08 December, 2005


last weekend saw me in Texas, where everything truly is bigger, or, as the new saying has it: "Texas is bigger than France." 'nuff said. things are a little strange out there for us non Texans, but with a bit of thought you can figure most things out, like what this place is for:

that's "laundromat" to the rest of us.

compounding the problem of such unfamiliar establishments is that they're usually referred to as "warshaterias", so sounding completely foreign. but when it's said in context, it can be really quite charming, as in: "we're fixin' to go to the warsheteria y'all". wonderful.

anyway, i was in Houston, where my closest friend, Taggert, and his family live. it's a huge, sprawling city, and the land round about is scarily flat, so a Rockies-dweller like me has a hard time ever knowing where he is, much less where he's going. good thing i was chauffeured around all weekend. Tag and Kara have just produced their third child, and since they named him after me (sort of), i couldn't resist going down there for his blessing and a grand tour.

me with my little namesake, Dean Thomas.

of course, my name isn't Dean, but my middle name, just like the little anklebiters', is Thomas. it was my maternal grandmother's maiden name. Tag and Kara seemed happy enough to have the name, but glad that Dean hadn't also inherited the noted "Thomas ear", which is like a normal one, but with a small notch cut out of its back edge.

the Mayfield kids and me. from left: Reagan Michelle, Dylan Michael and Dean Thomas.

i spent a great weekend hanging out with the family and playing with the children, and i came back with more photos and videos of the eldest, Reagan, dancing and playing than my memory card ever thought it could hold. above is one of the only pictures of the three kids and me which turned out at all well. what you can't tell is that i'm using about all the strength i have in my right arm to restrain Dylan from running off and going somewhere else. many shots were attempted before i thought of this strategy.

Dylan is the busiest little beaver i have ever met. he is always doing something or going somewhere, and is almost totally oblivious to anything you might say or do to him. i've never seen anyone quite so energetic or purposeful in my life, or with such a personality, which is why i must end with the following photo. from the pointing to the look on his face, it shows, in a way that could never have been posed, just what an entertaining little fella he is. enjoy:

who's the man? Dylan letting you know the exact answer to that question.

03 December, 2005


who'd have thought Taiwan was so multicultural? while there we made friends with many folks from faraway places, including, of all things, a wee Spanish fellow by the name of Paco. we came across him on one of our 'round island trips, soaked to the bone from the torrential summer rains, and bought him one of the $1 ponchos from a 7-11. then i gave him a lift--literally--to the train station in Tainan before saying farewell.

Taiwan was full of memories great and small, and Jill and i couldn't let our brief association with little Paco pass without a little photographic documentation. i hope you will enjoy this memory as much as we do.

Paco 'n me