Sunday, November 6, 2011

Memphis to Oxford to Booneville to Oxford to Booneville to Oxford to Memphis, All in One Weekend

So, last weekend in Oxford was hectic to say the least. It was also fun though, so all is good.

We arrived on Friday night, and after unloading our stuff, we headed back to the South Depot Taco Shop on the square for Crystel's birthday dinner. Again, it was excellent. Here are some pictures of the night.

And some more pictures aftter we got back to the house. We had an excellent vegan cake from Muddy's in Memphis. Crystel's sister Lauren did an excellent job picking out the cake this year.

The next morning, I got up early and headed for a run around the lake. I've already mentioned how much I love running around Wells Gate, but it deserves repeating. I even saw a couple of deer on my run.

After I got back to the house and had a shower, Crystel's dad and I hooked up the stereo to the built in speakers in the house. I was a little nervous because I had to cut a hole in the back of Crystel's grandmothers cabinet. I really didn't want to screw that up. After Fred and I made a trip to Home Depot for the appropriate hole saw, the job was fairly easy. Once that was done, we decided to head to Booneville to pick up a load of things from her mom's other house. It's been interesting moving stuff from two houses into one. The trip was good, but I regretted not leaving a little sooner to have a little time to visit my family who live right down the road in Booneville.

We got back to Oxford, unloaded everything, hung some pictures and ate Papa John's. Fred played me a few tracks by some up and coming artists he's been working with, and I especially enjoyed the new songs by one of the acts, Chastity Brown. She's an extraordinary talent. You can check out one of her songs below, and you'll find information about the other her and the other artists Fred is working with as part of the Creative and Dreams Music Network here. The team is developing quite the roster of talent, and one of my favorite aspects is the variety of styles represented by these artists.

And another one of the Creative and Dreams acts, Small Room 9 from Mississippi.

Since we needed to get one more load of stuff from the old house on Sunday, I decided to get up early (4:45) to head to Booneville for breakfast with my family. I figured I'd just go before everyone else and meet them in Booneville later. It worked out perfectly, and I got to see everyone for over 3 hours before Crystel's family got there. Plus, I got to see this awesome Mississippi sunrise.

On the way to Booneville, I saw something else that is uniquely small town. On highway 9 between Oxford and Tupelo, I passed a gas station at roughly 6:00 A.M. It was still dark and the roads were pretty much deserted. However, this random country store had a parking lot full of 4-wheel drive pickups, no doubt headed out for deer hunting. I sometimes miss that whole groups of people can gather in unity over something so simple, with minimal planning. Just get yourself up and go. Everyone else will do the same. I would bet that a similar gathering happened later in the day as everyone was leaving the woods to talk about their success (or lack thereof) for the day and maybe even show off the day's kill.

Anyway, the nice, relazing drive to Booneville was just what I needed that morning. I blasted Eric Church the whole way. Here's my favorite song from his new album.

Heading home for an excellent home cooked meal from my mom was just what the doctor ordered. My sister brought my niece Eliza over, still asleep and wrapped up in a blanket. She's not much of a morning person, but when I went over and talked to her, she opened her eyes and crawled into my arms. She loves her Uncle Jon-Jon, and though I'm not quite ready for kids, she makes me realize that I might have what it takes to be dad someday. After breakfast, I spent some time teaching her how to play tic-tac-toe. We'd played it a few weekends before on my iPad, but she didn't realize you could play it with a pencil and paper, the old fashioned way. She even ended up beating me a few times.

Later on, I spent some time wandering around outside catching up on what my dad and brother have been up to. Their activities consist of a mix of repairing cars, bailing hay, raising cattle, growing a garden, drag racing, buying and fixing wrecked cars and a number of other things I can't keep up with. Variety? It's always interesting to see what the latest project is.

After we got another load of stuff from the house in Booneville, we headed back to Oxford to unload everything. Crystel's dad, Fred had to head back to Nashville, and I cleaned out the garage while Julie and Crystel unpacked boxes in the house. We were able to get the garage cleared out enough to get her cars parked in the garage, which made her very happy. We were also able to get several pictures and other items hung on the walls, but we still have a lot to go.

We stayed in Oxford until Monday morning. Even though we left later than we planned, we still made it to work on time.
I have to say it was a pretty good weekend. We didn't have time to go to the game, and I missed seeing all of my friends that were in town, but it was more important that we help get Julie situated while we were all in town. She's been stuck doing so much of the work by herself, that it's good to pitch in when we can. Plus, we'll have plenty of time in the future to see games and catch up with friends in Oxford once she is settled in. We've missed that a lot over the past couple of years because we haven't really had a place big enough for us all to stay and we don't really like driving there and back in the same day.

We actually stayed home in Memphis this past weekend, so maybe I'll finally have time to post a blog about our summer trip to California. Or maybe something fun will happen in Memphis that I'll write about. Maybe both.

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