Sarah’s 13!

Tomorrow is Sarah’s 13th birthday – and although it’s a cliché, it seems to have come very quickly.  I certainly remember that when I turned 13 it had been much, much longer in arriving.

We celebrated on Saturday with Jane’s father’s family in Georgetown, Texas.  Buddy’s only brother, Uncle Jack, has been laid pretty low with COPD, but he was able to come out to the living room and be a part of the gathering.  Uncle Jack has taken a much kinder position with regard to his niece’s husband than was true 15 years ago, when I was just another ‘damn Yankee’ (and don’t think I’m kidding.)  The rest of the family has always been generous towards me, and forgave Jane’s choice early on, despite the fact that I was often distracted and bored during my infrequent visits.  Shame on me.  [Remind me to tell you sometime about Jane’s Uncle who was a county sheriff for 25 years and a personal friend/bodyguard for LBJ.]

On Sunday we had a more private celebration here at home, and then a dinner at the ranch with Jane’s brother and his family.  Sarah got a cell phone to start high school with.  It’s a ‘pay as you go’ phone, so she’s responsible for her own expenses – at least a nod toward not ‘spoiling the child’.

We spent part of yesterday taking stock of the old orchard, one of the last remnants of the original workings on the place.  I’m afraid it’s in terrible shape, with only about 10 trees still standing, and those in desperate need of care.  And it may not be worth the effort, because the trees bear a fruit named Kieffer which is considered useful only for baking or preserving.  They were valuable in 1950’s Texas due to their drought tolerance and resistance to fire blight, but they don’t have much of the appeal of grocery-store pears, and are rarely grown any longer.  Still, I feel an urge to do something agricultural, and this may be it since it wouldn’t require full time care or a large front-end investment, and success or failure of the crop would not be critical.  We’ll see.

Last week’s rain had some amazing results, with a wide variety of native plants popping up their heads virtually overnight.  Most are plain in appearance, but I found a lovely, single stemmed ‘weed’ down at the creek-bed yesterday – with variegated upper leaves and a simple, white flower – that I’d be proud to plant in a border around the house.  I’m trying to identify it in a book I borrowed  from the library last week.

Big news on the Job Front for Jane, but it’s too early to provide any details.  Suffice it to say that it looks like she’ll be employed in the coming school year after all, and I’ll give you details soon.  I’ve identified a job opening that I’ll be applying for – raising grant money for the San Antonio public schools – but I don’t think I’m hoping to get it.

The girls start school next week, so we’re going to take in Fiesta Texas theme park this week.  Wish me luck.



5 Responses to “Sarah’s 13!”

  1. Julie Van Valkenburg Says:

    Give Sarah belated birthday wishes from me & the fam!

  2. JB Says:

    Thanks, Jules. I surely will. Jake is 12 now? It’s seems just last week he and Maddee were ‘married’.

  3. Mike Tulloss Says:

    Keep the trees, and tend them. It will provide family continuity, and something for the girls to show their kids in 20 years (these were planted by your great-grandparents).

  4. Donna Burleson Gonzalez Says:

    Was told you guys had moved to Texas again. I am so jealous that you all are living in the Hill Country. We still live in East Dallas, have three kids, two chihuahuas and a flock of 15 urban chickens (definitely not Luis’ idea.)

    Tell Jane I would love to connect with her. Welcome home to Texas!!

    Donna Burleson Gonzalez

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