Tag Archives: Dallas

Road Trip 10/17 – Day 2

I blew the Day 1 title – I thought it was 10/22. I apparently jumped a whole week. I corrected that and now this is a “Muddy Shoes” insight to Day 2 – of what I am calling ‘Go get Alfred’ Road Trip!

Today’s post is more of a walk through my day. Maybe a bit boring compared to other adventures and road trips I’ve taken, but not every day can be a mountain top. There is life along the valley and hillside roadways as well. It is what makes the mountain tops that much more appreciated.

I arrived early because I left early. I am so blessed to know I can ask our church’s Sunday night activities to be flipped in a moment – that when I ask the deacons to step up – they always do. Any organization that has such great leading servants is truly blessed.

I approached Dallas from the northeast and had to stop at Buc-ees. If you’ve never experienced the Magnus Opus of all gas station stops, your life is not complete. You stop for gas and get a meal, travel snacks, Texas paraphernalia, and Christmas shopping all in one. Oh yeah, a bathroom fit for a mob. Loves and Rest Stops and TA and Sheetz are not even close. Though I do love my Sheets in Concord now!

Got the Christmas ideas down and headed into DFW via the bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard. Went to get the DFW toll tag for my wife’s new Subaru. I couldn’t put it in the normal spot – the vehicle has camera technology that prevents normal placement. So I had to break VA law and put it in one the front windshield’s corners. I’ve been told that this is legislatively taboo. We will see. Look at me – living on the wild side!

There is life along the valley and hillside roadways as well. It is what makes the mountain tops that much more appreciated.

Went downtown Dallas. I miss the ambiance … the multi-sensory, man-made, artistic touch of city life surrounded by concrete, steel, and patches of landscaping to make you think it’s not all man-made.
Farmer’s Market: indy type restaurants, tourists’ widgets, and hipster persona all in one place with skyscrapers filling the backdrop. (One of the pictures I have is a previous one with my wife and I having coffee at the market – she is not on this trip.)
El Fenix: a 107 year old cantina on the edge of UpTown (?) that is a favorite. It’s like stepping into history realizing the dates, the soldiers, proposals, birthday parties and so much more over the past 10+ decades.
Ross Perot Science Museum: I had an hour to kill before El Fenix opened.
Dallas Downtown: Drove by Thanksgiving Square, Klyde Warren Park (largest privately owned inner-city park), First Baptist Dallas, the old Post Office (which is now apartments).

From there – north to Prestonwood to meet my son for lunch. I got the car washed. My wife threatened my life with her new set of wheels – NO CRUMBS, just don’t eat in it at all. Made the 1300 mile road trip down here a bit hard!

My son and I tried a new place at the Star. The Star is the Cowboys training facility in Frisco. We went to Whalburgers. A great little chain by the Whalburgs. Great chili and burger – and had the have the tots! Worth a trip back (when I am in the area – not if I had to go 1200 miles for it!)

Off to the hotel – aLoft in trophy Club. A quirky little inn that is comfortable and cute. The decor is up style hipster and it’s quite a comfortable sleep and good shower. These two things are what makes it a nice respite. Took a little nap after being up about 35 hours.

One of the unique things is the wallpaper in the shower area. So many little things we need to appreciate.

Met my son for dinner. Bonefish. I felt like salmon but ended up with swordfish. Yum and healthy.

THEN – it’s time to be a papa dude (my preferred grandfather identification). Sammy has been filling unwell. Hacking seal cough. Vomitous moments. Extra clinginess. But his smile just melts the hardest heart. A little time with him before back to the hotel. He has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Hopefully all is just normal kid junk.


1- Family is so precious. Enjoy what you can. Adult families – reconcile and rebuild damaged relationships as much as is up to you. I miss my son, DIL, and Sammy. 3-4 times a year is just tough. But we live with eternity in mind.
2- Enjoy adventures but remember your home base is important. I called my wife, FaceTimed so she could see Sammy, and stay connected. Reread #1.
3- Rest is important. It makes the rest of the trip more appreciated. Thank you aLoft.

Tuesday will be great too. Looking forward in this great road trip!

