First Impression(ism)

Thursday morning…..What a crappy day it started out to be.I got soaked just walking to the truck and I dropped my bag in a mud puddle.Nothing important, just my laptop, etc. Pouring down rain, too ridiculous to try to run, so I headed into San Antonio earlier than scheduled with plans to take Grand-Moye (MIL) to the McNay Art Museum and to lunch. I waded through ankle deep pools of water to her apartment. She was frazzled about everything and I could totally relate. It took awhile but we located her safely hidden purse, wallet and keys, solved the mystery of her missing (stolen) wardrobe and braved the unappealing weather. I crammed the walker into the backseat, so it wouldn’t get any wetter or worse yet, bounce out of the back of the truck onto the highway. We parked and slogged with umbrella and walker into the door of the new Modern wing of the art museum. Herds of school children careened past us causing me to sigh knowing that my field trip days are gone. All gloom and watered down sorrow dissolved as soon as we walked up to the first amazing impressionist painting. Focusing on American artists from the 1870’s to 1930, the exhibit was wittingly displayed alongside photography from 1845 to 1945. “This is cool!” Grand Moye was beaming. We poured over the 26 exquisite works of art and the photographs that were examples of vintage processing techniques that we had never heard of. We reminisced about our days spent in the darkroom and how Daddy Bub has bestowed his love of photography to all of his children and grandchildren. We could have stayed all day and when it was time to leave, we vowed to return soon and often. Lunch was long overdue. We pigged out with tortilla soup and Caesar salad while we talked about other galleries and museums that we planned to check out.The Greenhouse would be next. “Some people would think museums are boring, but not me” she laughed. What a perfect day it turned out to be, I thought as I left her content,renewed and looking forward to happily ever after. Art can really heal the heart!


Queen of the Rodeo

We would have loved to get Grand Moye on a horse, a pony really. We just could not take the chance, even though our trusty little Welsh gelding is the most intelligent and laid back equine I have ever known. Luckily, my mother-in-law did not miss the experience. We kept her busy and entertained with plenty of other great activities during her visit to the ranch. Tom and I had fun dressing her up like a cowgirl. “She looks like a doll”He said.

Ready to ride the Range

She loves the scenery along the drive from San Antonio to Fairview, always commenting on the trees and cows and as excited as a child the whole way. She amazes me in so many ways. It was only the week before Thanksgiving that she fractured her pelvis. She went from a wheelchair to her walker which we hoped she would be using anyway to aid her balance at all times. She is slim and trim and has the appetite of a teenager. We grilled ribs and corn on the cob. Bread and butter, fresh green beans and a salad completed the feast. After dinner she had a slice of chocolate cream pie while we listened to a recording from 1957 of her five children at Christmas and a story told by her mother about The Cow with no Tail.

Grand Moye, Kirby and Tom

We tucked her in bed early with her pets who now live with us, Kirby the cat and Oakie the beautiful Pomeranian. They let her sleep late. We kept checking in on her while Bridgette the goat and Francie our horse peeked in the back door at her. Tom finally woke her up, so she would have plenty of time to help him with all the ranch chores. He told her she better have a hearty breakfast to start the day.Chilaquilles with flour tortillas, potatoes, tomatoes along with lots of hot cowboy coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice. “I won’t be able to eat lunch”she laughed. Before we hit the trail, she spent an hour reading her Valentine’s greetings via e-mail. Tom drove the fence-line and they fed hay and water to the Longhorns and horses.

Cactus Jack

They stopped off at the barn and Grand Moye was surprised to see Buffy and Fluffy, two Vultures who call this home.


When we arrived at her apartment, we had missed lunch, but the building was brimming with Valentine cheer and there were platters full 0f heart shaped cookies and baskets of fruit on tables down the hallway. A musician was playing the piano and her friends were glad to have her back. Our good byes are usually tearful, but I left her smiling and I have no doubt she will take a great nap and dream about the fun times at the ranch.