Monday, August 18, 2008

Texas Mountains - They DO Exist!

As the second week in August rolls around, it's time for the Catlin and Hicks families to head to Weat Texas, specifically the Davis Mountains near Fort Davis, for the annual Bloys Cowboy Camp Meeting. To describe camp meeting is a difficult thing; to me, it's vacation, a family reunion and church camp (for adults) all rolled into one. We have a cabin there we can use only this week in August and for one week this camp site becomes a bustling community of 2,500 people.

Originally founded in 1890 for the purpose of cowboys ranching in the desolate West Texas to have exposure to preaching and church fellowship, generations have been gathering here since. Our family has been attending since 1957 and growing up, it was always one of the highlights of my year. I was so thrilled to be able to go back to Bloys again this year as I missed last year and will most likely miss next year due to living in Europe.

Beyond reuniting with my camp meeting friends, relaxing on the porch of our cabin with no distractions of TV, phones, computers, etc., I love climbing the mountains nearby, attending the many church services, eating meals at the open air cook sheds and enjoying the breathtaking beauty of this part of Texas that many never get to experience.

Now back in the reality of humid central Texas, I'm missing the dry climate of West Texas already and am looking forward to the cooler temperatures in Germany. The countdown is only two weeks and two days away now before returning to Wiesbaden. Where does the time go? I'm headed to Baylor for a few days this week to assist with International Orientation and see my co-workers one last time before the end of the summer. Other big news - Jon and I are halfway through our deployment separation! He will be returning EARLIER than expected on November 10th. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Adventures with Juan y Carmen will return in a mere three months - STAY TUNED!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Adventures in D-town!

This past weekend the Catlin sisters converged in Dallas for Mandy's 31st birthday celebration. It was an incredibly fun weekend and I'm so glad we could all be together to celebrate this special occasion. Her party took place at a wine bar and it was so much fun to catch up with many of her close friends, including our cousins, Jenny, Steven and Janet.

I've had an absolute blast visiting Dallas several times this summer. During Michelle's last weekend visiting Texas, we went to Dallas and had a wonderful time shopping, eating and going out in all the fabulous places D-town has to offer. She had an absolute blast on her Tour de Texas, and although it was sad to see her go back to Germany, I know my remaining time in Texas will fly by soon!

Now that I'm down to the wire with only four weeks left in this great state, I'm hoping to see as many friends as possible. Yesterday, I had a fantastic reunion with Laura and her baby, Canon, in Waco and I'm looking forward to being in West Texas this week for the annual Camp Meeting my family attends. It will be wonderful to be in the mountains and have some time with family and many friends I haven't seen in over a year.

Until next week.....