First - I totally missed watching the snow/ice storm last week. I had to be at KFC meetings in Austin, TX. I wasn't real sure I'd make it back home on Wednesday. But the transportation - wow. (Rebecca, you may want to skip this part)...I got to ride in a Cessna Citation XLS. One of the franchisee's private JET!
At first I was a little nervous - I niavely had in my mind that his private plane was more of a propeller-type - nope - this was a first class jet. Complete with leather seats, video panels, plug-ins for electronic devices, wood trim, the works! The franchisee even took a conference call from his satellite phone 43,000 feet up! It was truly a blessing experience for me. I sat on the bench couch that faced the stairs/hatch door. But when I look to the right (see the picture), I can see the pilots and there's a little corner galley filled with goodies and drinks. I just walked right up and talked with the pilots and saw all the gadgets and buttons! It was so cool! I tried to be smooth about taking these pictures so I didn't look like the little podunck I felt like in there.
So we get to Austin and we stay at The Driskell. If you've ever watched Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel - you may have seen this hotel. It's very historic and just fabulous! Built in 1886 by a cattle baron - it's straight-up Texas to say the least.
The lobby is cozy and grand all at the same time. There's a grand staircase that leads to the lounge/bar area - the sitting areas of which have built-in bookcases with books, and cow print & leather furniture galore. VERY manly.
But I have to say - for it being a basic room design, it became one of my favorites to sleep in. You see those dark throws on the beds? Those are the faux fur kind with velvet backing, with a little wool throw rolled-up on top like a blanket rolled up on the back of a saddle. I just slept with the fur blanket! And my final night - a yellow rose on the pillow! I almosted hoped we couldn't make it back for another day at least. Of course, since the franchisee had his own jet we could make a detour to just about anywhere we wanted. But we made it home.
At these meetings we do get to eat at some nice places. It's VERY hard to maintain any sort of weight loss while at these meetings. But at dinner, Wally - the franchisee's right-hand-man, seemed very upset. I asked him if everything was ok at home and he said no and he would tell me later. Well, the next morning Wally, Susan (co-worker), and I were in the lobby waiting for the others and he finally told up about his grandson, Sawyer. Sawyer is walking now - and apparently bumped and landed his hands right on the woodstove (yes, it was hot). Now Sawyer has 2nd degree burns. Wally was mortified - fire protection was his responsibility, and he wasn't there to protect him. Susan and I tried to console him - she being the official mom of us.
So to try and lighten the mood, Wally pulls out his guitar - right there in the lobby (picture above) - and proceeds to sing us this song he wrote about Sawyer called "Sawyer's Eyes." You talk about tear-jerker! He sang about what it was like to see Sawyer's eyes on the video screen while still in his mother's womb, about seeing Sawyer's eyes for the first time when he was born, about seeing the world differently through Sawyer's eyes, and then he added a verse about seeing someday seeing heaven through those eyes. It was so beautiful. Susan and I just teared up big-time. Then he sang us a nursery-rhyme song he wrote for Sawyer....Sawyer Clark Has His Own Aardvark. That grandson has opened a fount of creativity for that grandpa!
Before the trip, I went to Southeast Saturday night. It was their night to recognize the commitment to their new Indiana Campus that's opening in a couple months. The amount of people that went forward just Saturday night was amazing! There were 200+ on stage. Bill's dad just kept saying, "where are all the people coming from?"
And FINALLY - if you get a chance, check out yesterday and today's Focus on the Family's broadcasts. It's a fabulous segment on "Raising a Modern Day Knight" with Robert Lewis. I can't explain it well, but it gives hope that men are raising up men. And I really liked his ideas of celebrating milestones and having a "now you're a man" ceremony with other men. I also agree with him about men celebrating the honorable activities (flowers or poems for wives, reading scripture to their kids, etc.) with each other. Being a "man-cheerleader" where they hoot & holler and bump chests -- man-stuff -- from other men who need that same encouragement. Awesome stuff.