Tag Archives: Sam Houston Village

A Wet and Not-So-Wild Weekend

Avoiding eye contact with people, aliens, and cameras

Can you tell that the kid isn’t a morning person?

The best-laid plans of mice, men (dads), and moms too often can get waylaid by the weather. That’s what the Mister and I experienced as we tried to enjoy our first Sam Houston State Family Weekend with our younger son last Saturday.

Come along for the ride as I recap most of our unusual day.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

One of the highlights of our visit was checking out the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and grounds (the Mister and I are history buffs). 

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

Before we entered the building, our son got to test his skill with a tomahawk. Good athlete that he is, he hit the target twice and probably would’ve sliced off at least a toe with his third effort.

Sam lived a colorful life.

Sam lived a full and interesting life.

After the kid’s weapon wizardry, we went into the museum to learn more about his university’s namesake. All three rooms were packed with photos, paintings, artifacts, and information; it was fascinating!

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

What most intrigued our son, though, was a talking diorama of the injured General Sam Houston interrogating Mexican meanie Santa Anna after his defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.

Note the sword behind Sam

Check out the sword behind Sam.

More specifically, it was the sword behind Sudden Sam that sparked the kid’s interest. Oh, how he wanted to touch it! I told him to fight that urge, as I turned away. Next thing I heard was a loud, female, somewhat robotic voice saying, “Get out of the diorama!”

Yep, the kid had touched the sword, which set off a sensor. Embarrassing yet so funny that I’m sure we’ll be reliving that moment again and again and again. Hey, son, get out of the diorama!

Bowers Stadium

Bowers Stadium (note the ominous clouds)

After we ate a catered lunch and dropped the kid back at his dorm (supposedly to study), the Mister and I walked to Bowers Stadium to watch SHSU hopefully defeat rival Eastern Washington (they were nationally ranked #4 and #3, respectively, in the Football Conference Subdivision).

Along the way, it was drizzling a bit. Unbelievably (for me), I actually had not only found two ponchos (just in case) but also remembered to bring them with us! Really, folks, that’s pretty miraculous when you’re suffering from CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) disease.

Again, note the clouds.

Again, note the clouds.

Once we got to our seats, that drizzle turned heavier. On went the ponchos just in time, as the dark skies opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and scary lightning. Naturally, we left our metal seats and looked for an overhang. All of them were packed with soaked people.

When the announcer said the game would be delayed for at least an hour, the Mister and I decided to bag it and spend time with our beloved baby boy at his dorm. Eventually, the storm moved out, and SHSU came away with a victory, by the way.

A crowded desk

A crowded desk

Although we would’ve loved watching the game, we enjoyed being with the kid more. He insisted we watch the first season of “Seinfeld” (he’s become addicted).

Father and son get the comfy digs.

Father and son get the comfy digs.

It was just like old times with our son . . . except for the cramped quarters and soggy shoes and socks. While the Mister napped, the kid and I had fun tossing around his Tigger ball. Later we threw a little football and mini discs. Just like home, except that the mess stayed while I left. I liked that part a lot!

After we had eaten dinner, made a Walmart stop, and enjoyed some great SHSU volleyball, it was time to bid adieu to our bearded boy and drive the 90 minutes back home. As I hugged him tightly, I was glad we got the chance to see how comfortable he is in his new environs, as well as enjoy some of what makes the campus unique (thanks to General Sam).

Next time we get the chance to see the Bearkats’ football team in action, at least it will be indoors against Stephen F. Austin State, the Battle of the Piney Woods, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

No ponchos necessary!

My #2 Son Moves On

Almost to Huntsville; you can see the big Sam Houston statue up the road.

Almost to Huntsville; you can see the big Sam Houston statue up the road.

You would think that after three straight years of college move-ins that our family would’ve been like pros when it came to transporting my younger son last Saturday to Huntsville.

Sadly, you would be mistaken.

The boys have their own bathroom.

The boys have their own bathroom.

That’s because we remain procrastinators. As if watching our younger son leave the nest isn’t bad enough, the Mister and I insisted on adding to our stress by waiting until the last minute to get things done (although that’s absolutely nothing new for us). Last Friday night (into early morning) wasn’t a fun time to be a member of our household.

The "kitchen area": Small but usable

The “kitchen area”: Small but usable

Fortunately, we pretty much had our act together when it came time to hit the road for the 90-minute trip north to Sam Houston State University (with only one return for a key, forgotten item while we were still close to home). The Mister and I drove the majority of the kid’s essentials in our Honda Odyssey; our sons followed in the Ford Fusion, which our younger son will keep near his dorm.

Because our sons are so close, we were glad that they had a last chance to talk, laugh, and commiserate about classes. I’m sure they were trying to top each other when saying how much they would miss their parents (as if!).

Hope they have friends stop by.

Hope they have friends stop by.

We got to the kid’s dorm, Sam Houston Village, which is fairly new, around 10:30 a.m. Which meant we had to wait in the heat for the doors to open for about a half hour (move-in was 11 a.m.-5 p.m.). Few cars were able to get close to the doors for unloading (there are three residence halls in the same area, all with students moving in at the same time), so we were glad we had our company’s dolly (which just so happened to be that key, forgotten item).

