Saturday, November 1, 2008

Here I go again.

There is not too much to write about, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to stretch this post out much longer than it needs to be. Let's see how I do.

On Friday (Halloween) afternoon, Aaron, Jake, and I unexpectedly packed up the car and headed to Hattiesburg. Aaron sent me a text message at about 11:00 telling me of his option to vote early, and by 2:00, we were trucking away to south Mississippi. Aaron is still registered to vote in Hattiesburg, so Election Day is always a massive inconvenience because he is never in Hattiesburg. No distance would have been too far, because no way would Aaron ever miss an election, especially one so historical in nature. I would challenge anybody who has a few spare days/weeks to take a look at his Facebook profile, and read some of the political mumbo jumbo that he gets involved in with other people. He uses a lot of jargon, so be prepared if you are going to take the challenge.

I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to get to spend Halloween at my house, because we have the cutest little kids in our neighborhood and they had all briefed me on what they were going to be. I was so looking forward to seeing superman, the Dark Knight, the white Power Ranger, Cinderella, and Darth Vader at my door and handing them an unnatural amount of candy. To make myself feel better, I left a big bowl of candy outside my front door with a sign that told them to take as much candy as they want (but don't get too sick) and that I was sorry that I couldn't see their costumes.

We made a pit stop in Jackson where we celebrated Yaya's 88th birthday with her, my daddy and his lovely wife Jan, and my two brothers, Chase and Drew. It is times like those when I get slapped in the face with how much I miss them. They are so fun and lighthearted and I literally cannot get enough of them. I very seriously doubt they would say the same about me. On a side note, Chase's new bride, Adrea, recently launched a blog to chronicle their new lives as newlyweds. I would recommend reading it after you finish my novel.

I would like to take a second to mention the car ride from Jackson to Hattiesburg. It was one of my favorite road trips ever for two reasons. The first reason is because Aaron tried to sing the Bill Withers song "Give me the beat boys," and what actually came out of his mouth was "Give me the beach boys and clear my soul." He claims he was joking, but don't let him fool you. Any music from the 70's or 80's is like a huge blur to him, so it is no surprise that he can mess that song up. Also, don't be surprised if he writes a comment to this post trying to defend himself. Believe you me, I was there and heard it with my own ears. Do not listen to him. The second reason the road trip was so great was because we were having a great, semi-serious conversation, and out of nowhere, Aaron screams "Ghostbusters!" Sure enough, he recognized the first two notes of the Ghostbusters song on the radio and our conversation came to a quick halt. We listened to the song all the way through at a very loud volume, and the only part that we actually sang along to was obviously "Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!" Aaron turned into a five year old when he heard the song and his face lit up like a Christmas tree, and it was completely worth the death of the great conversation. That was a pretty long rabbit trail, but I thought it was blog worthy. Do you agree?

We got to Hattiesburg just in time to stuff our faces with a big fat, juicy pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, fresh rolls, and tea. My mouth waters just thinking about it, and if you have ever eaten anything that comes off of Randy Rice's grill, you would understand. We stayed up unbearably late (11:00 p.m.) talking until my eyes started closing in mid-sentence.

Aaron voted Saturday morning and we hit the road shortly afterwards so we could get home for him to work on school stuff. On the ride home, we got to talk to Ryan (in Iraq) for a little while and he made us feel SO much better about him being there. He assured me that he was super safe and doing well and he loved what he was doing. Of course, the prayers must continue, but please join me as I praise God for good news!

Ryan is the Marine to the far right. He is providing security for a doctor (far left) and an Iraqi translator (center). This photo was featured in this article.

We also took a detour through Duck Hill, which is where Aaron and his siblings spent a good chunk of their childhood days. The Rice family owned a cabin and some hunting land in Duck Hill, and I have heard countless stories about this cabin and their crazy (literally, crazy) adventures since the day I met Aaron. When we drove up to the cabin, I was so excited to actually visualize what all the Rice kids have been talking about for the past eight years I have known them. Aaron walked me through all the trails and food plots and showed me the trees that he and his dad planted so many years ago. A "fort" that he and Ryan built almost 15 years ago was still there and I could almost watch the flashbacks playing in his head as he told me stories of how they built it. Here are some pictures from this little excursion:

Aaron as a 25 year old remembering his golden youth.

The cabin.

Mr. Rice (a registered forester) planted all those colorful trees when Aaron was a kid.
Now the trees are huge.

Remnants from the fort that Aaron and Ryan built as 10 year olds.

They had a beautiful lake with tons of ducks floating around. It was GORGEOUS.

Another awesome thing that happened on our way back was that I got up close and personal with a cotton field. Growing up in northeast Jackson, I don't remember ever seeing cotton fields, so I took this opportunity to pick a piece of cotton and get a geography lesson from Aaron.

Before we could actually end the road trip, we had to continue a newfound tradition of driving through a neighborhood outside of Oxford that has tons of deer roaming around. We saw five or six deer in the few minutes we drove around. We both get really excited when we see deer. I think they are pretty to look at but Aaron thinks they are his enemy and he needs to kill them for survival just in case I never get a job and we go completely broke.

When we got back to Oxford, Aaron had a hankering for Indian food. Since I had adventured with cool, new things all day (like the cotton field), I didn't make him go alone. I wish I did though, because now I have the worst heart burn known to man, and we don't have any TUMS.

The bowl of candy I left at the front door was half empty (or half full) and candy wrappers were strewn about our yard. I bet it was the white Power Ranger - that kid just looks suspicious.

So there ya have it. How we spent the past 24 hours. Can you beat that?


Liz T. said...

that is one eventful weekend! let's get together soon:)

Haley said...

The cabin! Is it sappy if I admit that I actually teared up a little looking at those pictures? Man it has been a long time. And now I miss home so much. I am glad you got to talk to Ryan and that it was encouraging. I miss him too. Crap. I am totally going to cry.

Aaron said...

She lies. We've joked for years about how I thought it was "the beach boys" when I was a kid. I sang it that way as a joke and she instantly saw another opportunity to lampoon me on "our" blog. You think she's so sweet and innocent...she has you all fooled.

Kelly Rice said...

Aaron, I already warned everybody in my post that you would try to defend yourself. You lose buddy.

Aaron said...

Very clever of you. Doesn't sound like something a sweet innocent little girl would think of, does it?

Kelly Rice said...

It sounds like something that a wife of four years would think of, because she knows every move her husband makes before it even enters his mind. Nothing you can do about it. Embrace it.

Aaron said...

That's true. Only a four year old would defend himself when wrongly accused and denigrated.

kelly rice said...

Don't treat me like one of your political antagonists.

Aaron said...

You mess with a bull, you get the horns.

Prime example:

"You like that picture? Its me...grabbing the bull by the horns, its the way I look at life, its a metaphor...but it really happened." - Dodgeball.

kelly rice said...

Right on. Good one, mate. You're a good fellow.

This is the final word. Don't respond.

Can you do that? Not have the last word? Lets play the quiet game now.

Aaron said...

Yes Mam. Whoops.

Aaron said...

I just noticed that you said a "wife of four years." I thought you called me a four year old. Ha