Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gone to Texas.

My brother arrives tomorrow at the wheel of a 33 foot motorhome, belonging to my second cousin Charlotte and her pal, Ruth. Charlotte (and presumably Ruth) are retired full bird Army colonels. They earned Vietnam service ribbons. They have many friends and former colleagues.

Charlotte called a month ago, asking me to help drive her from Richmond to San Antonio. Not a good health year for her, she said. She is in her eighties. Charlotte and Ruth (who broke her hip last winter)spend the summers at the family homestead in Vermont. They winter in San Antonio. I have not been feeling  perky lately, so I called my brother to help. He did agree: I want everyone to remember that. Our mission is to get The Ladies there. Neil texted me today: "Call me Toby"; The Brass still have their bark, used as necessary on the help, i.e., Neil. There are two cats and a sloppily cleaned reeking cat box in the RV. On the bright side, Neil saw DC while they were attending a women's war memorial gathering, dedication; he offered few details. Neil, to walk off some energy, walked 6 miles around the District, and saw JFK's grave. Charlotte and Ruth included him in a tour of the Rose Garden at the White House; I asked if they toured the veg plot. "No".

The next stop after Richmond I have been told of is Montgomery, Alabama. Never been there. Neil mentioned eating mudbugs in Louisiana, get some decent boudin ; I'm up for that.We pass right under the BBQ capital of Texas, Lockhart, on the way to San Antone. Once there, TexMex cuisine. New cities, different skies. I have not seen Neil in 11 months. I am looking forward to this trip, cats, colonels, and all.

Photo: My brother, in my mother's arms.


Roderick Robinson said...

Your post's like a US idiom test, some I know, some I don't:

full bird
brass have bark
help (as a noun)
boudin (Hello, Froggie stranger)

Sorry you haven't been perky. Your mum looks aristocratic. "A change," they say, "is as good as a rest"

Relucent Reader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Relucent Reader said...

RR, thank you for the comment;my initial reply was somehow truncated, so I will try again.
A "full bird" is a colonel, rank denoted by an eagle with spread wings;"homestead" the "a" definition applies: home and adjoining land occupied by a family (in this case the Phillips family). "Brass have bark": officers are called "brass" by enlisted personnel out of brass' earshot; "bark" refers to their sometimes bossy clipped tones when directing "the help", i.e. enlisted, spouses,or drivers (my brother and I). An "RV" is a motorhome. "Mudbugs" is a colloquialism for crawfish, a freshwater crustacean; a delicacy in Louisiana. "Boudin" you know about; my mother served it (the noir version) occasionally. My brother and I were possibly the only kids in Weymouth MA to eat the stuff. I do not know where she aquired it in those pre-foodie days.
Mom may look aristo/snooty in the snap, but she was a daughter of a (successful) farmer. I was 8 when he died: he always wore a white shirt and tie even in retirement, and let me sit on his lap and blow out the match he lit his (corncob) pipe with.
Hope all is well with you and yours, regards to the missus.

Roderick Robinson said...

Just a secular, seasonal blink of the eye. Reading your last comment I see crawfish where we would say crayfish. For craw is what things get stuck in. To you and (that strangely British salutation) The Missus.