Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Hey, Arboretum


(click any pic to enlarge and sharpen)

The Dallas Arboretum is the centerpiece in an oasis in a concrete jungle. Plus, the deli makes a great panini.

Lone Star GangShannon and I loaded up her father and Ben in the minivan and headed out last Sunday for a warm, overcast-then-sunny afternoon among the flowers. Every city’s residents should be fortunate enough to have such a grand retreat into Nature’s colors.

Tulips ruled the day, azaleas took second and Japanese Maples ran a close third. If you don’t make it to the bottom picture of this post, then you just ain’t livin’.

More Than TiptoeRed and Yellow

We ate in a gazebo whose corner posts crawled with wisteria vines. The lavender flowers hung over the eaves, their fragrance floating in the brisk breeze, which also happened to blow away our napkins and plastic utensil wrappers.

Horse DrawnWe enjoyed a carriage ride, pulled by two “real” Clydesdales, not those “freaks of nature” Budweiser uses, according to our driver. In fact, he said, they get about 10 of those size for every 1000 they breed (or was it 2000?).

Benjamin was a handful at times, but mostly he enjoyed smelling the flowers and running under the water spouted by the oversized spitting frogs of Dallas County. What I wouldn’t give for waterproof cameras so I could follow him around in there. Something about kids playing in water defies explanation (keep going if you want to see proof).

Spitting FrogStop and Smell

I’m mostly happy with the pics, but our attempted re-shoot of the blog’s About Me picture didn’t quite make the cut (compare Shannon in the top pic to the About Me picture right beside it to get an idea why she wants a new one — 17.8 18.6 pounds and counting!).

Azales and MaplesDuck in Corner

Thursday is here and I’m ready to be back with my family after a long work trip. The next post promises images of an intriguing event that I’m not quite sure I’ll like, but that I will be unable to resist chronicling.

(Note: The post title refers to an obscure song on the claymation-animated computer game, “The Neverhood.” I’m sure it’s a misheard lyric, but Shannon and I still swear that’s what the singer says, even though it’s “operator.” Listen below for yourself.)


14 Responses to Hey, Arboretum

  1. These are wonderful…my favorite is the one of Ben and Shannon at the beginning. Looks like a wonderful day!

  2. The first picture, is quite possibly the finest picture I’ve ever seen you post, and you’ve had some beauties.
    The last one was outstanding too bud!

  3. Anna – That is my favorite, too. I started asking the moment we arrived, “Um, Shannon, where’s that little cottage?” We finally found it, and the only thing I might change is Ben’s wet hair.

    Dave – Thanks. As you can tell from my reply to Anna, it was not completely an accident. Ben was downright wriggly that day, but I caught him! The average point and shoot digital would have missed the first and the last shots.

  4. Um, make that 18.6, babe.

  5. First things first. Congrats, Shannon! I know it ain’t easy, but you’re doing great and looking (if I may steal your husband’s word) bodacious.

    Also, great pictures, Mark. The bookends are by far the best for very different reasons.

    I have to bring up, though, that the idea of you “loading” Shannon’s Dad into the minivan seems a bit insulting, as if he were incabale of getting into the van without assistance; that it took, in fact, both of you to heave him into the vehicle (which is clearly not the case for the spry young gentleman pictued in the “Lone Star Gang” photo) I’ll say right now that if my son-in-law ever used such language with me….there’d be heck to pay. Heck, I say.

    And what’s wrong with our Clydesdales? Yeah, it takes about 1000 to get one awesome enough to pull the Budweiser wagon…but that just makes them exceptional. Sounds like your horseman had himself a case of sour grapes. But, St Louis envy is a curse I’ve had to get used to since moving to my fair city ;)

  6. Bon Jovi would be so pissed of at that statue.

    “NO! I said I want to lay you down in a bed of ROSES! Get it right, people!”

    I agree with Moksha that the bookend pics are the best ones up there. Ben under the water is priceless. And Shannon, at the risk of being too presumptuous, is a damn fine looking blonde. I’d pat her bum inappropriately for sure.

    We have the Muttart Conservatory out here, which is four glass pyramids, each housing a different climate and its respective flora. Fun stuff, but I haven’t been in years.

    And lastly, Moksha: “incabale” ??!! I expect misspellings from you, but that one defies even my growing tolerance to overlook.

  7. I…um…I can’t even make an excuse for that one, Simon. I apologize for so clearly upsetting you. Although, imagining you fuming over your keyboard almost makes it worth the embarrassment I get from so publicly displaying my sloppy, sloppy typing.

  8. Shan – Oops. Fixed that.

    Moksha and Simon – You can talk about my wife’s good looks any time you want — so long as the courtesy goes the other way.

    I loved you guys’ discussion about the typo. I can feel the comroddy.

    Moksha – We didn’t really load her dad in. I just liked that sentence better than the usual, “Shannon, her dad, Benjamin, and I all got in the van.” May her dad live to be a very old man without needing the kind of assistance my sentence might have suggested.

    Fair city, eh? We’ll see about that in May.

    Simon – I think of a song from the Reality Bites soundtrack when I think of “Bed of Roses.” I think that Bon Jovi song came after my fandom had waned.

    Glass pyramids sound pretty cool. Might have to look it up online.

  9. Did Moksha just call your wife bodacious? Nice! ;)

  10. Thanks for the compliments, guys! It feels good to know I’m still seen as a piece of meat sometimes! ;o)

  11. Moksha, I wouldn’t say fuming over my keyboard so much as frothing slightly at the mouth.

    Mark, are you saying that we HAVE to compliment you on YOUR good looks now, too? Even if your wife is better looking than you are? The unadulterated hubris, man! Is nothing sacred?? Still, I imagine you have tight little buns.

  12. [in keeping with Mark’s bizzare, new rule]

    Si – Having seen Mark’s tight little buns in person, may I say that you are in for a visual treat in May. Let’s just say all those Sugarloaf hikes have done wonders.

  13. Okay, guys. Although I’ve always taken pride in avoiding diminished glute syndrome (DGS), a little clarification is in order.

    When I said, “as long as the courtesy goes the other way,” I meant that it’s only fair that I can ogle and/or compliment your wives in the same manner.

    That said, Moksha’s hot, Simon.

  14. No fair, just cause you’ve already seen him. Once you notice what a well-turned calf I have, as well as a set of pythons bursting out of my shirt sleeves, you’ll be all over me.

    And yeah, you can ogle my wife any time. I have to say, she’s very ogly.


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