Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting home.

We woke up early at the super cheapo hotel off I-30 and set off on our last day of driving. Getting out of the room and packing the car I noticed this monstrosity parked across the way. Had to show it to ya.

She (?) may be a "Diva", but she's got shitty taste in car detailing. Lord above!

We stopped to eat at Brown's Country Store, which used to be a big attraction on the return trips from canoeing the Buffalo National River, back in the 1980s and early '90s. But it's just not as fun when you're not showing up with 15 or 20 other grungy canoers, hittin' the place on a Sunday afternoon and walkin' through the buffet with folks that are all decked out in their church clothes. We were almost alone there, getting there just after it opened for lunch (they don't do breakfast) so we just ate our fill and moved on out. The next time we stopped was in northeast Texas, when we chose to stop and examine a little outlet mall in Mount Pleasant.

It's basically an old mall from the '60s or 70's, with the stores taken over by retail outlets. Not much there, but bargains if you look hard enough. I ended up pickin' up a new pair of really nice cargo shorts for like $5! Can't beat that. Well, you can, but I'm probably not gonna have access any time soon (like I did when I was "boating" with the Navy) to those markets in Thailand where all the knock off shorts are sold for a buck or two, so $5 will do.

Denise took over the drivin' after we left the outlet store. Pretty soon she started to get hungry for a snack (I can ALWAYS eat) and before I knew it she'd slid up to the drive-through window at a Dairy Queen, somewhere like Sulphur Springs, and we were orderin' a couple of medium sized Blizzards to hold us till we got home.

I was a pooped padna, by then, ready to get home.

That Blizzard changed my mood! Must'a been the chocolate, or the toffee bits from the Heath bars they crushed up in there. Mmmmm, to die for!

Some time after that I called mom to tell her we were back in Texas and to give her an accurate ETA. We'd told her earlier that we'd probably stop by her place on the way home. Of course, the ulterior motive there was the chance that she might whip somethin' up to feed us. She surprised me by tellin' me that she had the makin's for Chicken Enchiladas, and that she'd have them put together and in the oven by the time we got there!

This is one of her best dishes, and a favorite of anyone who's ever been privileged to get to experience a sit down dinner at her house. Best restaurant in Temple... Ask anyone. Ask my cousin Bob. Every time she fixes this dish I call him to tease him about it. He responds with stuff like "Ooooh, you mother fucker!", and other such profanity that such times would call for.

She got away from fixin' this dish while my father was alive, having to fix simple things for him that he'd eat, that wouldn't upset his diet. Now that he's passed she's gotten back into the kitchen and has started to think like the old master chef she used to be. It's one of the things that I love to see her doing now, showing us that she's moving on after dad's passing and thinking of her own pleasure.

She sits around the house and it hits her that she hasn't made something like this in a while. She gets herself hungry for it and the next thing you know we're gettin' the call to come over and share a treat. Of course, the food's damn good, so I can't say I'm NOT just happy to see her in the kitchen for the sake of her own well being. I'm lovin' every minute of it. Who looses?

After the dinner she whipped a store-bought blueberry pie and ice cream out of the fridge. At her age the store-bought brands are MUCH more fun to serve. I can understand that, but I do miss the old lemon marange pies and chocolate cakes she used to make me for my birthday. Yea, how the hell do you think I got this way? What? Yea, I know. Type Two. Never mind. One of these days she'll be planted next to dad and I'll go on a diet. Until then, fuck it!

So how was the food, and the after dinner tipple? One word... BLISS!

After dinner with Mom, with the spoils of war nestled securely at my feet, Denise drove us home to my place in Killeen, and the trip was finally over.

4163 miles, driven through at least a dozen states, with about 600 or 700 pictures to cull and photoshop, and with the wonderful memories of many old friends visited and new friends met. Both of us said, after getting home, that if we could pack the car again and get another two weeks off we'd do it all again in a heart beat! As it is, we have to wait a year, but the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. Before we all know it we'll be on the road again and you'll have more of this shit to read about.

We unloaded the car and started to do laundry, beginning the detox from the road and the preparations for the next week at work. It was a good thing that we had Sunday to lay around and relax. Otherwise it would have been a harder transition back to the real world.

Pretty soon the cats started to wander into the house and Denise got mobbed. Her they mob... Me they still avoid. They know who's more likely to talk sweet to them and pet them, and who's more likely to try to grab them or throw something at them if they make too damn much noise. Me they know. They've been dodgin' pillows for years!

Aaaaah, did I say something about the spoils of war? Four-and-a-half cases of Yuengling Traditional Lager, piled up in the laundry room, just waitin' to be enjoyed. My stocks are replenished for the year. Mission accomplished!

Well, that's it folks. Come over for a beer if you're ever in the area. I'll treat ya to the good stuff. Cheers!


Chuck said...

Oh yeah, the chicken enchi's! I still have the recipe.

Hey, I thought you were going to tell us about an argument or fight or whatever that y'all had. Did I miss that? I'm nosey that way.

Mushy said...

I'd be starving right now had I not just come from Outback...blooming onion and chicken quesadillas, and Foster's on draft! We went to see "Righteous Kill" and then stopped in for an early supper.

'Course, I could go for some of that pie!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Chuck - Naaa. Tempest in a teapot. Peaks and valleys my man. Peaks and valleys. Wednesday night was a deep valley, but Sunday was a tall peak. Still peakin', so I won't go there. We'll see how things go this next pool night.

Mushy - We wanna see that one too! Been lookin' forward to it for a while but didn't get around to seein' it this last weekend. Too busy at the house, makin' up.

Haven't been to Outback in AGES! needs me a Bloomin' Onion bad, with honey mustard sauce to dip it in.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

And Chuck, you tried that recipe yet?

Christina LMT said...

See, this is why I haven't been stopping by as much as I used envy!
Damn, it all looks so good...and I can't have any! :(

Suldog said...

Really, truly loved the photos, FHB. Your look of "bliss" is too much!

Chuck said...

I understand what you mean. Yes, I did try it. Turned out good! Gonna have to make some again sometime.