Monday, November 19, 2007

Field Trip

Today was the first day of a week's vacation for me but, as luck would have it, it was also a day that required a trip into Austin to take Mother to the doctor. I pondered how I would keep it primarily a day of vacation and decided I would follow the doctor appointment by fulfilling two long-standing requests from distant cousins to obtain some tombstone photos at Oakwood Cemetery. I also followed a last minute impulse to take the dogs along with us and make a stab at showing them that not every trip in the car ends with a needle in the hiney.

The dogs don't particularly enjoy riding in the car, but they also don't like staying at home alone, so they were game and settled into their travel carriers in the back seat. We set off on our field trip.

We had one rocky point on the way in when I decided to swing through the Cedar Creek McDonald's for a Diet Coke. I'm not sure what their problem was, but after 10 minutes sitting in line waiting and making no progress toward the window, I did something I've never done before and cut out of line to leave after I had placed my order. No way was I going to risk arriving late to see this particular doctor, who has a pet peeve about folks who are tardy.

We arrived on time, got our prescription (which was the main reason for the trip), and then headed over to the cemetery on MLK Boulevard. If you've never driven by this cemetery, let me just say that it is one big cemetery. No way would you be able to walk this cemetery randomly to find a grave. I tried it several years ago and I ended up exhausted with sore feet and did not find what I was looking for. Since then some helpful folks have posted lists of the burials online, complete with lot numbers. I was prepared with the names and lot numbers and a map of the main cemetery and it did not take long to obtain the required photos for my Kentucky Hodge cousin.

The request from my Mobley cousin had me a little concerned, since I had not been able to locate a map of the Annex portion of the cemetery. I was a little more concerned when I discovered that the office is only open in the morning and there wasn't a soul around. But with true vacation luck, I discovered a map of the Annex on the bulletin board outside the office and was able to pinpoint where the Mobley graves were. Those pictures were secured and I ended the mission by snapping a quick photo of the Annex gate.

I noticed the graffiti on the sign as I took the picture, but it wasn't until I got home and took a closer look that I noticed the other marking on the fence post. One does wonder just what these folks are up to:

I can't say the trip was a total success where the dogs were concerned. I let them out of their carriers while we were at the cemetery and they weren't interested in smelling out the window or getting a drink from the water faucet. Coco ultimately decided to retreat back to her carrier where she felt secure. Mojo decided to ride home in Mommy's lap with his head tucked under my arm to hide his eyes from the big trucks passing by. When we took a swing through Wendy's to pick up a hamburger for Mother, Mojo did not lean out the window eagerly as Xana would have done to sniff, but instead took a dive for the back seat before the clerk could reach out and grab the cute puppy. I'm beginning to think they are hopeless candidates for travel companions.

The day ended with a unexpected gift. My Kentucky cousin, for whom I had made the cemetery trip, had sent me an email with scans of the marriage license and bond for my ggg-grandfather Hodge. I had heretofore only managed to uncover the registry entry for the marriage and now I have the documents, complete with his signature and the signature of his father-in-law, my gggg-grandfather Reese.

Vacation day 1 successful.


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