Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scratch It Off The List

I read an article the other day on the top sixty things to do in Texas before you die. I guess you could call it a Texas Bucket List.
Just by living in this great Republic and without realizing it, you could scratch off almost half of the items that are on the list. I am sure the person who wrote it was an implant from some foreign country like Utah or somewhere and was in a state of shock that he had to drive two days straight just to get to the grocery store.
Yea sure, I bet we all have things we would like to do before we finally take the eternal slumber and while reading the list, there were some I didn't care to do and others I would like to do. Then there was some that were not on the list that I have always wanted to do.
Let me give you a "for instance".
One of the things on the list was cook in a chili cook off. Well, you all know I do this almost every weekend
and this weekend we went to College Station in South Texas to cook with the oldest daughter Jessie and her fiance. It was one of the best cook offs we have been to. We also have a good friend down that way who came by to show her support and what did we do, we signed her up to judge. It was really good to see her smile and to hug her neck. To say she is just a friend would be a understatement, she is family.
As you can see in the picture, we cleaned up. Along with the trophies, we won first in beans. This was Jessie's first chili trophy and she was so excited. Just that alone was worth the drive. I could not be more proud at her and her boy for placing. She has the bug now.
If you are wondering, those trophies are made from Harley Davidson parts. How cool is that!

If you know anything about Texas A&M then you know about their traditions and spirit. One thing I have
always wanted to do was go to an Aggie Bonfire. That was not on the list, but it was on mine. I really don't care what college football team you cheer on, if you were at this amazing tradition, you would have been an Aggie. Smaller than it once was, this tower of hand cut logs is still seventy feet tall. The heat was so intense that looking directly into the fire was like looking at the sun. When the tower twisted and the hundreds of people there started singing the A&M fight song, I almost wept. It was truly amazing and I am so proud I was able to stand there with my wife and daughters and have that memory.
Scratch that one off the list.

Twenty three years ago I was able to scratch off "Play dominoes at the Dixie Chicken in College Station" off my list. This is a world famous little place set right off of the main drag,
they call it North Gate. Ask anyone who has ever been through there and I bet you they say something about the Chicken. It's just one of those must see places.
Well this weekend I was able to amend the one I scratched off so long ago and add in "with my daughters". The place has not changed in all those years. It was like walking back in time when I was a much younger me. Her boy's mom and grandma came along and I think they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Dragging my butt back to the camp site at 1:00 AM quickly showed me I cannot party like a college kid anymore, but it was worth it. 

Do these things really matter to anyone else, probably not. But when I am gone, those memories are all that will be left in the minds of those I leave behind. Those stories will be told to their kids and the memory will live on. Maybe, just maybe when they tell these stories, they think of me, sit back and smile.

Until next time,


  1. Bravo on the wins..Bone fire rock!!

  2. Of course they matter! Thanks so much for sharing this. Another great Aggie tradition I appreciated while I was there was Taps. On the first Tuesday of the month if a student has died in the previous month the flag in front of the Academic Bldg is flown at half-staff and a notice is posted on the base of the flag pole. At 10:15 pm bells chime from the Bell Tower as students make their way in a deep silence to the Academic Bldg. At 10:30 the Ross Volunteers Firing Squad marches in cadence to the Sul Ross statue. They fire 3 volleys, then Silver Taps is played on bugles. I only attended 1 Taps ceremony that I knew the student who had died. But I felt a loss for each student that was so honored, and a deep respect for a tradition that called us to gather and pay our respects to a student most of us did not know. It was one of many reasons I'm proud to be an Aggie.

    1. Thank you for the comment SS, Jessie has been to Taps and told me all about it. The whole place is filled with things just like that and that is what makes it a great school. I am honored to call my daughter an Aggie.

  3. I'm so glad I went. It was kind of fun being a judge but it was really great just seeing you guys and meeting Jessie's fiance. Watching you guys get called up for trophy after trophy after trophy ...that was icing on the cake! Let me know when the Caldwell cookoff is happening ...I'll be there!


    1. It was so good to see you HB, You bet I will let you know, and then there is also one in Bryan in March.
      Talk to you soon.

  4. Congratulations! Nice trophies!
    I couldn't have partied with the collage kids either. I'm an old person inside. lol

  5. MDR,

    I love the trophies made of motorcycle parts. Congratulations on the big win :-)

    Aggies always have this wonderful bonfire.

    Texas holds a very special place in my heart.

    1. Thanks for the comment Sandy, no matter where I live I will always be a Texan.

  6. MDR, buddy - the only thing better than those awesome trophies was you and yours carrying off a bunch of them! your daughter sounds like she is in some serious good company being an aggie...and bonfires, especially really big ones, really rock! much love to you and yours!

    your friend,

    1. Good to hear from you Kymber and thanks for stopping by.

  7. Sounds like a great time!