Half Moon Holidays.

Our Fourth of July weekend started early on Thursday evening with burgers and swimming and family and fireworks. It was good food and even better company and I just love watching Jackson be silly with his cousin Riley. Family time warms my heart times a million! Jackson was all over the place as usual. Always full of curiosity and imagination it seems. Even the cool summer shower that blew in didn’t stop us from setting off some sparklers and popping a few fire crackers! Jackson, the tough kid he is never even flinched or ran in fear of the loud noises. He watched and laughed and played and had a ball till almost midnight. It was good for the soul.

On Friday, we actually had a pretty uneventful and relaxing day. It was actually pretty great. I didn’t mind it at all. That evening we went to my Dads to watch the neighborhood fireworks as we usually do. We gathered up the chairs and walked with the crowds of people to our usual area and popped a squat, eagerly waiting for the show to begin. When it was dark and the fireworks show was ablaze in its full glory, we sat there and I wasn’t nearly as interested in the fireworks display as I was in watching the colored light bounce off Jackson’s face. I think as a parent I get more excited to see how he will react to things rather than how fun the actual thing is! Do other parents feel this way? I assume this is a normal thing. Right? 

Saturday morning we woke up SUPER early to head out to Shiner, Texas for The Half Moon Holidays {a weekend celebration every 1st weekend of July}. When I was younger and I would tell people I was going to Shiner, I’d get this funny look and they’d ask “China, Texas?” NO. SHIIIIIIINER, TEXAS. But these days most people have heard of Shiner, are VERY familiar with Shiner and have even coined it the beer capital of Texas and not to mention “THE Cleanest little city in Texas”. Shiner is arguably the most famous small town in the country, well, at least to all the beer drinkers it is. But to my Dad, it‘s his hometown.  And as much as my Dad loves the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle, I think his heart really is back in Shiner.

Yes, the beer is delicious but it’s the Shiner name that is carried throughout 43 states. An impressive feat for a town of 2,069 people and only one stoplight. But there is so much more to this town than beer. It is a slice of Texas culture that’s still deeply deeply connected to its Czech-German heritage; a place with only one grocery store; a place that embodies a slower, simpler time.

I, personally have never felt extremely rooted to most some of the places I’ve lived in my life. Austin being one of them. After my parents were divorced we moved around a lot, so for me a new city, a new place to live has always been somewhat fun and exciting for me. But something about this lovely little town of Shiner connects with the strings of my heart and it feels almost like home and I have never lived here. I can only imagine that it’s the memories I have of it when I was little. The weekends spent out in the country with my Grandpa fishing in the tank {or pond to you city folk}, the smell of my Grandma’s kolaches and cheese rolls. The sound of the roosters crowing at the crack of dawn. The brown eggs we would go pick ourselves out of the chicken coop. The clothes that we would hang on the line. The sound of rain on the tin roof of their house. It brings you back to the old days. The simple times. The good times. My Grandparents were not rich by any means what-so-ever. My dad and his brothers picked cotton after school. My grandmother would make their clothes. I come from a farming family. A family of hard workers. And to say I’m proud is an understatement.

But I’m really getting off track here. Half Moon Holidays! Oh yeah and did I mention a parade?! And my Dad’s 40th High School Reunion! He was even in the parade! I was so excited about this weekend! I always LOVE going to Shiner with my dad. The parade was fun and HOT. I’m not going to lie, those Shiner summers are not for the weak! 

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Once we were done catching candy and watching all of the beauty queens wave their pretty waves, it was time to head over to the reunion. Have any of you ever been to your parents High School reunions? I just had my 10 year last year and I didn’t even go to that! I feel like Social Media really takes away the joy and the whole purpose of a reunion? Am I the only person that feels this way? Anyways. My dad went to a Catholic High School. St. Paul Catholic High School to be exact with a whopping graduating class of 22! Yes, that is 22 people. It was fun getting to meet some of his old friends for the first time and even for the second or third time. I got to see some family members too. And Jackson, well as usual he was the life of the party! Everyone just loved that little sweaty boy, watching him run around the beer keg, eating all of the ice and dancing to all of the good music was good times. Even though it wasn't my High School reunion, I had a LOT of fun! They really are a total love-fest, those reunions. Everyone is finally old enough, mature enough, and sentimental enough where all of the previous BS just doesn’t matter anymore. No one cared who was popular, who was a nerd or geek, who was cute, or well dressed. There was just happiness, joy, surprise and best of all LOTS of laughter. It’s heartwarming to see friends come together in such a beautiful and bonded way. And to see my Dad giddy as child was just the best. 

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I swear this trip reached down and made the deepest parts of my soul smile. It was the summer day, of SUMMER DAYS if you know what I'm sayin'. The green fields, the brightest blue sky, and rolling rolling hills of Texas. It's a field of dreams, man. It's sunshine. It’s half naked babies running free in the pavilion full of energy and rosy cheeks. It’s World War II Memorials with my Grandfather’s name on it. It’s one of Grandmother’s better days where she actually remembered me and my Dad. It’s the Czech heritage that I love so much. I'm always gonna get sappy about it and that's just the facts. 



Blessings.

Galveston.