to Texas, here is a scripture I love, Hosea 10:12.

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

I testify that as we seek the Lord, he will fulfill his promises and rain down blessings upon us, even that we might have a fulness of joy. This trip home has been perhaps my all-time favorite trip to see the family. I think it is because we tried to follow the admonitions above.

We sang. We played. We laughed. We ate. We bonded. We loved. And we sought after righteousness.