Friday, February 12, 2010


Tomorrow I begin Ted's Excellent Adventure, Part II. I have been in Houston the last several days with my sister and brother-in-law. I needed to see my Houston doc one more time, clean up and tune up the CRV, and visit the many friends I made while here in the fall.

In keeping with my four goals, here are some I met while in Houston before the big send off:

1. Reconnect with family and friends.

Managed two of these. First I had a beer with Barbara Matton Bushong. Barbara and I are friends from our high school days in Louisville; in fact, she was my first real girlfriend. It was great seeing her. She is the proud mother of three, with her two eldest daughters in college and her son a sophmore in high school. Barbara does great work as a consultant with non-profit agencies. This photo is from her company's web site.

Second, Sarah, Murray and I had dinner with Mary Shepard. Mary is the youngest daughter of my Aunt Jane Shepard McIlwaine, who I had visited in New Hampshire last fall. We have not seen each other since we were both single digits. What a joy! Mary is a Physcian's Assistant in an AIDS clinic; quite a calling. Equally impressive is her daughter, Hannah Evans, a stud on San Diego State's volleyball team. Here is Mary in the middle, between me and my sister Sarah.

2. Keep an eye out for animals, both wild and domestic.

This one is a no-brainer. Sarah and Murray's labs, Ella (chocolate) and Ruby (black) were my constant companions during my stay in Houston. Ruby is one of those labs who wags constantly (she even sprained her butt once). As I was willing to constantly rub them, I got lots of attention from El and Rube. Beyond that, they loved having me there so they did not have to be outside in the couple of cold and rainy snaps we had.

And I will mention Lucinda, the Powell's cat. I proved a convienent heater so I got some attention from her, as much as a cat can give.

3. Try a local beer.

Another no-brainer, as Murray is an awesome homebrewer. We enjoyed his Pancho Villa Blonde and Oatmeal Stout during this visit. He has truly earned the honor of supplying Murray's Choice at The Happy Puppy.

4. Visit some of our nation's treasures, and oddities.

Checked out the Beer Can House in Houston. Actually niece Kate and I visited it last October. An impressive undertaking. John Milkovisc started adding aluminum siding to his house in 1968 – aluminum beer can siding, that is. Over the next 18 years the house disappeared under a cover of flattened beer cans for both practical and decorative reasons. Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family's energy bills. It is estimated that over 50,000 cans adorn this monument to recycling. I note that John seemed to have a penchant for Pearl and Lone Star.

Tomorrow we begin a new chapter in Ted's Excellent Adventure as I head northwest first to Dallas to see my cousin Roger, and then on to Denton to see my niece Sinclair and nephew Will at the University of North Texas.

No comments:

Post a Comment