October 5th, 2009

A Visit to Texas


Just so you know, the photo header is not Texas. It’s Arkansas. I took it on the way back from Texas. I felt obliged to tell you. You know, just in case you decided to move to Texas just from looking at that photo and then were really surprised when it wasn’t hilly and green.

Last week, Israel took a couple days off so we could head to Texas to see my family. It was a crazy-busy weekend, with not as much family time as I wanted, but we got to see a lot of people, which was the point.

Israel’s sister Hannah has been in Australia for two years studying at the Hillsong International Leadership College. While there, she met her soon-to-be-husband Ashley, who we call Ash. They came in on Thursday evening, so we headed to Muskogee to see them. It was so good to see them. They were exhausted, of course, but when we arrived everyone was playing Apples to Apples. It was the first time the whole family, all 14 of us, had been together in almost two years. Friday morning, we went to IHOP for Ash’s first American breakfast. I’m sure he was very impressed.

After IHOP, we drove to Telephone, Texas, where I spent my high school years.

Yes, there really is a town called Telephone. It’s tiny, which is why you’ve never heard of it.

My parent’s divorced when I was 13. Shortly after their divorce we moved in with Grandpa and Grandma. We were supposed to be there for one year, but ended up staying for six. As my grandpa is a Southern Baptist pastor, we were required to go to church, something I wasn’t always happy about. But that little Baptist church is where I got my spiritual foundation.

After the three hour drive from Muskogee to Telephone, we spent the afternoon with my grandma, aunt and cousins. Then we headed into “town” where we met my mom and Uncle Louie, Aunt Charlotte and cousin, Joel, for dinner. I haven’t seen them in about six years, so it was wonderful to reconnect. When I called Charlotte to finalize our plans, Joel answered and I thought I had called the wrong number because his voice was so DEEP! I mean deeeeeep.

On Saturday, we met up with Charlotte and my cousin Bekah for breakfast at Starbucks, since Bekah was working the night before. She REALLY wants to live in Europe and work with kids. So, of course, we tried to figure out what she could do at BFA. Then we headed to Dallas where we met some college friends, Rachel and Chris, for lunch at Cafe Brazil. I think four different people told us to go to Cafe Brazil. They had about 30 different kinds of coffee. Israel had breakfast tacos. I had loaded fries. Because I wasn’t very hungry. Hmm…..

Then, we met up with Israel’s old roommate, Chris, at the NorthPark Mall, which is where we always meet Chris. We got another coffee and walked through Anthropologie. Can I just tell you how much I love that store? I love it a lot. If only it were about 70% cheaper. Sigh.

Then, we drove to Waxahachie to see Israel’s Great Aunt Helon. I’d never been to her house before, so it was nice to see where she lives. We should really make her tell us her life story sometime, because it sounds like she’s done a lot of interesting things. Once we got back to my mom’s house, we watched half of Stardust but couldn’t finish it because we were so tired. I really like this movie, by the way.

On Sunday we visited Telephone Baptist Church, where I grew up. I hadn’t been in a couple years because my grandpa helped start a cowboy church that we usually go to when we’re in town. It was so nice to see everyone again. People didn’t recognize me because my hair is so short now (actually, it’s rather long at this moment and desperately needs to be cut; short hair doesn’t look good grown out). It was the first day of a revival, so we were invited to attend lunch after the service. Brisket and potato salad and lots of dessert. Mmmm.

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with my family. We addressed envelopes to mail, fried okra (of course), ate Philly cheese steaks, and watched The Amazing Race while petting Samson the Pitbull. Israel and I both really liked Samson, which is surprising because we’re not dog people. We have Felin for a reason.

8 Responses to “A Visit to Texas”


  • Judah says:

    those pictures make me hungry for ihop now! good thing its open 24/7 even tho i would NOT go by myself. i wish we still had starbucks lol

  • I like the pic with you and the knife. So scary.

  • Israel says:

    My favorite is the one I took of the abstract car. I love stuff like that.

  • Amy says:

    What a great weekend! I’m slightly jealous that you got to see Louis & fam. I love all the pictures of Grizabella, the Glamour Car. Is there any way I could get a copy of one of those? Like, one of the bumper-sticker ones?

    Also, I can’t believe how much the Jernigans have all changed since the last time I saw them! Good-looking bunch of people, they are.

  • Thanks for sharing all of the great pics. Yes we had a great week. I am so blessed to be the mother to all of the great people..Thanks Amy and yes they are a good looking bunch of folks if I say so myself. I love the pic in the tunnel too! Love ya mommaJ

  • Sheila Feist says:

    Loved reading about your trip Dani. I never heard about the town of Telephone before today…that must have a story behind it!! You had quite an adventure…. I just viewed all the family pictures…Melinda told me about them this am. I haven’t been in facebook for awhile and was behind!! The family pictures and of course the engagement pictures were all incredible. Hopefully someday you and Israel can come and see us in The Evergreen State!~! We are just about as far west as you can go!!! I’m praying for you both… Anxious for you both to be used for God in a mighty way….of course I know you are right now!!
    Missing you all…love you grams

  • Aaron says:

    It’s hilly and green here in Austin 🙂 Actually, some of these “hills” look more like mountains.

  • Sharpe says:

    I’m concerned that the Pit bull needs a special sort of owner…these pet dogs, no matter how ‘sensitive’ still have teeth, are nevertheless creatures without having moral principles and once they DO bite, won’t allow go. As in all creatures…some often be much more suseptable to instinctual behavior and time and time again, this breed tends to perform just that.