Looking good at his desk (with his brother asleep on the bed)

Looking good at his desk (with his brother asleep on the bed)

RJ, my son’s roommate who he has known since kindergarten, and his parents had pretty much moved his stuff into his bedroom by the time we got to their second-floor room. The boys each have their own bedroom with separate, locking doors. They share the sitting area, kitchen (microwave, small fridge, sink, and cabinets), and bathroom. It’s very nice, but, quite honestly, we were used to the spaciousness of our older son’s UTSA dorm. This one is tiny in comparison.

Good thing my younger son didn’t have a lot to move in. He actually could rent out half of his closet!

I think this will get a lot of use.

I think this will get a lot of use.

One thing the kid insisted on bringing was his disc golf mini basket. I’m sure he and RJ will have weekly competitions. He also has his disc golf bag with him. Hopefully, he’ll keep his skills sharp at some local courses.

Ready for college!

Ready for college!

After the two families finished moving the boys in, setting up electronics, and making a quick Target run, it was about 5:30 p.m. Time to say goodbye before both of them walked across campus for ultimate frisbee practice. (It’s nice that both of them are jocks.)

RJ’s mom, Veronica, and I marveled at how we met 13 years ago in Ms. Germany’s kindergarten class. Who could have guessed back then that our little cuties would be college roommates! Nice how that worked out.

Brothers and besties

Brothers and besties

And now both my sons are in college. The younger one told me that they plan to Skype; I know they’ll always keep in touch. Now they’ll have even more to share.

As I watched my beloved baby boy walk away from us after my last, tearful hug, a lot of thoughts went through my head. I was so happy that he seemed to be right at home in his dorm. I was glad that he already had an activity (ultimate) where he can meet other students. I was relieved that he had several days until school starts (tomorrow) to walk his schedule and get to know the campus.

But, of course, I couldn’t help but feel sad for myself. Our house would be so quiet without him. I know I’m going to miss him (and his brother) an astronomical amount.

As well as all my blogging material!

The Final Day, Take 2

Lots of stuff is waiting to be packed.

Lots of stuff is waiting to be packed.

What happened to our summer vacation? It seems like the days were filled with steel, naturally and hopelessly drawn to a magnetic date I had circled on the calendar back in early June.

That date? August 24th. Or, more specifically, when we would move my younger son to his Sam Houston State dorm, Sam Houston Village.

Which is tomorrow.

The kid lasers in a putt during last Tuesday's Southwest Handicap Mini.

The kid lasers in a putt during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini.

Three years ago, I faced this final day before my older son left for UTSA. And now it’s his little brother’s turn. Once again it’s bittersweet: Sweet, because I’m happy and thankful that my son has a wonderful college opportunity. Bitter, because, like with his big bro, I’ll miss him so much.

The kid channels his inner ghost while waiting for his eye checkup.

The kid channels his inner ghost while waiting for his eye checkup.

And to add to this mixed bag of feelings is the fact that this is my baby who is flying away from the nest. He’s always been so close to the Mister and I. I always can count on him to distract me from my work with terrific talks about anything and everything (well, except for his love life, he told me), spontaneous outings, and “Scrubs” marathons on Netflix.

How I will miss his smile, his twinkly green eyes, and his ready laugh! I’m sure I’ll feel lost and alone at times.

As I wrote three years ago, no one can sum up how a dedicated and devoted mom feels when her kids leave home like that silly, old bear, Winnie the Pooh:

This says it all!

This says it all!

Yes, my beloved baby boy, I will always be with you in your heart, as you always will be in mine. I would write more . . . but I suddenly can’t see the iMac monitor through my tears once again.

Looking Ahead in the Present

RJ and the kid are ready!

RJ and the kid take a break before the first-day sessions started.

Talk about your whirlwinds!

It seems like the last couple weeks have been so jam-packed that they’re pretty much a blur. I went from picking up my mom from the airport on June 6 to my younger son’s emotional high school graduation on June 8 to the all-night ProGrad afterwards to dropping Mom off at the airport the following Monday.

But there was no rest for the weary, because Sam Houston State’s orientation beckoned for the kid and his roommate, RJ (who he’s known since kindergarten), last Thursday and Friday. This, of course, is my second rodeo, but I was curious to see how SHSU’s version differed from UTSA’s.

The campus looked green and lush.

The campus looked green and lush.

The boys and I headed up to Huntsville to learn what to expect when they move into their dorm and start classes in late August. It was very educational (pun intended)! For most of the sessions, parents and students were separate. I was impressed with the information we heard and the heartfelt emotion displayed by orientation leaders, administrators, teachers, and staff. It sounds like the boys will be in good hands.

Big Sam Houston watches over the boys.

Big Sam Houston watches over the boys.

Orientation is about possibilities. It’s about looking ahead to hopefully a wonderful college experience from today until August 25, when they move into their dorm, Sam Houston Village. For the class of 2017, the road ahead seems long, winding, uncertain, and exciting.

I would say that for these two roommates, they’re ready to take that first step, thanks to orientation.