Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adams Family Reunion

If you don't believe in ghosts, you've never been to a family reunion.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant
I found this quote and just had to smile. You know what it means to me? It means family reunions bring spirits of yesterday back to life. As far back as I can recall, I have loved my family reunion. It is quite small now, but the Adams family is just a special little unit of folks. There is only one of the seven originals who started this Reunion and she is over 90. Fun fact, at one time there were so many “Joe Adams'” they thought we were tricking them. (My dad is Joe Mark... there is also Joe Bayless, Joe Sanford, Joe Carl, Joe Brown, all with the last name Adams – in the younger generations we have Joelle (Jodi) and Joel, too). Each year the people around the table seem to grow and change. The younger generations become the older generation over time. We were once the kids playing at the lake and now sit at the table talking. I drove to Brownwood Saturday morning (sans Nick – he went to the river which I have been to the last two years and chose the reunion this time.) My Dad came up because his birthday was that weekend and I just had to give him his presents and a big hug.

I enjoy hearing all of the old stories. You think you know way back in the day, but you don't. I love to hear about my grandparents. My grandmother, Jackie was very beautiful and they just loved her clothing. My grandfather, Don, was a very hard worker and close to all of his siblings. My great grandmother's family helped found parts of Ft. Worth and there is a town somewhere around there, Watson, named after the Watsons, her family. We had boxes from the 60s and 70s of Granny Gert's letters (my great grandmother) so I spent a long time reading through some of them. There were things I wanted to hear about in “real time.” My dad's wedding, our cousin Lori passing at age 9 in a car accident, the birth of cousins, etc... She told stories of visiting with my grandfather and when he got in a horrible car accident and all about his recovery. She called my dad, Joe M. in her letters. They always had a special bond. She is like Mother Theresa to all of us. She is just the iconic figure in my mind.

Nan, Leslie and I stayed up until 1 AM just talking about life. Nan and I both lost parents at a very young age in college so we talk a lot about that and getting through all of it. I am able now to ask very distinct questions. Like I ask her where she saw God in her past troubles and where she saw God in losing her dad so young. My family is very Christian so that is another wonderful thing, to be immersed in it without the big city of non-believers around you. I sat and talked with Layna for a while. She is like my own daughter. She is going into 7th grade so we talked about what to expect. She is a beautiful little perfect girl in many's eyes so I explained jealousy and how people could react to her and to always keep her head on straight. I also talked to Donna for a bit about life and love in general. She asked me some questions regarding Nick about what I loved most and she says love and respect always go hand-in-hand. I never want to forget that quote. I like it. Love is nothing without respect.

I love and respect my entire family. At the heart they are all wonderful, amazing people. We all come from the same roots, yet our limbs sprout different leaves. 


 Anna Marie, Julie, Layna
Nate & Julie
 I told you about sitting at the table talking. Nita, Joe Carl, Jan, Dad & Nan
 Jodi & Jules watching the kids fish and swim
 Bryce & Julie

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What's Your Glue?

Sometimes a reporter can ask a question and you are thrown off. I was usually on the side asking the questions and often I'd even tell them what I was about to ask. So as I sat with my old reporting buddies at the wedding, Shavonne leaned over to Nick and I and said, “So, why aren't you married yet?” Oh, please stop asking me that question! Next summer... let's just say next summer because that's when I'm jotting it in right now mentally. Then she asked what I want everyone to answer for themselves, “How have you kept it together for four years... I can only get past a year.” Nick and I laughed and looked at one another. We had never been asked that question. I explained how you can say unconditional love, but that is just the beginning of it, what makes it unconditional? Why, is the question? I explained, “We have been through so much. Three grandmothers of mine passed, two grandfathers of his, a best friend of mine, he didn't have a job, then I didn't have a job, we just weathered through it.” Nick added his own personal answer to it as well, adding how we just tried to hang on through it all, even when it got really bad, even when we were terrors to be around. I am not God and cannot see into the future, but I believe if you never face strife together, you just might not make it. Life isn't all rainbows. What is the glue that holds you together? It's an interesting question beyond just saying unconditional love. I asked myself why we didn't just say God, but it all ties together. God is in it all. 
 Let's rewind here.
We were in Tyler for my dear friend, Mike's wedding to Norma. Mike and I began as friends reporting in Abilene then I got him a job in Tyler with me. A bunch of our old reporting friends came to the wedding. Mini-reunion!!! I missed it telling old stories and catching up. No, I don't forget that I enjoy money now and a social life though. Heck, I still had the most fun in Abilene, Texas as a little reporter. Mike & Norma's wedding was different to say the least. It had Peruvian, Mexican and American throughout the ceremony. They did so many neat traditions. It was all in Spanish so I was feeling a bit lost! The reception was just about the same. I must say it was a blast!!! So much fun Spanish music and we did these exciting traditional dances. I was laughing and dancing. I had no idea how! I got to dance with Mike and he showed me a little. We laughed so much at Mike as a groom. When we got to the wedding he was showing us our seat. I told him to go away, he is the groom! That is just Mike, one of the kindest, most wonderful men in the world. He is just a good guy. Norma is a great gal, so they belong together. During the reception I had made the slideshow, well, they shut the entire thing down and everyone sat to watch it!!!! Mike had me put his radio clips, TV clips, so much Spanish music, KU music from Kansas... it was a production I worked very hard on!!! What a wonderful night full of culture.
So... think about your glue.
 Shavonne - Mike - Tawnya - Mini Abilene Reporter Reunion


Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Visit

There was this feeling in childhood I couldn't find. I remember getting so excited to be cooking out or hanging with our family friends. I thought this feeling was forever lost because it was childhood. I found it and realized it wasn't childhood. It was about cooking out and being with people you love in warm weather. Maybe it was about sunshine. I am unsure, all I know is I found it. The past weekend Dad, Brenda, Steven, Ashley and the girls came all together in Dallas. Saturday night we went to dinner at Saltgrass then headed to Nick's parents neighborhood because they were having a big block party. We had such a blast. My nieces are 3 and almost 6... they went to the bounce house and we hung out on the street. Nick and I hung out with Dad while everyone swam and just enjoyed a nice chat. I learned my dad once snuck on a golf course at a really nice country club and my mother sometimes drank peach schnapps! What?!!! They are human?! Ha... funny, that our heroes don't ever seem human. I never thought my mother ever had a drink as I knew she hated alcohol and I don't really like it either! I also thought Dad was this “perfect” ethical good ole boy even though he loved motorcycles and once had longer hair! My parents are one reason I'm pretty good and try to make good decisions, they always lead me with good examples and my Dad still does to this day. I'm not half the person he is, but I try! I just love it so much that they did crazy things, too!!! So much I need to know in life. So much we should always ask.

Sunday we went to the Dallas Aquarium in the morning. It was really neat!!! My favorite was the manatee. He is so huge! There were so many neat animals. Then that afternoon we left the men at the hotel and went shopping... what women do best! After this we all headed to my house to cook. I pulled out a big basket of my old toys for the girls. They loved it!!! I gave them a bag of my Barbies and other little toys to take home. It was hard to part with some of them... but, somehow the basket is still full!!!! Always a kid at heart. Later we watched the girls, Brenda and Dad swim while Ashley, Steven and Nick watched the basketball game. I was sad when they left the next morning!!! Dad has been sick with pneumonia and another infection so I was upset for him. I wanted to make him better, still don't know how. He isn't old so I don't like when he gets ill!

We had such a lovely time all together. I know people don't understand my love of family. Maybe they don't get I am an only child so family means even more. They also forget my family doesn't live right here by me so maybe I just can't get tired of them. Also, hey, I lost my mother too young and I know life counts every day.

My nieces, Rylie and Saige are growing like weeds. My stepbrother and I met before he and Ashley were married so those gals are like blood to me. Those little girls are precious and I hope one day I can be as good of parents as Steven and Ashley! Nick fell in love with them, too. He is so funny with kids, he is so good. They make me a little nervous at times because I don't know all of the rules! The girls are old enough now, but when they are younger I'm just not sure what you can and cannot do or what you can't feed them, etc!!! Ah, but at the heart of it I'm pretty good with kids. Maybe not babies... but kids!

In this photo she decided Barbie & Ken looked like Nick and I...

Rylie stole my shoes and actually wore them to the neighborhood party!

Overall that feeling of happiness and sunshine just overwhelmed me with a smile. I get it when we hang out with friends and just enjoy one another. Sometimes I forget it, but it is there. I wish we could just bottle it up!