Road Trip ‘20 … Day 3-5, Dallas

The sun had set over the Dunes. And now, I was going to head southeast to Dallas. I was singing Amarillo by Morning. Twelve more hours behind the wheels. I love driving but this was getting to me.

My son and his wife had just bought a new house and we had a house warming gift. Well, half a gift. I had a collection of gift cards that I was going to put in a plant. So now, I had to find a plant that would go with her babies … not that kind of babies. She has two good size girls, each with four legs.

So, after a couple of spots, a plant was procured and prepared. I headed to my son’s place of vocation. Now, nobody was supposed to be admitted without their temperature checked, but maybe I just had a trusting face. So a young intern (?) let me in a side door. I made it to security where they called my son out to this unknown gentleman who had gotten in stealthily.

No, wow. No, so cool. No, great to see you. No, hug. Just, “What are you doing here?” … oh yeah, and a fist bump. Social distance and all. And he added quickly, “hey, you can take me to lunch.”

The next two days were good food and great times together. No big events, just meals around different tables, time talking, and being together. Steak cooked by my daughter in law, burgers from Rodeo Goat, chicken and burgers from Marty Bs, and breakfast from Seven Mile Cafe. Shopping and more. DFW is known for the food and it didn’t disappoint.

One of the happiest times was just hanging out at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to switch phones. I passed my iPhone 11 to him for his 8. Between the two of us, we finally got it. But not after laughs and lots of miscues.

Those minutes shared, just him and me, that was the reason I drove over 4000 miles. Yeah, that’s the reason. Hiking and parks were good. But the moments with him, that was the big enchilada. Oh yeah, his wife too, but she is the icing (don’t take that personal, new daughter-in-law).

On Friday, I went to my fav coffee shoppe ... Buzz Brews. But alas, the store had been closed … and a lock-out notice on the door. My one trip downtown had a disappointed ending.

Saturday afternoon, I broke my heart when I drove away. The departure was one of the hardest ever. Never before had I felt this depth of temporary loss.

God has a way of getting my attention on something else. The engine light came on. I took it easy. Prayed. And trusted. It got me home, just misfiring occasionally. But I never lost the emotional hardship of the separation.

I made it home. And we have a great anticipation for their trip here in July for a wedding.

Don’t ever lose the appreciation for those minutes with loved ones. Treasure them. And don’t let any opportunity slip by.

And in the end, it’s great to know all who call on the Lord will be together forever in heaven. That’s comforting, so comforting.

The Leaning Tower of … Dallas

I had driven by it many times. Just north of downtown Dallas was an eleven story building that had been strapped with over 300 pounds of explosives. It has to come down to make way for progress, which in this case is a 2.5 billion dollar development. But 300 pounds wasn’t enough. When the dust settled, the building was down – mostly. At the building’s core was an elevator shaft built to survive hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes … and apparently explosives too. It remained, but it remained tilted, leaning just like that tower in Pisa. A week or so later, they tried a wrecking ball. Still it remains. So until a bigger wrecking ball can come in and finish the job, Dallas has a new landmark whose images are circulating on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.

People are petitioning for it to become a landmark. Choctaw Casino has come in and taken advantage of the situation.

I have two lessons from this … and like a preacher, one will comfort the afflicted, and the other will afflict the comforted. Let’s start with the positive first.

Life throws a lot at us, and not all of it is easy. We get hit with difficult relationships, disappointments, health issues, and rebellious parents and/or children. Maybe it’s financial shortfalls, moral stumbles, temptations tugging at us, or personal failures. They come like storms, shockwaves, and sometimes, explosives. But if our foundation is solid, if our base is grounded in the unwavering Word of God … we will weather the storms. We may survive with wounds, scars, heartaches, and hurts … but we survive. Like the leaning tower of Dallas, we are still standing. The Bible talks about building our house on the rock … we will outlast what ever is thrown at us. And that is an encouraging word to remind us to make our foundation on Him and His Word.

But my second look at this story tells me there is a danger as well. Sometimes God wants to do something new, something fresh in our individual life or our church life. Like a church that is being prepared for a move into fresh growth, new ministries, and have a greater impact for Kingdom work … and sometimes removing existing systems is needed to allow growth. But we’ve built in traditions, set up preferences to our way of doing things, and have created stiff necked church members. And when leadership begins working for the future of the church, casting a vision, and sharing a passion for reaching new families and individuals, for motivating for more missional living … old ways won’t go away easily. Like the leaning tower to Dallas, we just won’t give way. Individually, when we continue to hold on to our way instead of God’s way, we may survive, but then God has to do more discipline, more pruning, and maybe even bring in a wrecking ball to make sure His way will prevail … and His way will always prevail in the end.

