21 September Thursday
After school we went to the Garden of the Gods and the rocks were magnificent! Max found a painted rock and re-hid it.
At 6pm we went to the meet and greet for Tj’s reunion. Max wanted to go but we told him there weren’t likely to be kids there. In the end there were a few, but he would have been totally bored. We milled around and talked to a few guys, and here and there a girl, too. The spinach dip wasn’t anything to brag about. On our way out we saw Chrissy!!! It was so good to see her after all these years. We got back home around 10pm. Max had gotten a little scared right before we left saying he thought he heard someone else breathing in the bus. (Days later he realized it’s the sound the ice maker makes!) I bought a little black clutch at Goodwill that I used tonight instead of my backpack. It was just the right size, but the opening was a little tight for my phone, so Max was just texting Tj during the night.
22 September Friday
Today we toured USAFA. Tj took us around to all the places he remembered. It was interesting to see where he spent all his time, and to hear the stories he recounted. There was a pizza lunch provided, and as soon as we got there they made an announcement that more pizzas had been ordered and would arrive soon. When they finally got there Tj was in the bathroom with Jack, so Max and I got in the line to get lunch for all of us. I left Max in the line and went ahead to get the plates, and then Max saw Tj coming back so he left the line to tell him where we were. In the end those few minutes cost me pepperoni pizza! At least we got enough to eat. Heh. This wasn’t a very well planned reunion, but it was fun to visit with old friends and for us to get a glimpse of Tj’s past.
We left the boys again for the dinner provided tonight. There was more milling and talking to people who’s names I’ve heard but don’t know. We sat with Bobby and his wife, and the food was pretty good. We got back around 11 and the boys were still awake, barely, watching a movie.
23 September Saturday
We were told we should walk to the game because parking was $10 and likely to be a hassle, and we were only about a half mile from the stadium (I just googled it and it’s a full mile!!). The forecast called for rain, but the sun was shining an hour before the game, so we were hoping for the best. We bundled up and started walking, but it started drizzling halfway there. Ugh. I was hopeful it would just drizzle the whole time, and for a while it did. We immediately stood in line for bison burgers, and
they were awesome! Halfway through eating, though, the rain picked up. The AF had told the head guy he couldn’t have this reunion this weekend, but he did it anyway. One of the results of that is that there was a tent for 500 people for the tailgate, but there were about 1,000 people there including other reunion years. People started pushing in, and a couple of tables were shoved out into the rain so there was more room. The rain fluctuated a bit, and slowed down when we went into the game, but after a short time there it really picked up. We got to see the teams run out, the coin toss, the kickoff and a couple of plays and then we gave up. Tj figured if he was freezing with all the meat on his bones, how cold must our boys be? He read later that there were something like 21,700 people in the stands, but after the rain delay it dropped to 75! We really froze on the way back. One truck stopped and offered us a ride but Tj turned them down. My leather Goodwill boots lasted for a long time, but by the time we got back I could feel the water sloshing in them. Max was miserable during the walk, as we all were; I told him it would be funny looking back on this…what an adventure! He wore his new light up shoes…I hope they still work after all this!
We walked in the bus and had the boys strip down on the gray rug. Max went immediately into a hot shower while Jack hung out at the heater. Jack showered next, and when he got out I saw that there was a leak!!! What it looks like is that the bed slide-out’s seal didn’t unfold properly and water seeped into the room. There was water on either side of the bed, and some had dripped into the area under the bed. Tj watched it a good while and did a good bit of research on youtube, and that’s his best bet. He put the slide in and out a couple of times, and went outside to adjust the seal…now we just wait and see. Fortunately it looks like we’ll have enough rain in the near future to really research this! :-(
24 September Sunday
We’ve been trying to find Mrs. Norma since we started this bus trip. We know she sold her house in Shreveport, but we can’t find her. Tj saw that her DIL attends a church here, so we planned to go there today to see if we can find them.
After a lady helped us find classrooms for our kids Tj asked her if she knew Bill and Teresa, and she said she went to LA Tech with them! She said Bill goes to their other campus now, so we sat through Sunday School and then hopped in the truck and booked it over there. We walked in as they were on their first or second song and Tj saw Bill right away. Sweet! After church we stood around for half an hour catching up. We’ll get to see Mrs. Norma sometime this week.
We went out to Over Easy for lunch. Tj had steak and eggs, and the steak was excellent! I got the crab Benedict on Tj’s recommendation, and we split half and half even though his was vastly superior. He’s a wonderful husband!
25 September Monday
The boys finished their school quickly and we headed over to Tj’s sponsor’s house for lunch. We ended up staying there until after supper! They were such a great couple, and they took him in just like family. I know that’s what sponsors are supposed to do, but I’m sure they’re not all as great as these people are. They had a few pictures of him around the house, and we got to watch some videos of Tj. Seeing him at 19yo was pretty surreal.
Their house was beautiful, and their backyard was amazing. It makes me want to have a professionally landscaped yard one day. For lunch we had homemade bread with butter, roast and veggies, cuke salad and tomato salad; and there was homemade ice cream and home cooked peaches for dessert. Wow. When it got down to supper time she pulled out some chili she’d made the night before and we had that with salad and more bread. One thing that cracked me up was when I mentioned that we started out doing Saxon math with Max Dr Arnold said he knew him!! He didn’t speak too highly of him personally. Said he often was drunk and once while teaching he’d gotten his foot stuck in a garbage can, and then proceeded to walk around the classroom like that the rest of the class! Klassy!
Another thing that cracked me up…when we told them the story of how we eloped, and that we drove to CO for our 1st honeymoon, she sided with Mrs. Norma that we should’ve visited her and her family! It still amazes me that people think this is a reasonable idea.
26 September Tuesday
Today after school we got to see Mrs. Norma. It was sweet. She looks exactly the same, only shrunken 10%. She sounds the same, even. It’s funny what you forget about a person, but recognize again when you’re with them. We went out to Cheddar’s for supper…it’s her favorite spot. I sat next to Teresa and we got on famously. I think if we lived nearby we’d be fast friends. I’d told her on Sunday about Mrs. Norma’s way of giving a restaurant (any restaurant but Luby’s) the X, and she said that Cheddar’s was Mrs. Norma’s favorite place, and that she often gets the hamburger, and that she didn’t know about the X. Well, tonight Mrs. Norma ordered her burger well done (I don’t know if that’s how she always gets it), and then she complained that it was tough. Teresa silently looked at me and made an X on the table! I laughed so hard. Maybe Tj and I bring it out in her if she’s never had a problem with the burgers before? Jack and I had the cheese dip and it was awesome.