Thursday, November 29, 2012

Smithville... from Bill

My brother Kurt lives in the small town of Smithville, Texas, about an hour east of Austin. When Kurt saw from our blogging that we were going to be in Austin in November, he invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. Even though we've been living a relatively strict plant-based diet, we decided we would make an exception for Thanksgiving, after all, it’s just one day. So we planned to get to Smithville the day before Thanksgiving and stay through the weekend since both Kurt and Chrissy work in Austin during the week.

Kurt likes to fix things. He and Chrissy bought a run-down house not far from the main drag in Smithville several years ago. They've completely renovated the place and it now looks fantastic. Not one to sit on his laurels, they put the place up for sale and bought a new dump on the other side of the tracks to keep Kurt busy. The new place is something that most people would tear down and start all over with, but not Kurt. He has taken on the challenge of renovating the place from the bottom up, and when I say bottom I mean bottom, like where the wood had rotted out between the frame of the house and the piers that support it. This is going to be a major project, but I’m sure Kurt and Chrissy will be up to the task.

We stayed at the same campground, by the Colorado River, that we stayed at the last time we visited. This time we got a pull-through site near the entrance to the campground and our front yard opened to one of the holes on a frisbee golf course that meanders through the park. It was fun watching and talking to the people that came through. We decided we need to get some frisbees so we can join in the fun. We seem to come across these courses all over the place in our travels. 

Our time in Smithville was spent for the most part helping to clean up the yard around the new house and preparing meals. We had Kurt and Chrissy over for dinner one night and ate outdoors on the picnic table after warming up around the campfire. We stuck to our plant-based diet when we cooked for them and it seemed to go over well. I don’t think we made converts of them, but they did seem to enjoy the meals. One day the twin boys from across the street came over to help with raking leaves. They were precious and one made Debby crack up when, out of the blue, he said, “My family is very smart and rich. We’re just waiting for our inheritance to come through." 

Thanksgiving was pretty traditional, with turkey, cranberry sauce, and my garlic mashed potatoes followed by pumpkin and apple pies. Chrissy prepared everything except the potatoes and the meal was delicious. Outside of a couple of Z-pies, this was the first meat we’d eaten in about two months, and it was good, and there was much rejoicing....and then we slept. We slept for hours……  Big thanks to Chrissy and my brother for hosting us for T-day.

We went back to Austin on Friday to stock up on food at the Central Market and Whole Foods, but not before stopping at our favorite vegan taco stand, Vegan Nom. The tacos were just as good as we remembered and we got to talk to the owner about some of his recipes. Wish I could figure out how he made that bean dip—so yummy...nom nom nom.

Sunday was packing day and Debby made pasta to take to my brother’s house for dinner. This was much appreciated as Chrissy was exhausted from painting the new house and didn't have the energy to prepare anything herself. Monday, we were on the road to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to “take the waters.” That’s where this blog is being written, which means we’re actually up to date on our blogging. Yeah! 

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