For July 4th, CAT and I both had 3-day weekends so we took advantage and headed to Texas. We typically stay with my grandparents when we head that way, and there is always some nostalgia.

These two people were a huge part of my life growing up, especially after we moved to Texas.


I spent a lot time playing with Grandpa at the park when I was young, and hanging out with him as I got older.


I spent time wanting and trying to be just like my Grandma, who is an amazing woman, by the way.


That is the house where the official first car photo happened.


Even at the longest distance, I spent the better part of 20 years living within an hour of them. Those years were rich with traditions, including many, many Christmas Eves all the way into our kids’ early years.


Anytime we visit, I smile as my grandparents influence and invest in our kids the way they did with me. Every morning my Grandpa would present the paper for the news article of the day. You can choose one, but if you opt to not choose, then Grandpa picks for you. Cricket enjoyed her article on women’s soccer.


Grasshopper opted out and was given an article to read, I believe from the Wall Street Journal.


Growing up, the newspaper article was accompanied by the word of the day. My first word of the day was eclectic, followed by defunct and so many more. Since the essential “Big Red Dictionary” lives at my house now, the kids were exempt.  Yes, the book is a true treasure from my childhood and probably an important part of my writing tendencies today.

Then we have hours upon hours in the same pool where I learned to swim. Here I am in all my childhood awesomeness swimming with my Grandma (this might be from my grandparents first Texas home, but, in all fairness, I couldn’t swim in this picture).


And here are our kids enjoying swim time.



And Popsicle break.


There’s always breakfast making for the crew. Cricket helped Grandma with the bacon and taking egg orders (scrambled or fried). Then Cricket and CAT made the eggs.



The one huge change in tradition, is that picture taking has moved down the line. Grandma has always taken some pictures and still does, but the primary photographer in our family was always my Grandpa. He was often missing from pictures of events because he was behind the camera, but the photographic evidence of my childhood adventures with them, my brothers, and my cousins is precious.



This weekend, I was there with my new camera…


Until the battery died and we figured out that we didn’t bring the charging cord. Good thing we live in the technology age, because we all had phones to take more photos.

While there have been changes, especially the part where we live nearly 7 hours away, the fundamentals remain. That house has always been a sort of home-base for me, and a big part of my roots, which is important. It is my hope that one day Ramblin’ Ridge will be that for our children, our grandchildren and, God willing, our great-grandchildren.

The rest of our weekend included a visit with some friends and their new dog (I think we will have a bird dog sooner rather than later despite CAT’s “objections”), dinner with CAT’s parents and my grandparents, and the FC Dallas soccer game with CAT’s sister and family, complete with an amazing fireworks show.

Of course, I can’t leave you without a cute animal photo. So here is Sophie hanging out a very safe distance from the pool at Grandma’s. As much as she loves swimming in the pond, she had no interest in the splashing or pool water.



**Note: Photo credits to my Grandparents in addition to what CAT and I took!! This post wouldn’t be possible without all those throwback photos.