60 Minutes with Doyle

I have an old-man friend, a “College Station Grandpa,” if you will. Doyle is a Texas A&M graduate (Class of ’42) and is one of my favorite people on the planet.

He watched me grow up because our families shared the same hunting lease for more than 20 years of my life. It’s important to mention that I adored his wife, Tillie, and she truly molded many of my childhood memories–cooking breakfast, playing cards, and taking long walks on the ranch.

When I was in college, I visited Doyle and Tillie as often as I could. Since I’ve returned to College Station, Tillie has passed on and I try to visit Doyle at least once a month.

When Doyle was a student at Texas A&M, he worked at the Dairy.

 “Cows didn’t milk themselves, Megan, we didn’t have all those machines back then. Holidays. Snow. Ice. You name it, I was there.”

Additionally, he served our country in World War II. He worked for Texas A&M Extension for most of his life and has the very best stories.

I could listen to Doyle’s stories for hours (and I have). Often, after minutes into telling a story, he says,

“Well, to make a long story short…”

I always smile after he says this because I know it means at least ten more minutes.

Today, Doyle lives in College Station at a very nice retirement home. I visit Doyle on Tuesdays because, after dinner, we play “Ninety-Nine” with his friends. I won’t waste words here explaining it–just click the link to learn), but I will tell you that it’s so much fun and kind of hard to keep up with his 80 and 90 year-old friends. Fortunately, I got lucky last time we played and won quite a bit. Don’t worry–we only play with nickels, so I’m not cheating anyone out of their retirement.

After playing Ninety-Nine, Doyle and I always go back to his apartment and talk about life for a few hours. And by “talk about life” I mean, he tells me wonderful stories and teaches me more about life than many ever have.

Doyle is my constant reminder that:

  1. A full life is spent doing what you love with the people who make you happy.
  2. There are no hand-outs in life–and there shouldn’t be. Work hard, always.
  3. Kindness is an invaluable quality.

I know our talks won’t last forever–he even jokes about it…he can be kind of morbid like that, but he’s had such a full life that he’s able to laugh about it.

But until that time comes (which I hope is far, far away), I will still spend my Tuesdays with Doyle and his friends–beating them in Ninety-Nine and soaking up every moment with my dearest, old-man friend.

Advertisements

60 minutes with Mama Lynne

I recently visited my old stomping grounds in Fredericksburg, Virginia to attend the nuptials of two dear friends. While I was in town, I was able to spend a short amount of time with some folks. Included in this group was one of the few Virginia women I designate with the title, “Mama.”

Mama Lynne is a Dean at the institution I worked previously and is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. We used to have a standing Thursday lunch date—and I miss it like crazy.

Lynne has an extremely interesting life and here are some fun facts:

1) She had her PhD before she was 30. She was single, independent, and fabulous.

2) One night she went to dinner with a group of people and walked away from that experience knowing she met the man she was going to marry. Five months later they were hitched. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?

3) Lynne will be the President of an institution one day and when that happens, I’m quitting and working for her.

During my recent trip, I woke up at 6:30am on a weekend (after a late night wedding reception) to spend time over Krispy Kreme donuts with this woman. I can talk to her about anything and everything. Mostly, I soak up all of her ‘Lynne-isms’. Here are just a few I wanted to share:

A) “God doesn’t make junk. He just doesn’t.”

There’s a reason for everything. Period.

B) “Fish or Cut Bait”

Lynne is always interested in who I’m dating and is quick to tell me that if he’s not the right one, I need to cut bait. “Timing is everything and you only deserve the best,” she’ll say. I need to record her and put her on repeat.

C) “You can always make time for the Important Things”

Lynne is an extremely involved individual because she gets bored easy and, well, to be honest, she’s just awesome. Lynne has three kids, is involved on several boards, she holds leadership in her church, teaches college courses, serves as a Dean, and is a loving wife. She was recently approached with the opportunity for another leadership position in an organization she’s involved in. She explained that she’s praying about it, but has learned from past experiences that God will give you the outlet:

“…God helps you find time for the important things. If there is something that He wants you to do—a volunteers experience, position in an organization—He will help you find time.” If something isn’t right, then it won’t fit. I’ve realized that also means making a place for spending time with the ones you love. Preach it, Mama, preach it.

 

You’re Welcome for the Lynne-isms. Breathe ’em in. Let ’em soak. Thank Mama Lynne later.

 

60 Minutes with Kelly from California

Whenever I have a great interaction with someone (usually someone I just met) for 60 minutes or longer, I love writing about them in my blog. This week’s 60 minutes happened this weekend when I headed to Warrenton/Roundtop for Antiques Week.

I had such a great trip to Warrenton in the fall and I couldn’t wait until my next opportunity to go junkin’. So this past weekend, I set out with cash in hand and a partner in crime. Enter: Kelly from California.

photo 2

Kelly works in my office and, outside of work, we hadn’t spent much time together. However, I asked her to join me in the off-chance she may say “yes.” Little did I know, she is an antiques goddess and couldn’t wait to join me on an adventure.

Kelly is a beautiful soul. She graduated from undergrad in California and traveled to Texas in search of a Southern lifestyle, an MBA from one of the top programs in the nation, and to marry a cowboy. Yes, on top of ruling the world and making it on the front cover of Forbes, all she wants is to marry a cowboy.

On our 60 minute drive to Warrenton/Roundtop, we were able to discuss our shared love for country music, shopping, and good food. It turns out, Kelly and I are extremely similar. She traveled to Texas, sight un-seen for graduate school; I did the same in Virginia. She’s a strong independent woman, paving her own way; I’d like to think I am, too. She wants to marry a southern gentleman/cowboy and own a ranch with a wrap-around porch; Ummm helllo!?!? Me toooooooo. DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?!?

Anyways, we arrived to Warrenton ready to junk. It took approximately 10 minutes to make our first purchase. Literally. I  knew I was in trouble.

I told her that I had always been an advocate for buying things in the moment–I mean, there is a time to be frugal, but also a time to enjoy what you’ve earned. She agreed and explained further:

“One time I went to the GAP. I found a skirt on the sale rack for $6 and literally have worn it for years. YEARS. So when we’re debating whether to buy something, my mom and I always ask each other, ‘Was is a $6 skirt?’ As long as you feel like it’s a good deal, just go for it.”

photo 3

It turns out that Kelly is a terrible shopping influence. Every time I started drooling over a piece of furniture, she’d immediately encourage me, “Make them an offer, Meg. Do it,” or “That will definitely fit in your car. You should get it.”

Anyways, we walked away with our fair share of junk. BUT we couldn’t leave until I took her to the Junk Gypsy headquarters.

photo 4

Or until she properly frolicked through wildflowers.

photo 1Kelly is slowly, but surely, becoming a Texan…I’m glad I’m here to help. Mark another successful junkin’ weekend in the books, y’all. Watch out for the Fall edition coming at you in October.