Well, we've been here for several busy days and I haven't had time to make another entry. We've visited with Stella's family a lot and had a good time. The first couple of evenings, we went to a place affectionately called The Cantina. It's owned by a long-time friend of the family named Clarence, who is in the grass business. He owns several grass farms in the area and sold one of them to Stella's nephew Randy a few years ago. The cantina is on one of the farm properties, and is now the headquarters of his company. He stores his equipment on the land and has his office in the cantina building. The building is quite a story, beginning as an old barn with a lean-to attached. Clarence added onto the old barn and enclosed it with old lumber salvaged from other old barns. One entire wall was built with old pallet lumber, so the entire building looks like it's very old, but in fact is just a few years old. There is an old swamp cooler in the main bar area to cool it in the summer that is also a heater, which came in handy in the cold weather. He added a couple of bedrooms or apartments for friends to stay in. The place is rustic but very nice.
We went over to the cantina on Tuesday night just to meet Randy and his girlfriend Sondra and Chris another nephew and a few other people that were there. Randy and Sondra are staying in one of the apartments. It was pretty cold that night and we didn't stay very long.
We returned Wednesday for an oyster fry with all the trimmings. I helped Randy some when he prepared and fried the oysters and fries while others cooked some grilled shrimp and veggies. It was good to get some fresh seafood, cooked just right!
Kim and the boys came down on Monday afternoon and we spent a lot of time with them. We took them to the famous Blessing Hotel for lunch and we all enjoyed another great meal. The Hotel was built in 1906 and has stood here, serving travelers in the hotel and the locals in the restaurant. If you're in the area, you should stop in and have lunch, it's great!
Christmas Eve was celebrated at niece Jana and her husband Chad's house. They have a big old farmhouse with plenty of room for everyone, so we had our party there again. I love to watch the little ones as they receive and open their gifts. They are so excited!
Jana had gone out and bought about $400 worth of fireworks and the young ones loved it! I watched them shoot off what seemed like 1000 rockets and 10,000,000 firecrackers and remembered the times that we too joined in. Seems so long ago...
We had a nice quiet Christmas day dinner at Henry and Elaine's house. No fireworks here, just a nice meal and watching a little television. We found a John Wayne marathon and everyone loves him! Nice day!
We'll be returning to Inks Lake soon but want to stay a couple more days to rest up. We are hoping for good weather and warmer than the hill country. We'll see how that works out.