Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Finding Favorite Cowboy Nephew Joey In Grapevine Calling Grandma
Til today it had been over seven years since I last saw my Favorite Nephew Joey. I believe it was August 7, 2008, at Bay View State Park, in the Skagit Valley of Washington. That was also the first time I met Joey's nephew, Spencer Jack.
Seven years have flown by terribly fast. I remember remarking to the person who took me to Sea-Tac, August 20, 2008, that I might return in another 20 years. At the time I said that I didn't really think that it would be 20 years. Now I think it may be.
I met up with Joey at a McDonald's in Grapevine. The scheduled meeting time was 10:30. I arrived five minutes early and as soon as the McDonald's parking lot came in to view I saw Joey standing, waiting. I never remembered to ask how long he'd been waiting.
Joey asked if there was a park nearby we could go to for visiting purposes, rather than sit in McDonald's. I said there was, a short distance away. But before I drove us there I told Joey I had something for him. Before Joey saw what was in the bag I told him if he didn't want to fly it back home that that was fine, I'd just keep it. I told Joey that more than once I've have been weighed down with extra stuff, usually from my mama.
The worst case of that was when mom and dad met up with me in Las Vegas. They'd been on their first post-retirement cross country trip. Mom and dad found me in the pool at Treasure Island. We then went to Luxor for the buffet and to ride the scary virtual reality ride that takes you deep into the earth. Leaving Luxor mom says something like, "By the way I have a box of Christmas presents I'd like you to take home and distribute". It was a HUGE box. I could barely carry it. I shipped it home via UPS. How did mom think I was going to get that box on a plane?
So, Joey pulled out what was in the bag to find himself wearing a cowboy hat, which he quickly decided he was going to take on the plane with him when he flies out tomorrow morning.
Joey said he had something he had to give me before we took off for the park. He went back to his vehicle and returned with that which you see below.
Joey had told me previously he had something from my Favorite Nephew Jason and Spencer Jack to deliver to me. This was it. A belated happy birthday present. Joey asked if I was going to open it now or save it for later. I said I'd open it later. I'm glad I took the open later option. Had I opened it then I don't think I would have noticed that the white paper upon which Happy Belated Happy Birthday Uncle Durango was written was actually the front part of a homemade birthday card from Jason and Spencer Jack, including illustrations and a message from both Spencer Jack and his dad.
So, I sat the birthday box down and drove to the Tarantula Train Depot, where we eventually found a place to sit in the shade.
Joey and I had a lot to talk about. Some family matters, such as who is getting married, who is getting divorced. That type thing.
Joey's time in Texas is the longest he has been in the state, other than a two hour layover in 2005. The area of D/FW Joey has been traveling around in has been the North Dallas zone, and its suburbs. Joey remarked how everywhere he has been everything looks new. I told Joey that if we had more time I could show him some areas that do not look so new, the likes of which he'd likely not seen before.
Joey also said he was surprised by how green Texas is. Coming from the Evergreen State, which is currently more brown than usual, I can see why the green of North Texas would surprise. Joey is not the first Pacific Northwest visitor to tell me they expected it to be like a desert. I forgot to tell Joey that if he came back in the Spring it is even greener, and way more colorful, with wildflowers.
During Joey's short time in Texas he'd already discovered the Texas freeway attribute that I quickly came to appreciate. The Texas Turnaround. Where you exit the freeway and the Texas Turnaround zips you under the overpass to enter the freeway going the opposite direction.
Joey asked how his Grandma and Grandpa are doing. I said, well, let's find out. I called, mom answered. I told mom she was on speaker phone and someone had something he wanted to say to her. Joey then said, "Hi Grandma." Mom then said something like, "Joey, is that you?" It was cuter hearing it than it sounds typing it. We talked to Joey's Grandma for a few minutes and then said bye.
Joey has been in Texas ramrodding some high tech sound system installation project at Lincoln Centre in Dallas. I asked Joey how it happens his company, way up north in Skagit County, comes a couple thousand miles to do this job. I asked if it is because there is no company in Texas which can do this sort of high tech stuff? Well, that was not the explanation. But, I can't repeat the explanation, as that might be giving away company secrets.
After a longer visit than we had scheduled it was time for Joey to head back to Dallas. But not before showing me photos of some of the BIG salmon Joey has reeled in. I think I mentioned previously, months ago, that Joey's big brother, FNJ, shipped me some of Joey's smoked salmon. Best smoked salmon ever.
I got back to my abode, made lunch and then opened what Joey delivered for Spencer Jack and his dad.
A trivial pursuit type game they found last summer in a store in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Seeing Joey today was very deja vu. When I moved to Texas, Joey was in his last year of high school. Back then if you told me that in 2015 I would find myself meeting Joey in Grapevine, Texas because Joey was in town to install some sort of electronic wizardry my feeble imagination would not have been able to conjure a scenario where that would happen, or make any sense.
But, there I was today, having myself a mighty fine time, meeting my Favorite Nephew Joey in Grapevine, Texas....