Monday, August 1, 2011

And We’re Back

Vacations are a study in human nature. Try walking into a restaurant at 8 pm with a crowd of 24 hungry people and you’ll see what I mean.

In that case, the waitress flinched as we paraded through the door. But she sighed and went to work feeding my dysfunctional family and me. We left her a large tip and much praise. That helped I think.

Still I noticed her face whiten before she could control her emotions. A nice character trait for my MC to emulate.

Vacations (with my brothers, their families, and my own) are as easy-going or as difficult as we let them be. I learned some time ago that organization is a dirty word when surrounded by such a myriad of differing personalities. I go with the flow and repeat this mantra at regular intervals: I am on vacation, I am on vacation.

Southeast Missouri has some of the coolest geography.



caves, and old, old lava.

ElephantRocks State Park consists of monstrous pink granite boulders lined up in a parade. Their mossy hides complete the image by giving them a gray hue.

But lemme tell ya, standing beside tons of boulders in 100-degree heat is not particularly pleasant.

Conducive to sunstroke more like.


  1. If it were my family, I'd be happy if the waitress didn't try and strangle one or more of us.

  2. I can't stop laughing at Chris's comment!

    I'm glad you had a nice, if chaotic, holiday. Go with the flow, I also say. It's much nicer to be relaxed that wound-up.

    Thanks for signing up to my blogfest.

  3. @Chris
    Um...the Stink Eye was employed by said waitress when she asked, "Who has the Meat Lovers Pizza" and no one answered for a count of 20 seconds. She was holding this large, hot pizza with about 7 more behind her.

    I almost yelled, "JC, can't you people get organized?"
    Luckily, I swallowed the comment and threw another 5 bucks, tip money, on the table.

    Thank you for offering! I am old/ancient/elderly enough to have seen the original Star Trek series on first-run TV. Loved it then, love it now.

  4. When I was a waitress a large enough tip made up for just about anything. ;)

  5. Forget the restaurant, I loved the pictures.

  6. I bet it was warm! Hey, with that many family members, you either go with the flow or go insane.

  7. Definitely go with the flow. Less stressful that way. Though, with small children, a little bit of organization would help (naptimes and snacktimes, ya know.)

    Sounds like you had fun, despite the heat. Thanks for sharing pics--those are beautiful! ;)

    And uh, welcome back.

  8. @Linda
    Every table left a generous tip.

    Thank you. The rock pics cannot do justice to the actual things. They are huge.
    Um, a little of both. Mostly I have this twitch and I talk to myself...oh wait. That's my characters talking to me. And me answering.

  9. @ cherie
    We had a 8 bedroom house to ourselves, a monster-size kitchen, living room, wrap around porch and (most importantly) 4 bathrooms.
    Yes, it was lovely.

  10. awesome pics! love those large party dinners w/family =)

    also had to say i loved your one liner entry in the mystery agent contest!

  11. @Tara
    Wooooo....Thanks :) Magic is out there in the hands of an agent or two.
    I was on the point of self pub with it. Now, eh, maybe not.

  12. Beautiful scenery! Glad you're back in one piece. We missed you in the blogasphere. :)

  13. Why must you make me jealous for vacations?

  14. Sounds like quite a vacation with a great number of people. Love the pics!

  15. Welcome home, and thanks for the picture of the rock that looks like an elephant's butt. That made me smile :)

  16. ps, stop by and pick up an award =)


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