Posts Tagged ‘country’

list #26: summer music

Summer calls for laid-back, driving-with-the-windows-down songs. And for me, it always speaks of country music – fireflies and sunsets and a little twang. Here are a few of my faves:

1. “Take Me Out to the Dance Hall,” Pat Green
2. “Tim McGraw,” Taylor Swift
3. “The Long Way Home,” Norah Jones
4. “The Girl From Ipanema,” Frank Sinatra
5. “Italy,” Grace Pettis
6. “The Coast,” Court Yard Hounds
7. “Betting on Trains,” HEM
8. anything by the Beach Boys (of course!)
9. anything by George Strait, especially his mid – to late-80s hits like “Ocean Front Property” and “Amarillo By Morning”
10. “La Vie En Rose,” Louis Armstrong (though I love it all year long)

What’s on your summer playlist?


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This is a couple weeks late, but I wanted to share some stories and photos from our trip to Neosho for Thanksgiving – which also happens to be #7 on the list.

We drove up on a Wednesday – nearly 10 hours in the car – and were welcomed by big bear hugs from my parents, my Uncle Dan and Aunt Judy, my Mimi, her husband Jack, and – surprise! – my sister Betsy and her husband, Stephen. They had told only Judy they were coming, and they certainly surprised us all.

The next morning, Jeremiah had a big “first” experience: going squirrel huntin’ (yes, it’s huntin’) with ALL the men in my extended family:

My dad is in the middle on the front row there. Jeremiah is third from the right (wearing the blue toboggan hat) in the back row. The other guys are my uncles, cousins, step-grandpa, brother-in-law and a friend of my cousin Andy’s.

Here’s Logan, Andy’s little boy, posing before the hunt:

This kid is a riot. He’s five, and a bundle of energy. I love his red cowboy hat…and the fact that he wound up staying with Judy and me, to “help” peel potatoes and watch Tom & Jerry, while the men went hunting.

We all headed over to Mimi’s later that day for the big feast (and LOTS of football). Here’s a peek at some of what we ate:

My contribution is second from the left – sweet potato casserole topped with brown sugar and pecans. They don’t usually make it at Mimi’s, but we have it every year at our house, and Mom (who’s in the background there, wearing black) bought sweet potatoes for me (and I brought the recipe) so I could make it this year. YUM.

After dinner, we had a family photo shoot on the steps of the farmhouse, which (by the way) is where my dad and his brothers grew up. My grandfather, Papaw, died in 2000, but my Mimi still lives in that house and I love it. I love that the thick, brown carpet and the blue-and-white flowered couches are the same. I love that she still has tons of antiques and old games and a very old set of Lincoln Logs (which the little boys dumped out & played with one night). I love the old fireplace where there’s always a roaring fire in winter (though it was too warm for a fire this time).

I love the teacup-filled kitchen where we all tend to stand around, talking, and the windows over the kitchen sink, and the ancient microwave that’s been running for thirty years. I love the way Jack, Mimi’s husband, sits quietly in his recliner taking everything in, the way my Papaw used to. I love my uncle Dan’s dry wit and my aunt Barb’s sly sense of humor and my aunt Judy’s loud laugh. I love this family. We don’t get to see them nearly often enough.

Here’s a shot of the six of us – Mom, Dad, Bets and me, and our husbands – at the photo shoot:

(My folks are being very mature, as you can tell. Typical for Dad, but not so typical for Mom.)

There are lots of shadows in this photo, but here we are – the whole clan:

So, so fun. We hadn’t been all together for a family holiday in a long time.

All that eating and football and madness, of course, wore everybody out, so a nap was in order:

That’s Pard, my uncle’s Australian shepherd, sharing the sectional couch with Jeremiah. He’s 11, and a little slower-moving than he used to be, but a sweetie.

On Friday night, the Mailes clan came over. They are my family’s best friends, and have been for 50+ years. If you read my blog while I was in Oxford, you may recall that I traveled to Ireland to visit Colton, who was studying abroad in Galway then and is like another cousin to me. We’ve known one another our entire lives, and we talked for hours this trip. Here’s a shot of Colton and his mom, Carol:

This came in the middle of some hilarity about Colton leaning against Carol’s legs, putting them to sleep, and Carol sighing loudly, “Well, you know, mothers don’t mind making sacrifices for their children.” Hilarious. In reality, he’s the only child, and these two have a sweet relationship – it’s so much fun to watch them together.

We drove home on Sunday, through several hours of rain, and stopped at the Cheesecake Factory in Oklahoma City to eat lunch:

Well, we also had chips and salsa with spinach-artichoke dip, and a yummy creamy pasta dish. But this is Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. And it was heaven.

Really, the whole week was heaven. Refreshing and slow and sweet and hilarious and fun. And a great introduction for Jeremiah to a Noah family holiday. Good, good times.

Happy Love Thursday, all. Visit Karen’s blog for links to more images and stories of love.

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