So, I hope we all find ourself in the first lesson and not the second. Otherwise, you may temporarily get you’re way – but you better get ready for even stronger discipline from our Lord. A stronger wrecking ball just might be headed your way.


Extra … another Dallas landmark. Did you know that Dallas also has the tallest interchange in the world … the High Five. 140 feet from level one to the top, 43 bridges, 710 supports, and 60 miles of roadway. It even has part of the Cottonwood hiking trail integrated into it on the bottom level. Dallas peeps, do you know which of the several five layer interchanges it is?

Stop Giving Thanks to God

Shots from Thanksgiving Plaza in Dallas

Put away the pitchforks. Extinguish the flames and put the oil back in the tank. I am not trying to be heretical. Yes, I know that we are to give thanks in everything. Yes I know every good thing is from above. And yes, I am very, very, very thankful for all our Lord has done. Did I say very?

I tagged the title to grab your attention. There are times I seek to prompt praises and adorations from individuals/groups as we pray. I seek for us to acknowledge the greatness of our God, to attempt to describe the indescribable, to lift His name on high, and to challenge us to worship Him for who He is. I seek praises for our God. Though closely related, praises are different than thanksgivings.

We praise God for who He is – – we thank God for what He has done.

Examples … there are times that I know without doubt that God has provided resources, such as financial assistance or an open door for opportunities. I thank Him for what He provided … I praise Him for being the God that is caring and compassionate. I thank Him for showing me compassion (as in Him taking my place on the cross) but I praise Him for being a compassionate God.

So I praise Him for being a sovereign, healer, all powerful, all knowing, and faithful God (just to list a few.). I thank Him for healing me, redeeming me, protecting me, saving me.

So, back to the start here. Stop giving thanks to God for what He has done for you, but just long enough to praise Him for who He is. After all, He inhabits the praises of His people.

This Easter, may we offer our praises and our thanksgivings.

It’s 7-11 … Go get a Slurpee

It’s 7-11, so it’s the day to go pick up a Slurpee at your local 7-Eleven store. I know I will be headed for mine early.

Here are a few pieces of historical trivia …

  • 7-Eleven started in Dallas, specifically Oak Cliff at the corner of Edgefield and 12th, in 1927. (see the attached picture)
  • It was formed when some ice houses formed Southland Ice Company. Then one of the ice houses began to sell food and other items. All the Ice Houses followed the pattern and began to sell food and other items.
  • They were first called Tote’m Stores – a name that came about because of two reasons. First the president of Southland Ice would put Alaskan Totem Poles outside of some of the stores to help people identify the stores. And second, customers would ‘tote’ away their purchases (a pun intended by the President of the company)
  • It was renamed 7-Eleven in in 1946, based on the hours it would remain open. These hours were considered extensive back then.
  • 24 hours of operation began in 1963.
  • It is now owned by a Japanese corporation and has more outlets than any chain – anywhere … over 50,000.

Now some fun trivia …

  • With the release of The Simpson Movie, 12 select stores were renamed Kwik-E-Mart and carried items from the show like Krusty-O’s cereal.
  • Stores are different around the globe … example: Hip, upscale coffee shop feel in Indonesia.
  • Manitoba Canada is Slurpee capital of the world – Maryland is leader in hot dogs – and Long Islanders lead in coffee sales.
  • Slurpees were an accident invented at a Dairy Queen. When the soda fountain broke, he put pops in the freezer. When he opened them, they were slushee. People loved them and kept requesting them
  • He built a specialized machine from an AC unit removed from a car.
  • He called them ICEE but sold the license to 7-Eleven in 1965. They renamed it and the rest is history.

Why this trip down memory lane? No real reason – just some fun 411. Not everything has to be a lesson. And that today is the lesson.

So go get a Slurpee. Me, I prefer Dr. Pepper flavor.  How about your fav flav?

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