First up, my train trip to Indiana for the Kinzie family reunion. A few pictures from the train:
Mineola's cute little station
I think this bridge was outside St. Louis.
Based on the amount of corn I saw in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, I think the U.S. is in for a bumper crop this year.
On the trip back, the views of the arch were spectacular.
Although I'd expected to get a lot of reading done during my forty-eight hours on the train, I read only about fifty pages, due in part to a migraine on the way and a need for sleep on the way back. So there won't be any book reviews forthcoming for a while. But the forty-eight-hour train trip was worth it. My sister was able to surprise my aunts and cousins with some fun news.
That's right, I will be an
ant aunt in December. :-)
We stayed at Aunt Lisa and Uncle Ted's house on their farm.
I got to spend some time with an Annie-look-alike named Maddie.
My cousin Jamie's daughter Megan was preparing to show three pigs at the county fair.
So on Friday night, there was a pig washing. According to Megan's dad Gregg, "Fourteen attended; three repented and were baptized." For the record, their names were Flower, George, and Oreo.
On Saturday, we gathered at Scout Hall for the family reunion.
Gathering for prayer before lunch.
My Grandma V. was one of seven children. Two of her sisters remain, and they sure are spunky, even in their 80s! Aunt Wilma and Aunt Doris with my cousin Rachael.
Aunt Wilma posing. I wish I had a picture of Aunt Doris dancing to some pop music in the convenience store on the way to Indiana from Chicago. She proclaimed, "I just love rhythm!"
There were relatives from each of the seven Kinzie children at the reunion, but Grandma V. had the best turnout (and this doesn't even include all of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren).
My mom with all of her sisters.
Some of our cousins, who have remained true to our Old Order roots.
After the reunion, there was Gator driving and Gator riding.
Some go-kart driving.
Followed by go-kart fixing.
Corn hole playing. And a long game of two-hand touch football played by boys ages five to sixty.
After that, it was time for me to leave the pig farm and head back to Cowtown. The following weekend, I indulged my love of the arts and went to Dallas to see some of my favorite dancers from Dancing with the Stars in "Ballroom with a Twist."
Maks, Tony, Karina, and Cheryl performed, along with some finalists from So You Think You Can Dance and some previous finalists from American Idol. It was fun to see the crowd react to watching Maks live, especially after having rooted for him to win the Mirror Ball Trophy with Meryl this spring. It was also quite interesting to see that the crowd was predominantly women over sixty-five.
And last weekend, I headed south to attend the wedding of one of the boys I used to babysit. Beforehand, Mom and I ate lunch at the Peach Cafe in Boerne and browsed through the local shops.
Mom and I attempted to take some selfies as we waited for the ceremony to start.
I started babysitting Bryan when he was four, and it has been a sweet grace to stay connected to him and his brother Rob throughout the many years since then.
Now that it's August, football will kick off in less than four weeks. So I hope to make the most of what's left of summer.