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See you later Aunt Dorothy

I am heading home after spending a couple of days in Dallas. I hadn't been to Dallas since the early 80's!! We traveled to Dallas to attend the memorial service of Timmy's Aunt Dorothy Dixon who recently passed away.

In November, it will be 15 years since I met Timmy. Over those years, I have met some of Timmy's family but there were lots more that I had not ever met. We drove in on Sunday with Timmy's sister Pat and her husband Harvey. Timmy's sister Ann and her daughter Mich flew in from Boise, Idaho to attend the funeral. I was really looking foward to spending time with Pat & Ann who I don't get to see very often.

I was also excited to visit the beautiful city of Dallas. As we drove in, the theme of the TV show 'Dallas" was playing in my head. I was in awe of the city skyline. However, the excitement didn't last long.

I've always said that San Antonio has some of the worst freeways. Well, I'm pretty sure that Dallas has them beat!!! OH MY GOODNESS! This place is insane! And the worst part is, many of these roads/freeways are newly constructed and Google Maps hasn't caught up with it. Our GPS kept giving us incorrect instructions. "Take a slight left turn" when all there is on the left is a concerete wall is not cool. And the traffic! Wow! People were honking and making hand gestures to us because evidently we were supposed to be going 90+ mph and were in the way as we poked along at 75 mph.

We were pretty relieved when we finally arrived at the hotel. We rested a bit before our evening mini family reunion. We were all scheduled to meet at a resturant called Love and War in Texas. This is a really cool restaurant. There is an outdoor patio that has live music. Pat's son Jarrod Birmingham has played at this venue! We arrived and I got to meet lots of Timmy's cousins who came from near and far. I felt I knew some of them as I receive Christmas cards from some and am Facebook friends with others. But it was so nice to meet them in person. The night was really fun with lots of laughter and shared memories. And the food was so good! I had chicken fried Brisket strips that were out of this world! I sure would love to have those again someday!!!!!!

The night didn't end there. Some of the cousins were staying at the same hotel as we were so we all congregated in Ann's room to visit some more. Timmy's cousin, Leland Strange, has researched the family genealogy and shared some of what he had found. Aunt Dorothy's daddy's name was Little Berrie Strange. Now that's a unique name! Ann brought newspaper articles that she found in Aunt Dorothy's things that dated back to 1950!! It was all very interesting.

The next morning we headed out early to Aunt Dorothy's memorial service. It was held at Restland Cemetery. This cemetery is so beautiful with hundred of trees over about 400 acres. Don't think I'm nuts but I kept thinking what a beautiful place this would be to take pictures! Of course I had my camera with me as I planned to photograph the ceremony and hopefully the family.

Aunt's Dorothy's service was simple and sweet. Mich led us in song and everyone sang Amazing Grace and What a Friend We have in Jesus. Claude Armstrong spoke first and said some words about Aunt Dorothy's life.

Interesting fact - Dorothy married her husband Charles in August, 1940 at midnight. Who gets married at midnight? Aunt Dorothy - that's who! She lived in the Dallas area until 1997 when she moved to beautiful Boise, Idaho, where she lived the rest of her eartly life. Ann, who also lives in Boise, took very, very good care of her aunt who lived to be 97 years old! Wow!!! There were lots of funny stories told and the service ended with everyone smiling. What a perfect going-home-celebration! Aunt Dorothy would have loved it.

After the service, I had the privilege of photographing the family. Everyone was smiling and happy to take pictures together. It ended with lots of hugs and promises to visit more often.

We ventured out a bit during the afternoon - again with some u-turns and missed exits. But by the end of the day, we were a bit more comfortable and even managed to avoid the long LBJ toll tunnel that we kept finding ourselves on. Mich's son Zach and wife Danica live in Grapevine and came to join us for dinner. We had dinner at a restaurant called 'Thai Star' and it was so delicious. I just love Thai food. A few tears were shed at the end of the night as we said goodbye to Ann and Mich who would be flying home to Boise early Tuesday morning.

I am heading home with a full heart. I enjoyed my short time in this crazy city and feel so blessed to be a part of this sweet, loving family. So long Aunt Dorothy - look foward to seeing you again.

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