Two weeks ago it was the 60-plus-year-old kids that went through my parents’ homes to pick out things they wanted.
This past weekend it was my parents’ grandkids turn.
We all met in New Braunfels Saturday afternoon (our extended pack), and made the traditional trek to Wurstfest.
Going to Texas’ largest sausage festival has been a staple of mine since the late 70s, with my wife since 1984, and with kids since 1987.
I will attest that attending Wurstfest with six grandkids (almost one year old to seven) and not drinking is a much different experience than my ol’ college days.
Carrying on the tradition of my parents, I told my daughters Nani and Poppie would pay for the tickets and parking. A quick $140 later ($100 for tickets and $40 to park two cars), we were safely in the middle of the howling masses!
The first Saturday of Wurstfest, after missing last year due to the pandemic, is roughly equivalent to standing on Las Vegas Boulevard on New Year’s Eve.
I’m not even going to talk about food and tickets for carnival rides!
We had a blast, basically just going to the carnival where it was a little less crowded. Watching the smiles on the grandkids’ faces, and joining them, on almost all the rides, since I magically found an “all-ride” bracelet on my wrist, was a lot of fun.
I am glad I ate after the rides.
We left Wurstfest after a few hours and went to eat a Krause’s, a popular German family joint in downtown. Live music meant more wearing down of the grands as they danced to the live music.
Then, out of the blue, granddaughter Paige screams out, “Daddy,” and ran into the arms of a complete stranger.
When I first saw the man - who was just casually walking past us as we waited for our table - I did a double take.
He looked like, and had the same build as Paige’s dad.
At the last minute Paige’s dad couldn’t make the trip, and I, too, was trying to figure out why he decided to come late to New Braunfels. It wasn’t just my granddaughter who was fooled. His own wife did a double take, and started cracking up at her daughter’s reaction.
We quickly realized it wasn’t our son-in-law, but poor Paige couldn’t figure out why her dad, who wasn’t her dad, wasn’t going to eat with us!
Pictures don’t do it justice, but we were all busy taking pictures.
I would have loved a video of that scene.
For the next 30 minutes, every time the man passed, Paige would yell out, “Daddy,” and give the man a hug.
On Sunday morning I picked up my parents from the nursing home, knowing this trip down memory lane wouldn’t last as long as the previous weekend with my brother and sister.
Our daughters didn’t choose to take much out of the house my parents didn’t live in, but once they got to “Granny’s House”, and saw all the dishes, and things along those lines, they started talking and filling boxes.
Grands, moms, boxes of memorable items, and suitcases were crammed into our vehicles before leaving one last time.
I know we’ll be back to New Braunfels, but chances are we’ll never sleep in the houses again.
My mom’s eyes were glassy watching our daughters claim things meaningful to them.
She also collected a large number of pottery and glass snails in every configuration imaginable, that when all gathered in one place, covered a tabletop.
They were a hit with the grandchildren.
When I put Campbell (oldest granddaughter) into her bed Saturday night she asked me, “Poppie, will you hold these for me?”
She opened up her little hand, staring straight into my eyes, and showed me the three little snails she was holding close.
Nobody was going to get them, and I was in charge of protecting them until morning.
As with the previous weekend, the trip had an added bonus. My Aggies won, this time beating Auburn. Now, if we can only win out, and Auburn or Arkansas beats Alabama, the Aggies will play in the SEC championship game.
I know, the odds aren’t good … but there’s still a chance!
Harder still, would be beating Georgia in the SEC Championship, and being the first two-loss team in the history of the College Football Playoffs.
Until next week, have a good week!
Mike Probst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.