Tuesday, April 28, 2015

siblings, burned things, and eye tests

My brother was here. He came in for a high school reunion. He and I attended a small private school, well, I did through 7th grade after which I begged my parents to let me go to public school like my sister but he went all the way through. St. John's is a small school attached to the Episcopal church we went to. About 60 kids per grade. The social atmosphere was not a good fit for me which was the main problem. I didn't know where I fit and it was giving me an ulcer. Turned out that was something inherent instead of just something I hadn't found yet but I did learn to deal with it better. Also mandatory Wednesday morning church services.

We don't see John very often. He lives up in the Pacific Northwest and has for longer than he lived in Texas which he left after high school for college and then further and then further and then further and then a little closer until he landed up there and stuck. I guess the last time he was here was when he still had part ownership in a small plane and he flew it here and gave us all rides. The last time I was visited them was I guess when mother died. Been a while.

Anyway, my (younger) brother arrived Friday evening and he stayed with our (eldest, for him) sister (I'm the middle child). Marc and I went there for dinner Friday. Saturday I worked at the antique store and that night he drove in to the city for the party. I declined to accompany them into the city for an IKEA excursion on Sunday but after they got back I went over and hung out while he did a few fix-it things for her. A fierce storm blew through with lightning and thunder right on top of us and the street flooded. It lasted about an hour but dumped 4" of rain on my sister's house. 

Monday we went on an excursion to Bastrop, a small town in the hill country with a lively historic downtown with shops and places to eat. It was a nice day and it gave us something to do while we spent time together though being Monday, many of the shops were closed.

Bastrop Forest that burned in 2011 when Texas caught on fire during a severe drought.

A huge field that was solid yellow with flowers.

On our way we stopped in La Grange for gas and when we got back on the highway there was a giant plume of black smoke not very far ahead. Turned out to be a car on fire but we couldn't tell that from where we were. We were about 20 cars back maybe with a gas tanker pulled over onto the shoulder just ahead of us. It held us up for about half an hour as we watched emergency vehicles converge on the scene...police, sheriff, fire department, ambulance.

He headed back home today so I went to get my driver's license renewed which of course I have let go til just about the last minute. It expires on May 1st and this year they won't let me do it on-line. New picture and new eye test required I guess. Also they had to adjust my weight since the last time I renewed it I still weighed a scrawny 106. And of course new fingerprints in case I turn up in a ditch somewhere with no identification.

And for the first time in my life, I failed the eye exam. I'm not surprised though. My right eye is definitely worse than my left eye and as I recall, I squeaked by last time I had to take it. I rattled those first two segments of numbers right off but that third one was totally blurry. I made an attempt and think I got some of them right but there were some I didn't have a clue. She was real nice about it, gave me as much time as I wanted but in the end, I was just guessing and told her so.

So now I have to go get an eye exam and either a pair of glasses or a note from the doctor saying I'm good to go.


  1. ooh, i'm a bit afraid of the next time i have to do an eye exam, too. sitting in front of the laptop too much (blogging these days) is not doing me any favors.

    glad you got to visit with family. i know how the years stretch further and further between visits - especially when parents are no longer alive. been almost 9 yrs since i've been home to wis.

  2. I have two brothers I don't see often but when we do get together we like each other well enough; they live closer together and see each other a few times a year. My sister now lives in Scotland so I don't know when we will all be together again - the last time was almost five years ago at my son's wedding. That car fire was quite something. I hope everyone got out okay. Good luck with the eye test - I haven't passed one at the DMV without my glasses since I started driving:)

  3. My family fragmented and went different directions. Our get together were funerals. I am the last so don't do much family stuff. Hope the eye exam works out,I am shocked you made it so long.

  4. I have to use glasses for driving all the time and have had to for years. I notice you are like me this time of year...mostly shoeless.

  5. Wow, that is a heck of a car fire! Wonder what started it?

    It's great that you got to see your brother. And I love the photo of the field of flowers.

  6. Good looking siblings!
    Sounds like a lot of excitement to me.
    And new glasses can be wonderful! We realize how much we've been missing.

  7. You've gone a long time without glasses; I've worn them since the fifth grade. So where in the Northwest does your brother live? I'm in Portland, Oregon.

  8. Interesting picture of that accident. Feel guilty saying it was a great shot.

    Family is spread all over here, too.

  9. It sounds like a good visit. I was watching the news last night and saw the storm that must have swept across your area on its way East.

  10. Nice that you got to visit with your siblings. Sorry about your eye test....I've worn glasses for 53 years....won't know what not having glasses would be like.

  11. I had lasik about 10 years ago - I'll bet I end up having to wear glasses for driving at some point. Hope it'll be a while though!

    Glad you got to spend some time with your brother!


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