My very-accomodating hosts also made sure I got to the President George W. Bush childhood home. Of course, that meant the house was also the home of the elder Bush. The house could not have been more opposite from the beautiful Kennebunkport house that sits above the rocky point that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.
In contrast, the Midland house was a small, ranch-style home on a residential street neatly tucked next to other similar homes. The Bush family lived here from 1951 – 1955. And for some strange reason, I did not get a good picture of the outside of the home – so will see if I can “borrow” one. (So in in the interest of fair picture taking – I DID NOT take this picture.)
Of course this house isn’t THAT old, at least compared to somewhere like Mount Vernon, but the tour guide seemed to want to make it historically old. She would hold up an object and say, “Do you know what this is?” like it was something out of the dark ages – when actually it would be something even the kids have in their houses. Besides the presidential significance, the house is thought to be one of the first houses from the fifties set aside for historical purposes.
I so appreciate Kevin and Jenifer for giving me a Bush tour of Midland.
My help-me-get-another-presidential-site hosts took us to another Bush hangout. After the conference we went to Johnny’s BBQ in downtown Midland (a city that was extremely empty on a Saturday night). Johnny’s was started by a friend of Laura Bush’s father who in fact, nicknamed the restaurant “the sick pig” since there was a statue of a skinny pig by the front door.
Who knows – but I was told that this is also the place where President Bush often came to meet clients and make business decisions when he worked in Midland. (But I have no guarantee of this.)
Now … I’m really going back … to a quick, but unique trip to Midland, Texas almost two years ago. I went down for a conference … and a promise of a visit to something presidential with the Ivie family.
Our first stop was lunch … after a very long night. (I was supposed to get to town at 5:00, but actually flew in at 2:00 a.m. – there were two other people in the whole airport. Fortunately, I knew that Jenifer would be there to meet me – we had been texting – so I wasn’t too concerned, still … And I did feel sorry that she had to stay up that late to get me.)
Anyhow, they had pursued presidential sites and therefore, took me to Dona Anitas – a Mexican restaurant in downtown Midland. The place didn’t look out of the ordinary and the inside was obviously worn – but the servers were friendly and the owner herself, made sure we were comfortable.
The Presidential part is that this is a favorite restaurant of the the Bush family. Even now, when Laura travels to Midland to see her mother, this is where they eat.
However, no one in the restaurant looked like a Bush.
So last fall I had a conference in Alabama. A friend had promised to drive down with me, but at the last minute had to cancel because of work obligations. Not having a choice, I drove down myself – a quick trip down and a quick trip back. Just the conference – that’s all, no sightseeing.
But I did see something spectacular – the most beautiful double rainbow I have ever seen.
Obviously others felt the same way because it seemed as if everyone in town was out taking pics with their phones. The rainbows were visible for at least 20 minutes and the most awesome aspect of the rainbows was their completeness.
Ok, it’s going on 88 degrees outside. The air feels muggy and a storm is coming … what better day to take a walk through Bronners. (No, I’m not there – not this afternoon. This is our trip from earlier in June.) And I don’t go to Michigan to see Christmas ornaments, I go to see my friends … but they just happen to live near Christmas ornaments …because once upon a time, we lived just four miles down the road from “the largest CHRISTmas store in the world.” That’s their spelling by the way – every customer (and they have a lot of them) – gets a John 3:16 tract in their purchase. When we lived there and the afternoons got super, really, very hot – we’d go wander around in Bronners for awhile.
If you don’t know about Bronner’s – here are some facts.
*350 trees are displayed in their stores (lights on).
*$1,250 is the cost of their electric bill – EACH day!
*50,000 customers stop by on Thanksgiving weekend.
*More than two million customers stop by during the year.
*Customers have included everyone from John Wayne to Laura Bush to Faith Hill.
And now you.
So take a stroll through Christmas wonderland and enjoy some glitter and sparkle.