Tyler, TX graduation and Eagle Scout

Today is still July 4th , 2012 – and I’m learning that writing the blog is not only time consuming it’s a lot more work than I imagined.  Like I said; FOOLISHLY I volunteered to help so here goes.

After three days of recuperating from our Colorado trip, on May 31st we picked up the 5th wheel, hauled it home and loaded it for a trip to Tyler, TX, home town of two grandsons and their parents. Grandson Matthew matriculated at 8:00 PM June 2nd from Robert E Lee High School.  To assure everyone had sleeping space, we parked our rig in their driveway allowing the paternal grandparents use of the spare bedroom.  The electrical connection was only 20 amperes, consequently no air conditioning.  Fortunately it remained cool and comfortable at night.  LUCKY!  Since we could not dump our holding tanks we minimized our waste water by bathing in the house.  I’ve wondered what the neighbors thought as we went back and forth for showers and potty privilege. Graduation was outdoors and it was warm, crowded and loud.  Kudos to Richard and Kelly for organizing our schedule, meals, transportation and driving.  They did a great job of transporting four elders in their 70’s & 80’s to and from the graduation ceremony.  On top of everything else “Daughter” pulled an “All Nighter” chaperoning a gala Vegas Style affair where the kids had an opportunity to use their winnings to purchase needed items to begin college life.  Sunday morning we attended church with our “Tyler Kids”, then a quick lunch at Bodacious Barbecue.

At 3 PM Sunday we attended Matthew’s “Court of Honor” where he was recognized as an Eagle Scout.  The Eagle Scout Court of Honor is a solemn event following specific guidelines and administered by select participants as set forth by scouting.  Eagle Scout Status must be achieved prior to age 18.  Each candidate must complete 12 specific steps to achieve scouting’s highest rank; the Order of the Arrow or Eagle Scout Status. Eagle Scouts earn the privilege and responsibility of being an Eagle for life. http://www.meritbadge.com/info/policy4.htm

At Matthew’s Court of Honor he became a member of a very elite group of men who have achieved Eagle Scout Status.   Eagle Scouts include two of our son-in-laws, two of my grandsons, some astronauts and a few presidents of the USA.  As proud parents and grandparents I cannot help but wonder how many grandparents have two grandsons who are Eagles.  I can tell you it was a very special moment when I watched a grandson decorate his younger brother with his Eagle Scout Medal

Fact; – Just over 2 million boys have reached Eagle in 100 years (15,000 a year, roughly). Currently, around 4 of every 100 boys that joins Scouts make Eagle–that’s less than 1% of the male population. Reference http://usscouts.org/eagle/bsfamous.asp

Yes, 2012 has been a very good year as the Traveling Basenji’s watched two more grandchildren move in positive directions for a full and rewarding life.

Fort Collins, CO Graduation trip

Today is July 4th , 2012 – Foolishly I volunteered to help the Mother of the Pack catch up her blog – I’ve read her articles & I’ve read mine (or tried to) – I prefer hers.  You probably will too, so just read it, get the facts and move on , I am!

May found us at home buying a new set of wheels.  Mother of the Pack now drives a Hyundai Veracruz with Sirius radio & sunroof.  For its maiden voyage we decided to drive to Fort Collins, CO on May 23, 2102 for our granddaughter Emma’s high school graduation. The new vehicle traveled great, plenty of room for dogs and luggage.   Our Mom & one daughter flew up and while we were there we acted as shuttle for the 6 of us.

First night of the journey found us arriving late in Raton, NM where the motel operator cautioned us to not leave any food in our vehicles.  Seems they have a black bear that raids the parking lot occasionally.  After a non eventful evening (no bears) we arrived in Fort Collins around noon the next day and connected with the local tribe members.  That Thursday evening we attended International Baccalaureate Ceremony for Poudre High School.  The 100 or so IB graduates were allotted 3 minutes to describe their experience.  Apparently some of their watches did not have a minute hand!  Long evening after a long drive!  Friday evening was graduation and Poudre High School is organized in this area.  They have two people calling names and two columns of graduates the whole time.  After watching 8 grandchildren graduate from high school we have become very aware of how it’s done and believe that Poudre is ahead of all the others in this field of endeavor.

Breakfast – I love my breakfast – My grandmother taught me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day & I subscribe to that idea whole heartedly.   Fort Collins has a host of restaurants but the Farmers Table on W. Elizabeth does an outstanding job of serving a first class breakfast – we recommend it heartily.  We enjoyed a quiet breakfast there both Friday & Saturday mornings.

Saturday noon we made a brief appearance at a party for Emma and her graduation friends then headed back to Richardson.  After experiencing miles & miles of road repair and construction in New Mexico then heavy traffic in Denver, by unanimous decision we elected to drive east thru Colorado and drop down through Kansas and the Texas Panhandle.  Not all of our decisions are intelligent, to say we fought the wind is the classic understatement of the century.  When we stopped for dinner we were told that wind gust were reaching 50-55 mph.  Trust me a Hyundai Veracruz has to be tough or we would have gone on down Dorothy’s “Yellow Brick Road”.

We had dinner Saturday night at an amazing restaurant called the Colonial Steakhouse in Oakley, KS on Hwy 83 at Hwy 70  http://www.colonialsteakhouse.com/  They have been there for 30 years and we can see why they have lasted.  We found an “all you can eat” buffet.   GREAT food, crab legs, roast beef, fried shrimp & delicious vegetables all very reasonable priced.  Needless to say I did get all the crab & shrimp I could hold.  Since the Mother of the Pack volunteered to drive I even managed an after dinner nap.

Arriving late, we spent a night in Garden City, KS.  Garden City has to be the site of the world’s largest feed lot.  We’ve been told that one feed lot there slaughters 10,000 head of beef per day.  One tip we can offer; is always get a room upwind of the feed lots.  Don’t know where upwind is?  Just follow your nose, when the air clears you’re up wind!

Sunday afternoon about 4:30 PM we landed at home – whew!  And we don’t have to make another journey for a week.  More on that later!