Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Week of Thanksgiving 2011 Part 2: The Middle

This is Part 2 of my Thanksgiving holiday series.

We arrived in Booneville on Sunday night and made the standard visit to Wal-Mart for supplies. Afterwards, we headed to my family's house for dinner. It's probably a good thing I don't get to enjoy my mom's fantastic home cooking on a regular basis, because I might be as big as a house. It's not that it's unhealthy. It's just so good that I can't stop eating until I can't move.  

I woke up early on Monday morning to pick up a few parts for the Jeep and Volkswagen and headed to my dad's shop for a little mechanic work. I had to put a cooling fan relay on Crystel's Jeep (for the 4th time), but I'm a pro at it by now. If you have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and have problems with the cooling fan, it's probably the relay. For some reason, Jeep decided it was best to mount it on the frame behind the headlight mounting panel, so be prepared to remove the headlight, bumper and headlight panel. It's a pretty easy job though.  

After we finished with the Jeep, we we started working on the Beetle. Over the course of 3 days, we managed to get the brake system rebuilt, replacing the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, brake shoes and surfacing the drums. We also replaced all the fuel hoses, adjusted the valves and got it to run long enough to realize it needs the carbuerator rebuilt. Since this is a restoration, I cleaned and painted everything along the way. Here are a few pictures of the progress.

Brakes Before

Brakes After

See that shiny blue color? That's what it will look like when finished.

One thing is for certain, I didn't go hungry on this trip. For lunch on Monday, we went to one of my favorite places, Weeks' Cafe. It's a Booneville institution. I remember going there when I still lived at home and thinking Willie Weeks was one of the coolest cats on the planet. I pretty much still feel the same way.

My dad, not aware I was taking a picture.

Then on Tuesday, we grilled hamburgers for lunch. On Wednesday, we decided to have a spontaneous fish fry. Here's my dad and grandfather working hard to get the cooker started. It obviously requires intense concentration.

We got to go out to the local Mexican restaurant Mi Toro on Tuesday night, and we went over to my grandparents' house to hang out with them for a while afterwards. Being in their house takes me right back to the time I was 10 years old and spoiled rotten. I'm still pretty spoiled now, I'm just older.

All in all, the trip to Booneville was just what I needed. Here are a few more things I love about being home.

Seeing the two trucks my dad taught me how to drive...



Visiting my dad’s farm in Thrasher…






A Wal-Mart parking lot with nothing but pickups (my former co-workers in the U.K. would get a kick out of this)…


This guy in the building I built with my dad nearly 20 years ago…


Basically, I just enjoy getting to revisit my childhood. I have so many fond memories of my life growing up, and when I’m in Booneville they all come rushing back. I’m obviously able to relax more when I’m there, and I love getting to hang out with my family. Most of my family lives there, and it’s comforting knowing they’re all close by when I’m home.

What sort of memories do holiday visits home conjure up for you?

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