This was such a cute John Deere tractor and he loved it. His birthday theme was trucks and he had his own birthday cake they let him destroy. The black wheels smeared all over him and everyone else within icing-slinging distance. He really got into it once he realized that's what he was supposed to do! Tyler's daddy Steven is in the blue shirt. My brother's wife Marsha - his maternal grandmother - made his cake. He had a bath in the sink after he demolished his cake. This was at the Ramer Fire Department building.
And lacking just a few days, we have been here for a year! July 19 is our one-year anniversary here. I can hardly believe all we've done since we've been here, how much we love it, how great it's been to be near family and old and new friends. And, of course, how much we miss Wynne. There are times my mind will just wander down streets in Wynne or see certain buildings or old friends, or Wynne Baptist Church and I really just have to stop that walk down memory lane or I'll cry! We made the right choice, but that was our home for 43 years, too. We do keep up with news by phone calls, the Wynne Progress, Facebook, emails. Paul has been back a couple of times on business. I haven't yet. It just gets put on the back burner, but I must go this fall before my Florida trip! We've both done so much work on the house, getting the garage built, shrubs and vines cut back, new shrubs planted. We've also dealt with a few ticks, the flea epidemic back in the spring, Tommy-cat's allergies, Oscar's running down the road, losing Bitty Cat... I think we've spent a small fortune on vet bills since moving "to the country!" I've learned not to have a conniption when Tommy sneezes all over everything or when I see a tick on my leg. (My head is another matter...) I've learned to look around for snakes when going outside, having seen a huge one in the back yard. I've learned that next spring I won't have small pots of flowers, but maybe two or three big pots, and hopefully there will be more rain - to keep from dragging the hose all over half an acre. We've actually seen two seasons because we were here Christmas 2010, days and weeks during Spring 2011. I can walk up the back steps without getting winded (most days). I wake up most mornings around 7, with no alarm. I seldom use an alarm. Many days I just live with the passing sun. I can tell what time it is without a clock. We've made many new friends through church, the antique car club, Red Hats, Twentieth Century Club, Jack's (where Paul goes to catch up on the news from all the guys), library book club, WMU at church, men's breakfast on the first Saturday of the month. I love how Brenda, Charlotte and I have just picked up where we left off 45 years ago, face-to-face and not through emails! I love that I've gotten to know some cousins again. I love that Amy loves coming home and coming as often as she can! This has always been "home," because we came often, and it is her grandparents' home. We have really enjoyed being retired. I very rarely even think about what it was I used to do at work, the actual work, though I miss all my Buds there.
This has been a very good year.
(The flag isn't touching the ground - this was made looking toward the embankment at the end of driveway where it waved freely!)