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Bonfire

Ries and I were blessed by an entire weekend alone last weekend. We spent most of our time at Messina Hof, but we took some time Friday to walk around Texas A&M’s campus. It has been a few years since we have been back and there are many new buildings.

It was amazing how things can change and yet feel exactly the same. We loved our time there. We had lunch at the Dixie Chicken where we spent so much time playing bones and drinking beer that I am amazed we graduated at all.

We also went to the Bonfire Memorial for the first time. After Stack fell, there was an impromptu memorial place where people left all kinds of things, flowers, rings, notes, but we have never been to the official memorial built years later.

I remember the day Bonfire fell vividly. Even the birds seems silent that day. Campus was in shock. Our soul had collapsed on that field.

Walking around that circle and reading the names of the twelve I felt like my whole body was an aching heart. A&M lost so much that day. We lost 12 comrades, beautiful people who loved and laughed and burned with the spirit that can ne’er be told. We lost a tradition that bound us together. We lost out heart.

The memorial is a beautiful thing. I wonder what current Aggies think of Bonfire, of the legacy it left, the lives touched, and the ones that it took from us. I hope younger Aggies know what Bonfire was to us, what the memory of it should be to them.

Bonfire was a thing built with love, a burning testament to our love for Aggieland. It was the symbol of our hearts and it still burns in our souls.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

I think you might kill Wicket. For real this time. I let her out when I got up to feed Wash, about 3:45. We fell promptly back to sleep and forgot about her. I woke up after 5 to the sounds of Wicket flinging herself at the door. God forbid the dog just bark to be let in like a normal dog. Why can we never have NORMAL dogs? I let her in and noticed dirt on the porch. Uh oh. I turned on the light and noticed a very deep 1’x1’x1′ hole off the right side of the porch. I guess she was punishing me for leaving her out there. I filled it in as best I could after we got up for the day, but then Gideon dug some of it up again later on. Sigh. As if the drought was not enough to kill the grass.

The day went downhill from there. While we did not have any out and out three year old tantrums, I did spend all. day. long. arguing with Gideon. Contrary to popular belief, I hate arguing. I hate being adversarial with a three year old. I hate that I spend all day either arguing with him, ignoring his arguments, or punishing him for direct disobedience. It is exhausting and not the way I wish to treat my child but I know I can not let him think it is ok to argue and disobey. (if there are other parents out there with advice, I will happily take it)

I know I was this way when I was younger. I am blessed with a child that has my personality. I want to foster his opinions and strength but also teach him authority and respect. It is a fine line. I do not want to crush his spirit. He has a right to his opinions and they have value and I want him to be secure in that knowledge. However, he also must learn that he is not always right and he does not need to argue about everything. Sometimes we have to do what we do not want to do. In our family we call that, “Tough crap, that’s life,”or for older folks, “Tough shit, you’re an adult.” Unfortunately, crap and shit are not words I use around Gideon… yet, and this is not an easy lesson for a 3 year old who is by nature selfish.

Gideon is an awesome kid. He is smart and has a truly amazing imagination, but he is exhausting. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. We have a play date with the Martins so we will be out of the house. Bless you, Nancy for calling me this morning.

Wash cried when he was not asleep or eating and that did not help my mental state. He fell asleep early (thank you, Lord) and took a long afternoon nap earlier.

I am drinking a glass of port (beautiful alcohol!) and I will have some ice cream, chocolate, later because that is the kind of day it has been.

I miss you, and not only because I have to drive this crazy train myself, but because it is lonely without you here to talk with in the evenings.

Oh, and in case you have not checked ESPN yet, that Rory McIlroy dude, completely smoked everyone and finished with a -16. Also, South Carolina beat us 5-4 in the College World Series opener.

‘Night, Lovey.

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Aggie Muster

Today is the most sacred of all Aggie Traditions, Aggie Muster, a time of remembrance for those that have left us.

Roll Call for the Absent

In many lands and climes this April day
Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.
Our loyalty to country, school, we pray,
and seal our pact with bond of common might.

We live again those happy days of yore
on campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drill
Fond memory brings a sigh — but nothing more;
Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill,

On Corregidor 88 years ago today
A band of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,
Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:
The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar.

Before we part and go upon our way,
We pause to honor those we knew so well;
The old familiar faces we miss so much today
Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.

Softly call the Muster,
Let comrade answer, “Here!”
Their spirits hover ‘round us
As if to bring us cheer!

Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.
We’ll meet some other day
There is no death, but life etern
For our old friends such as they!

by Dr. John Ashton 1906

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