Amazingly. We had originally planned to stop in Little Rock last night, but then we were just tired of being on the road and wanted to get here.
We spent a very nice afternoon in Nashville, celebrating R’s birthday. We found, without trying, a Cheese Cake Factory, and thinking that it was a sort of relaxed place, sure to have Cake, we herded everyone inside. It turned out Not to be relaxed, but very very Nashville Fancy with painted walls and ceiling and a cohort of Waiters. The food was delicious and some nice person brought R a banana without us even thinking about it. So for his birthday lunch he had banana, bow tie pasta with butter and a Large Straw Berry Short Cake. E picked the desert, since all three of them were going to eat it, and I must say she chose well. It looked very festive and birthday like, all piled up with whipped cream, and R turns out to love strawberries. He stuffed himself until he began to look bilious and we made him stop.
Then we drove around looking for our hotel and ran into what I imagine are the fancy houses of Country Music’s ‘People’, not the actual stars, but the people who make the stars happen. I may be wrong, just my own speculation—very grand houses. We were particularly impressed with the churches in that part of town. There seem to be rich luxurious churches on every corner—Church of Christ, Church of God, Baptist, Methodist etc. (no Episcopalian that we saw), all with perfectly kept grounds, enormous facilities and fancy signs. And so many! There have to be far more churches than people. Matt observed that probably Everybody Has to go to church And give money, whether or not they believe anything at all. Now that’s a lifestyle I like—culturally enforced church attendance and giving. Ha. That I should live to see the day that happens in the northeast. If only we felt God calling us to minister to the needs of the spiritually poor Country Music Star. Well, I say that, but probably it would drive me crazy. There’s nothing like money to muck up the church.
We spent the afternoon swimming and trying to play Pick Up Sticks which turned out to be a bust. Felt bad leaving out baby Who Really Wanted to Play!, especially since it was his birthday. So we just let him mess up the sticks and try to eat them.
Yesterday was long indeed. 10 hours in the car. The children were basically golden. I would only note that a striking difference between E and A presented itself. E loves a public restroom. She wanted to see every bathroom at every stop and try it out, whether or not she really had to go. A would rather die than use a restroom of any kind. We had to plead, cajole, insist and finally bodily carry him in to go. He asked many many times if we couldn’t just go home to Binghamton so that he could go potty, instead of driving further and further away from home. Poor child. It made each stop fraught with emotion on both sides.
Towards the end of the day when everyone was tired, we had the following exchange.
A: (weeping) E called me a bird!
Anne: Are you not a bird?
A: (weeping) I am not a bird. E called me a bird.
Anne: E, did you call him a bird?
E: No. I asked him if he was drawing a bird.
Matt: There, A, E did not call you a bird.
A: (weeping) I am not a bird.
Matt: That’s right. You are not a bird.
A: I’m A.
Matt & Anne: Yes, you’re A.
A: I’m A and I’m a Shinning Armor.
Anne: Shinning Armor?
Matt: Yes, just go with it.
Anne: Oh, Ah.
So now we’re in Dallas, in a nice cool hotel, gazing out at the heat outside its only 8:30 in the morning, but we’re all feeling like its 9:30 because of the hour difference, and there is agitation to go out to the pool. I suppose it’s probably already hot enough. If you need us for any reason, that’s where we’ll be.