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Happy Alliday!!

June 16, 2011

On the road that we travel each and every day
There are those that touch our hearts in a very special way
Though we may not see each other once in a while
Feelings rush back with a wink and a smile

The stories fly, yeah the fish fry
every time that we’re together
The drinks flow, yeah and the fish grow
These are the memories that live on forever

In this dog eat dog world we all need a place
To escape from the rat race
Here’s my suggestion, it’ll come as no surprise
Just sit back and close your eyes

The stories fly, yeah the fish fry
every time that we’re together
The drinks flow, yeah and the fish grow
These are the memories that live on forever

It’s proven again and again
It’s all in the time that we spend
There lies the value of a friend
My friend

On the road that we travel each and every day
There are those that touch our hearts in a very special way
Though we may not see each other once in a while
Feelings rush back with a wink and a smile

The stories fly, yeah the fish fry
every time that we’re together
The drinks flow, yeah and the kids grow
These are the memories that live on forever
These are the memories that live on forever

Value Of A Friend – Saltwater Flies
(Sorry, no links this time. Small band with no web presence)

Back in the days when I’d spent more time in Iowa than I had anywhere else and work, monthly bills and grocery shopping were all new to me, I used to gather with friends over Thanksgiving. A month later, we would all be back in our hometown for Christmas visiting family and we’d all get to see each other again. Time passes and circumstances change. Some of us wanted to spend more time with parents during holidays and some of us didn’t really have a compelling reason to come back to our hometown since parents moved away. Back in 2006 when things seemed to be changing, Mitch proposed that, “we could simply group ALL the holidays into some convenient weekend, say, oh, I dunno, May 13th and get together then.” The e-mail exchange included things like:

Cool!  Does the Solstice Egg hunt happen at midnight?  Do you actually look for eggs or is it just an excuse to bring a date and make out like a Snipe hunt?  I can’t wait for the Cadbury Creame filled Pumpkins…

I think this all makes room for LOTS of new Holiday Traditions.  I think a solstice Egg & Midnight Snipe Hunt w/Making Out sounds like a fine idea.  (I never really cared for monkey nuts, anyway.)  Changing times call for new paradigms!

I wonder, could we work in some of those pagan fertility rituals?

Eventually, we came up with a list of activities that included; lighting the solstice wreath, carving arbor-day-o-lanterns, setting off the heart-shaped fireworks, singing Columbus Day carols, enjoying a big meal with a Kwanza turkey, singing Happy Boxing Day To You, blowing out the candles on the Easter cake and going on the above mentioned Midnight Solstice Egg hunt. Thus the Alliday was born! We set our sights on May 13th and this year we made it happen with everyone gathering in Austin. I think it was just kismet that the 13th fell on a Friday this year.

Kitty Feeder

Kitty Feeder - Artist's Approximation

Some people have bird feeders in their back yard. My friends have a cat feeder. They’ve “adopted” the neighborhood cats in a fairly serious fashion to where the cats have all been spayed/neutered, have a regular feeding schedule and are welcome to come and hang out as long as they like. My favorite outdoor cat was George. That’s what I named him anyway. Jill insisted on calling him “Stupid” and I was told his name was “Not Joey”. I felt George suited him better.

Mansfield Dam

Kilroy Is Here

We managed to get out and see some of the nearby sights in the Austin area. While the Mansfield Dam seemed a bit inhospitable in the post 9/11 world, the Oasis was just the spot to sit, enjoy a Margarita and look out over the lake. The Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco and the Train Museum at Temple were both fun, although Train Museum curator told us we were a day early for the “Harvey Girls” trunk show and exhibit. I was a bit bummed, I *so* wanted to meet Judy Garland!

Cheese House

Cheeeeese Gromit

The highlight of the road trips however, had to be the Texas Cheese House. Its run by Scott Simon, a guy who sold his corporation and took his cheese making hobby out of his basement and into the streets (much to his wife’s relief I’m sure). Mitch filmed the entire visit on his iPhone which endeared us to Kaeley, the girl behind the counter, right away. We had some lovely Caerphilly and stinky Manchego as samples. They’re quite generous with their samples. I bought a bit of each of the above and proceeded to leave them in Austin when I flew back home.

Dr. Pepper Museum

We're a Pepper!

While traveling the wild and wooly highways of Texas, Mitch decided that we should all have wrestling names. He seemed to come up with this idea as we were eating at Wendy’s when he picked up the “sour cream” container I had for my baked potato and started reading the ingredients. He decided then and there that my wrestling name was going to be “Toxic Waste”. And I suspect that because Kenny is such an intimidating Mo Fo, he earned the moniker “Threat Level”. Jill, who was absent for the trip when we decided on wrestling names, was branded Mnemonic. That left Mitch.

Train Museum

Long Train Runnin'

The rule is that you can’t choose your own wrestling name, so it was left to Kenny and I to decide what Mitch’s name was going to be. Initially we were going with “The Authority” since it was his iPhone that connected fastest to the Maps/GPS feature and lead us where we wanted to go. This however proved to be problematic when it came to the train museum and we ended up in a sketchy neighborhood in Waco without a train track in sight, rather than in amongst the boxcars in Temple. Anyway, when Mitch decided that he’d rather nap on the trip home than interact with Kenny and I whom he hadn’t seen in months, Kenny and I decided to call him “Sleeper Cell”.

The Oasis

So Where Are Those Margaritas?!?

At the end of the day I’d have to call the first annual Alliday a smashing success. I’m not sure the Absinthe toast to friends both present and absent will continue on into future Allidays judging from Kenny’s reaction to both the smell and taste, but my guess is we’ve started a new tradition for future May 13ths.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. DMP permalink
    June 19, 2011 10:16 am

    Could I dress in a rabbit costume, climb down the chimney, and thankfully egg the inside of the house?

  2. Amanda permalink
    June 17, 2011 8:55 am

    Never really care for Monkey Nuts?! Shocked, shocked I tell you.

    • June 17, 2011 12:30 pm

      I AGREE! Monkey nuts were the next best things after biting the heads off reindeer!

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