January to March 2017

The best way to kick off the New Year was to fly to Dallas

and then to drive to McKinney to visit the Sidler family.

We celebrated our first night enjoying Texas barbecue at

Hutchins BBQ and Catfish. The line was long, but it was worth the wait.




Steve recommended the brisket, ribs, and sausage,

so I tried them all. The ribs were even better

 than Country Line BBQ in Austin.


The next morning we had time to visit downtown Dallas

before attending Mass at St. Gabriel's Church in McKinney.

The morning sun was bright in downtown Dallas.

But we didn't intend to tour the city. We were in search of

the cattle drive sculpture that we had heard about.



We followed the cowboy to the cattle where Barbara and I pretended to help:




After snapping a few pictures, we drove back to McKinney for Mass

then a tour of old town McKinney and lunch at The Pantry.



We spent the afternoon with the Sidler family catching up with the latest news

and watching NFL football. Steve and Jennifer treated us

to dinner at an all you can eat Chinese restaurant in Plano:



On Monday we flew back to California. We treasured the time we had before

Jennifer and Steve returned to work, and all the kids were back in school.  


A week later, while Shane was winning another tennis match in Redding,

we joined Tori and Mikayla for spaghetti dinner. Then I helped

Mikayla write a report about her great grandma, Helen, as

Tori enjoyed the time off from school on the

Martin Luther King holiday.





Paradise was being deluged with rain in February,

so we drove to Oroville Dam to see how it was filling.

We could see that it was almost full and that the spillway was gushing.

The local television stations were monitoring the dramatic scene for the evening news:




A few days later Yuba City was evacuated when the emergency spillway started to crumble. Maggie, Jason, and Carson brought Bella with them to spend a few days with us safe above the dam. Carson pretended to be Cupid with a bow and arrow that I helped him make from some tree limbs.



A few days later we celebrated Maggie's 40th birthday along with her brothers, Jeff and Joe:



While the Neibers guarded our home, Barbara and I

drove to Ventura to help Ellen find a van at Carmax:



A few weeks later we joined Jeff for his birthday celebration

with Mikayla and Tori:




Next: Bev and Pat's 50th Anniversary


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